Selena Gomez has finally spoken out on the supposed feud that’s been going on between her and Hailey Bieber, telling fans she’s unhappy to hear that Bieber has been the target of “death threats and hateful negativity.”
In a statement Friday, Gomez said she heard from Hailey Bieber herself to say that she’s been tormented by the recent scrutiny of their relationship. That scrutiny has included reminders that Gomez once dated Justin Bieber, the supermodel’s husband, and suggestions that Bieber might be the “mean girl” in the situation.
With her statement, posted in an Instagram Story, Gomez didn’t exactly try to shut down discussion about their supposed feud or say that she and Bieber had called a truce. But she asked her fans and others on social media to tone down the rhetoric.
“Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity,” Gomez wrote in an Instagram Story, signed with a heart emoji. “This isn’t what I stand for. No one should have to experience hate or bullying. I’ve always advocated for kindness and really want this all to stop.”
Selena Gomez speaks out against the hate Hailey Bieber has been receiving:
“Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity. (…) I’ve always advocated for kindness and really want this all to stop. ❤️” pic.twitter.com/nNWA2ivqE0
— Pop Base (@PopBase) March 24, 2023
Rumors of tensions between Gomez and Hailey Bieber go back to at least 2018, when Justin Bieber ended his long, on-off relationship with Gomez and began dating Hailey, who’s the daughter of Stephen Baldwin, six months later.
The latest social media conflict between the women erupted last month with each accused of alluding to each other in snarky ways. Gomez went on TikTok to say she wished she was “as pretty” as supermodel Bella Hadid, according to a detailed BuzzFeed News timeline. Gomez then posted another TikTok story in which she talked about “accidentally” laminating her eyebrows too much.
Perceived shade from Bieber came when her pal Kylie Jenner uploaded a screenshot from a FaceTime between the two women, in which they zoomed in on — yes — their eyebrows. While Jenner said that people were “reaching” to assume that she and Bieber were laughing at Gomez’s overly laminated eyebrows, that didn’t stop fans from digging up theories and attaching significance to any of the subsequent social media posts coming from any of the parties.
While Gomez and Hailey Bieber stayed away from taking direct shots at each other, fans also began pulling up old tweets, viral clips and commentary to discover new evidence of animosity or mean-girl behavior.
Amid all the brouhaha, Bieber was being slapped with the “mean girl” label, which resulted in her losing nearly 1 million Instagram followers since the latest conflict began, according to BuzzFeed News.
As a result of the tumult, people stopped seeing Bieber as a revered “style icon” and have been having trouble buying her as the “girl next door,” as pushy publicists have tried to brand her, BuzzFeed News also reported.
“The ‘mean girl’ label can be incredibly hard to shake,” Lauren Beeching, founder of Honest London, a social media and reputation management agency, told BuzzFeed News. “You can’t really see the true her online, which I think is her biggest weakness.”
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