The two have been involved in each other’s lives for more than 10 years now, starting when the 14-year-old heartthrob and 12-year-old Baldwin met in the Today show lobby and leading up to the lovebirds privately marrying in a New York courthouse in 2018 and saying “I do” at their South Carolina wedding a year later. Hailey says they remained friends for “a really long time before there was anything romantic,” but they both knew what they wanted for themselves — to marry and start a family young — and it aligned perfectly.
“I mean, I was married when I was 21, two months before I turned 22, which is insanely young. And sounds almost ridiculous when you say it out loud. Although I do think for somebody like me and somebody like Justin, [it’s different],” the now-24-year-old model explains in her cover interview published Thursday (March 18). “We’ve seen a lot for our age. We have both lived enough life to know that’s what we wanted.”
But being Justin Bieber’s wife comes with its own territory, which Hailey says included social media harassment that resulted in the high-profile model indefinitely turning off public comments on her Instagram about a year ago. Justin, who currently graces Billboard‘s cover, blasted trolls who kept comparing his wife to ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez with a lengthy note about how it’s “extremely hard to choose the high road” when people are constantly trying to “bully” his wife. Hailey reposted her husband’s response at the time, adding she “needed to protect myself and my mental [sic].”
“In the beginning of our marriage, I just wanted to hide. I was like, ‘I don’t want people so in my business. I feel like everybody’s up my ass.’ I was like, ‘Can there be no anonymity? Can I have any of it back?'” Bieber recalls. “I remember someone telling me that [turning off the public comments] really lowers your engagement. And I was like, ‘I could give a f— about engagement! People are terrorizing me. Engagement, enschagement. I don’t care!'”
But following their “very difficult” first year of marriage came the perfect storm of the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed the A-list couple to spend “so much solid alone time” together that felt like a “long, extended vacation.” And the two certainly have carved out time for actual baecations, like the one they took during Justin’s second “Anyone” music video that puts Hailey front and center. Being part of a Hollywood couple can come with a lot of pressure, but for the Biebers, their faith is the foundation that keeps them rock-solid.
“I think any relationship can fail, Hollywood or not. Is it harder in the public eye? Absolutely,” she declares. “But I think the two of us are grounded by our faith. I’m not saying it’s this easy-peasy thing that doesn’t take work. We talk to a therapist. We do what we have to do.”