Hailey Bieber has made a concerted effort to keep much of her private life with husband Justin Bieber out of the public eye. That has included not answering persistent, probing questions about the timeline and specifics of when they reconnected and began the romance that resulted in their 2018 wedding.
But on Wednesday’s (Sept. 28) episode of Alex Cooper’s Spotify podcast Call Her Daddy, Hailey confronted the longtime rumors that she “stole” her husband from his ex, pop star Selena Gomez, adamantly denying that narrative and shutting down haters once and for all.
“When him or I ever started hooking up or anything of that sort, he was not ever in a relationship. Ever. At any point,” Hailey insisted, noting that she’s never publicly commented on the allegations before. For the record, Cooper did not specifically name Gomez, but the implication was clear.
“It’s not in my character to mess with someone’s relationship … I’m not interested in doing that and I never was … I can say, period, point blank, I was never with him when he was in a relationship with anybody. That’s the end of it,” Hailey stated.
As for the tick-tock of Hailey and Justin rekindling their relationship, getting engaged and married while the singer was also reportedly still spending time with his ex, Hailey said she can understand how it looks from the outside, but that’s not what she experienced. “It was the right thing for them to close that door — they were not in a relationship at that time,” she said, explaining that she respected their long history and knew it “closed a chapter” and was the best thing for Justin so that he could move on
Plus, she said, one of the reasons their marriage is so strong is precisely because Justin was able to get that closure. “It was the most healthy, mature decision that he could have made,” she said. The model added that she would never want to get into a relationship with someone, or get married to them, if she was worried that they still had feelings for an ex.
“I know for a fact that the reason that we were able to get back together is that it was very much completely closed and that is respectful to me,” she said.
“A lot of the hate and perpetuation comes from like, ‘Oh you stole him,’” Hailey acknowledged when Cooper asked if there was any overlap, noting that it’s fine with her if some fans wish Justin had ended up with someone else. “It’s about people knowing the truth, because there’s a truth.”
Hailey and Justin have been friends since around 2011 and started dating in early 2016 — at least, that’s when the “Peaches” singer posted a photo of them kissing on Instagram. Justin confirmed their relationship a month later in a GQ interview. However, Hailey clarified that they weren’t an exclusive couple, as the singer was about to head out on tour at the time.
Justin and Selena dated on and off for around eight years beginning in 2010, with the “Lonely” singer dating Selena, then Hailey, then Selena again and then back to Hailey, who he married in 2018. And though the issue is settled in Hailey’s mind, she described to Cooper the angst of having millions of people commenting on her private life.
“I think it’s sad. I think it’s sad to be against someone’s happiness,” she said, noting that people have been speculating that the couple’s marriage “is ending” for the past four years. “I think it’s sad to not wish somebody well – who am I supposed to be that would be acceptable – and then that means I’m living for other people – and that means I’m being a people pleaser, which I struggle with a lot,” she said, describing a kind of “numbness” she’s gotten used to when watching fans post nasty comments about her on Justin’s Insta. If she could address those naysayers directly, however, Hailey described exactly what she’d say.
“You’re not obligated to like me, but I believe that no matter what, there can always be mutual respect between people, and to me that means, you don’t have to say anything — you don’t have to like me, but you don’t have to say anything either,” Hailey said. And though she doesn’t love to do interviews, Hailey understands why people constantly ask her about her husband, since he happens to be one of the biggest pop stars in the world.
“Even me talking about him, or talking about our relationship, people will take that and be like, all she ever talks about is her relationship with him, and even something like that, I’m just like, well we are married, and he’s a huge part of my life, and obviously people are very interested in our life together,” she said.
Regardless of what you think you know about them, Hailey said she feels like she’s come out on top, telling Cooper that Justin is her “best friend, and there is nothing better than being with the person that makes you smile the most, makes you laugh the most, he’s just literally the best human to me ever.”
Hailey also speculated that some of the anger comes from the couple getting married so young — she was 21 and he was 24 when they got engaged — and their timing was “very rapid,” though it felt natural to them. Plus, she added, they are the only people who really know what the timeline of their relationship was and she knows “perception is a really tricky thing … I know how we got to where we got. I was there.”
And, for the record, “they’re not ruining anything for me,” Hailey said to any haters out there who think they’ve made her change anything she feels or does.
Listen to the episode below.