Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

Selena Put Her Foot Down & Defended Hailey Against Death Threats Online

By now, you’ve probably seen the many, many videos on TikTok covering the Hailey Bieber and Selena Gomez drama. These range from breakdowns of “laminated brow”-gate to conspiracy videos that Bieber has been copying Gomez for years, and even scrutiny about Hailey Bieber’s marriage with her husband (and Gomez’s ex) Justin Bieber. It seemed as though the drama between the two stars had finally cleared up, until more shady comments and more fan outrage kept it going, even prompting Gomez to leave social media for a while. Well, it looks we have a new update on all this mess: Gomez defended Bieber in an Instagram story on March 24, asking fans sending her death threats to stop.

If you’re new here, allow me to explain. While fans have certainly been pitting these two stars against each other more frequently as of late, rumors of a feud between Gomez and Bieber have been going on for years. Gomez famously dated Justin Bieber for about eight years on and off, and the pair broke up for a final time in 2018 — the same year that Justin married Hailey (who was Hailey Baldwin at that time). The fast-paced nature of their relationship raised a lot of eyebrows, especially those of protective Selenators, who even went so far as to chant Gomez’s name at the Biebers on the 2021 Met Gala red carpet. (There was speculation that the chants made Bieber cry, though she later denied this.)

Bieber even went on the Call Her Daddy podcast in September 2022 to clear up some of the rumors around her relationship with Justin, telling host Alex Cooper that there had never been any infidelity at any point. She also spoke about receiving hate from many people online who seemed to care about her relationship or think that she was a “homewrecker.” Fans had mixed reactions to Bieber’s quotes about Gomez, but it seemed like both women were ready for fans to let all the drama go — especially when they posed for pics together the next month at the Academy Museum Gala, effectively breaking the internet.

selena gomez instagram story defending hailey bieber
@selenagomez via Instagram Stories

However, in late February 2023, just months after those pictures were taken, fans thought that Bieber and her friend Kylie Jenner were making fun of Gomez on Instagram after she made a video saying she’d overlaminated her brows. While Gomez and Jenner both chimed in to let people know that there was no drama or connection between the posts, it snowballed from there, leading to full timelines of their TikTok drama, analysis of everything the two of them said or did (and even Justin Bieber’s birthday party favors, which some interpreted as a dig at Gomez), and everyone dropping their two cents on the mess.

At one point during Call Her Daddy, Cooper asked Bieber if she ever thought that Gomez should step in and tell her fans to stop sending Bieber hate, but Bieber said that Gomez “doesn’t owe me anything.” Gomez did later take to TikTok Live to reprimand people who spread “vile and disgusting” online hate and remind her fans that “words matter,” but just as Bieber never named Gomez in her Call Her Daddy episode, Gomez never specifically referenced hate being sent Bieber’s way. That’s what makes this recent Instagram story so newsworthy: It’s the first time that Gomez is standing up explicitly for Bieber.

“Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity,” Gomez wrote. “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.”

Later on March 24, Bieber responded to Gomez by posting her own Instagram story thanking her and offering her two cents on the situation. “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 wrote. “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.”

Seemingly referencing the scrutiny of her past actions, Bieber added, “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.”

hailey bieber instagram story
@haileybieber via Instagram Stories

So far, Justin has remained totally silent on the matter, even though the drama stemmed from his relationships with both women.

Ironically, the death threats toward Bieber come after weeks of people calling her a “mean girl” online, especially for how fans have chosen to interpret her behavior toward Gomez, and even Gomez’s best friend Taylor Swift in a resurfaced video that made the rounds on TikTok. Whatever your thoughts about Gomez and Bieber’s history, can we all agree that sending someone death threats is the real mean girl move here? With Gomez and Bieber clearly ready to put the whole thing behind them, I can only hope fans on social media can do the same.

This article was originally published on 3/24/23. It was updated on 3/24/23 to include Hailey Bieber’s response.

Erica Kam is the Life Editor at Her Campus. She oversees the life, career, and news verticals on the site, including academics, experience, high school, money, work, and Her20s coverage. Over her six years at Her Campus, Erica has served in various editorial roles on the national team, including as the previous Culture Editor and as an editorial intern. She has also interned at Bustle Digital Group, where she covered entertainment news for Bustle and Elite Daily. She graduated in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing from Barnard College, where she was the senior editor of Columbia and Barnard’s Her Campus chapter and a deputy copy editor for The Columbia Spectator. When she's not writing or editing, you can find her dissecting K-pop music videos for easter eggs and rereading Jane Austen novels. She also loves exploring her home, the best city in the world — and if you think that's not NYC, she's willing to fight you on it.