After weeks of fan speculation and internet drama, pop star and actor Selena Gomez has asked her fans to stop bullying model Hailey Bieber.
On Friday, Gomez posted on social media that Bieber, who is now married to Gomez’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber, has been receiving immense hate and even death threats online and urged her followers to stop bullying her.
“Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity,” Selena wrote. “This isn’t what I stand for. No one should have to experience hate to bullying.
“I’ve always advocated for kindness and really want this all to stop.”
Hailey responded with a thank you message on her Instagram story, saying, “I want to thank Selena for speaking out, as her and I have been discussing the last few weeks how to move past this ongoing narrative between her and I.”
She spoke about the bullying and said the “last few weeks have been very hard for everyone involved and millions of people are seeing so much hate around this which is extremely harmful”.
“While social media is an incredible way to connect and build community, moments like this only create extreme division instead of bringing people together. Things can always be taken out of context or construed differently than they were intended. We all need to be more thoughtful about what we post and what we say, including myself.
“In the end, I believe love will always be bigger than hate and negativity, and there is always an opportunity to meet each other with more empathy and compassion.”
It all began last month when Gomez, who dated Justin Bieber on and off between 2010 and 2018, posted a TikTok joking about laminating her eyebrows too much.
A few hours later, Bieber’s wife, who married the singer in 2018, reportedly just six months after his final break up with Gomez, posted a screenshot of herself FaceTiming with her close friend Kylie Jenner on Instagram. The picture zoomed in on their eyebrows. This was perceived by fans as an attack on Gomez.
The next day, Jenner and Gomez denied any rumours of a feud on TikTok. The same day, Gomez left a series of comments on TikToks related to Hailey Bieber, one of which was “I love you” in response to a fan showing support for Selena after the bullying she has supposedly received from “mean girls and nepo babies.”
As fans began to speculate over her responses, Gomez went on TikTok Live to announce she was quitting the platform.
“I’m very happy, I’m so blessed, I have the best friends, the best fans in the whole world, and I just couldn’t be happier,” she said in the live. “And I’m good. I love the way I am. I don’t care, I’m big, I’m not—I don’t care. I love who I am. And yeah, I’m gonna be taking a second from social media, because this is a little silly. And I’m 30, I’m too old for this, so. But I love you guys so much! And I will see you guys sooner than later, I just… I’m just gonna just take a break from everything, “ she said.
The drama intensified when Hailey post an Instagram story set to Rema’s song ‘Calm Down’ but the version without Gomez’s feature. Fans believed this was another insult to Gomez.
Throughout this drama, Gomez’s beauty brand Rare Beauty’s Google searches sky-rocketed. Her songs’ streaming numbers also went up.
This isn’t the first time Gomez has spoken out to stop hate. In 2019, she wrote on Instagram, “I do not stand for women tearing women down. I will never, ever be by that. So please be kind to everyone.
“It doesn’t matter what the situation is, if you’re my fans don’t be rude to anybody, please. Don’t go off and say things that you just feel in the moment,” she added.
In 2022, Hailey also asked people to leave her alone after fans flooded her comments regarding Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.
“Leave me alone, at this point… I’m minding my business, I don’t do anything, I don’t say anything. Leave me alone, please. Enough time has gone by where it’s valid to leave me alone, I beg of you truly. That’s my only request, leave me alone… be miserable somewhere else,” she said.