The young couple stand at the altar, preparing to share their vows. It’s a momentous step for anyone, but as 20-something celebrities living in the glare of the media spotlight, this is a particularly telling occasion. For when your name is Bieber, as one’s is and the other’s is about to become, your every move is scrutinized.
In 2019 Hailey Baldwin, an American-born model and member of the well-known Baldwin acting dynasty, secured herself the hand of one of the most eligible bachelors in the world. Although many rejoiced at the news that she’d wed her beau, there were many other Beliebers who were crushed that the object of their affections – Canadian singer Justin Bieber – was now officially off the market.
News of one of the celebrity weddings of the year was broken by Bieber himself in a November 15, 2018, Instagram post. A photograph of the pair casually bantering in the street was accompanied by a simple message from Bieber: “My wife is awesome.” The image has since received more than seven million likes.
However, behind the scenes not everything has been going according to plan in this all-celebrity romance. Baldwin and Bieber have in fact each suffered ups and downs over the ensuing period, both personally and as a high-profile couple. Indeed, the supposed honeymoon period for the pair has proven to be almost anything but.
Baldwin, though, should have been more prepared than most for all the trappings that fame can bring. After all, she’s been in the celebrity spotlight for as long as she can probably remember. Her father, Stephen, is one of the Baldwin acting clan that includes his brothers William, Alex and Daniel. Moreover, her maternal grandfather is Grammy Award-winning Brazilian musician and producer Eumir Deodato.
Baldwin herself is a fashion model and has made numerous onscreen appearances in awards ceremonies, TV commercials and music videos. Baldwin’s most notable campaigns have been for companies including Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Guess. Moreover, in 2019 she also signed a major deal with Levi Jeans.
Baldwin has also been nominated for four Teen Choice awards. Nonetheless, it remains undeniable that she’s best known for her relationship with pop superstar Bieber, which began as a short romance back at the end of 2015. According to reports, the pair got back together in the summer of 2018 and soon took their relationship to the next level.
Bieber needs little introduction, of course. A singer, songwriter and actor, he entered the pop-music scene with a bang back in 2009 when his first release “One Time” reached the top 20 in both the U.S. and Canada. Bieber was just 15 years old at the time. But it was the 2010 single “Baby,” which featured on his first album My World 2.0, that propelled the youngster to superstardom.
And since then, Bieber has rarely been out of the media spotlight for one reason or another. After his spectacular early success, the singer became a staple of teen magazines and music awards shows. Moreover, Bieber was also arguably one of the earliest beneficiaries of the blanket coverage that social media platforms and video services such as YouTube can deliver.
Bieber’s long-time manager and agent, Scott “Scooter” Braun, was a significant influence on the singer in those early days of cultivating an online following. But Braun also subsequently admitted that this placed added pressures on the young star. “He’s the only person in humanity who’s grown up the way he has – with smartphones and cameras on him 24/7,” Braun told The Hollywood Reporter in 2013.
For the majority of 2013, Bieber had more followers than any other Twitter user, and he remains the second most-followed to this day. In addition, as of March 2020 his YouTube channel ranks among the top ten in the world in terms of subscribers, with 52 million official followers. It’s that kind of online presence that’s propelled Bieber into one of the most well-known names and most recognizable faces on the planet.
Bieber, somewhat unsurprisingly, has encountered his fair share of controversy, too. For example, in 2014 he was sentenced in the U.S. for the unrelated crimes of first vandalism and then resisting an officer and driving without due care and attention. Bieber was fined on both occasions. He’s also had run-ins with the law in both his native Canada and in Argentina.
Bieber addressed his growing bad-boy image in a video that he posted in January 2015. “I didn’t want to come off arrogant or conceited, or basically how I’ve been acting the past year, year and a half,” the singer stated. “Although what’s happened in the past has happened, I just want to… be kind and loving and gentle and soft.”
In terms of romances, there was only really one name that was consistently linked with Bieber during his early years of stardom. The singer was in a relationship with fellow performer Selena Gomez from December 2010 until late 2012. The pair then dated sporadically over the next six years, and Bieber later admitted that some of his most famous songs were inspired by his time with the actress-singer.
In fact, it was during one of the off-again intervals with Gomez that Bieber first started dating Hailey Baldwin, the woman who of course is now his wife. And in an interesting quirk of fate, the pair had met previously when Baldwin’s dad had introduced his daughter to Bieber during filming for The Today Show.
Baldwin recalled the meeting when she spoke to Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show in February 2020. Indeed, Fallon produced a picture of the event, at which time Baldwin was 13 and Bieber a couple of years older. “What’s funny is that in this photo, I’m super awkward. I had braces,” Baldwin recalled.
Certainly, Baldwin couldn’t have predicted what was to come. “Nowhere was there a thought that I was like, ‘Yeah, he probably has a crush on me.’ I did not – that was not the case at all,” she admitted. “We just were hanging and [now] that is my entire husband. It’s ridiculous.” But the initial meeting didn’t quite end there, either.
“It was really kinda before anything,” Baldwin told Fallon, referring to the fact that Bieber was, at that time, at a nascent stage in his career. “I met him and his mom. And my dad kind of just connected as friends, and we invited them over to our house the next day,” the model recalled. “So he and his mom just came over for family dinner with me and my family and we went bowling.”
“To be honest, this is the truth: he was so new that I didn’t really know a lot about him yet,” Baldwin confessed. It’s fair to say that the 23-year-old knows a fair bit more about the singer nowadays, of course. And it was another appearance on The Tonight Show with Fallon that played no small part in rekindling the romance that had originally blossomed two years previously.
Baldwin appeared on The Tonight Show in April 2018 and entertained the audience with a little party trick. To be precise, the model opened a bottle of beer with her teeth. Moreover, the following day, an interested viewer phoned Baldwin. “And it was a little like, ‘Hey, how are you? I saw you on Jimmy Fallon last night,’” Baldwin recalled. That caller was none other than her ex, Justin Bieber.
Bieber was full of compliments for his ex, telling her, “You were looking really good. I loved that trick that you did. I had no idea that you can do that. It was so cool,” Baldwin informed Fallon. “Cut to, I’m now married to that certain someone,” Baldwin added. “I feel like Jimmy gets a little credit for helping re-spark romance.”
And by July 2018, just three months after that particular phone call, Baldwin and Bieber were engaged. The couple initially tied the knot at a civil ceremony later in the year. They subsequently had a rather more lavish reception in September 2019 in South Carolina. But wedded bliss, it seems, was short-lived.
Instead, the early signs for the young couple’s relationship were far from positive. In March 2019, for example, Bieber told Vogue that the initial months of married life had been marred by disagreements. “Fighting is good,” the singer optimistically told the magazine in reference to his marriage.
“Doesn’t the Bible talk about righteous anger?” Bieber continued. “We don’t want to say the wrong thing, and so we’ve been struggling with not expressing our emotions, which has been driving me absolutely crazy because I just need to express myself. And it’s been really difficult to get her to say what she feels.”
Bieber’s comments regarding the newlyweds’ struggles may well have resonated with many couples. Being in the public eye certainly didn’t make things any easier for the couple, although it was something that Baldwin tried not to focus on. “I prayed to feel peace about the decision,” she added. “I love him very much. I have loved him for a long time.”
So, it seems that the honeymoon period for the Biebers hadn’t lasted as long as could have been expected. The pressures of celebrity life may have had something to do with that, but there were other factors at play as well. And one of them was the mental-health issues that Bieber has struggled with.
In March 2019 Bieber admitted on Instagram that he’d been finding it hard to cope with the demands of being a touring artist. “I’ve toured my whole teenage life, and early 20s, I realized and as you guys probably saw I was unhappy last tour and I don’t deserve that and you don’t deserve that, you pay money to come and have a lively energetic fun light concert and I was unable emotionally to give you that near the end of the tour,” Bieber wrote in a candid post.
Bieber went on to explain how he was hoping to tackle these issues. “I have been looking, seeking, trial and error as most of us do, I am now very focused on repairing some of the deep rooted issues that I have as most of us have, so that I don’t fall apart, so that I can sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be,” the singer admitted. “Music is very important to me but nothing comes before my family and my health.”
Despite the issues the couple had seemingly experienced after their wedding, Bieber nonetheless posted a gushing ode to his wife on Instagram in April 2019. “Things all around us just get better with time,” it read. “I fall more in love with you every day! You have walked hand and hand with me as I continue to get my emotions, mind, body and soul intact!”
Bieber wasn’t finished there, either. “You have given me so much strength, support, encouragement and joy. I just wanted to publicly honor you, and remind you that the best is yet to come!” the singer continued. It was a message that perhaps hinted at some inner struggles, but these nonetheless didn’t seem to be the words of a man who believed his marriage was on the rocks.
Another issue may have been the manner in which the couple’s brief relationship had ended first time round back in January 2016. “Negative things happened that we still need to talk about and work through,” Baldwin revealed to Vogue. “Fizzled would not be the right word – it was more like a very dramatic excommunication,” the model confessed, referring to that initial breakup.
But perhaps the biggest crisis the couple faced in the first 12 months of their marriage related to Bieber’s physical health. A string of pictures emerged of the singer looking less than well. And due to his fame, rumors and speculation quickly began to spread across social media. Some onlookers asked whether Bieber was abusing drugs.
This was a tough time for the young couple, as Baldwin subsequently admitted to Elle magazine. “And it was hard, because everybody from the outside was being super mean and judgmental, saying he looked like he was on drugs, saying how unhealthy he looked,” Baldwin revealed. “When in truth, he was not healthy and we didn’t know why.”
“It was months of me being a new wife trying to help him figure out what was wrong and what was going on,” Baldwin continued. “He was really sick. He has Lyme disease, and he was dealing with a bunch of medical stuff. We didn’t have a diagnosis.”
Unsurprisingly, planning their large-scale wedding celebration was difficult for the couple, given Bieber’s health issues and the unwanted media scrutiny. “Now he’s perfectly healthy. But going through that and then trying to be like, ‘So where does our wedding fit into this?’ didn’t feel like the vibe at all,” Baldwin admitted.
The honeymoon period had indeed been short. “We went straight into figuring out the hard stuff. Because you never know what can happen with someone’s health,” Baldwin continued. “When you don’t know what’s happening, it’s really scary. And then you have the opinions of everybody from the outside, and it just sucks.”
Thankfully, the young couple seem to have been able to move on from these troubles, which could have broken some relationships. And they’re now starting to find a routine that’s much more conducive for newlyweds. “I definitely enjoy being home more than I enjoy being away,” Baldwin revealed.
Moreover, with Bieber facing a heavy concert schedule, Baldwin seems to be relishing her new role as supportive wife. “Justin’s going on tour in 2020, so that’s happening,” Baldwin added. “I’ll be with him and bounce in and out for work when I need to. I’m really excited about experiencing this new part of life, being someone’s partner. I think it’s exciting and it’s fun.”
The pair do all that yucky newlywed stuff, too. “We’ll get on the phone with each other and be all cute and annoying, doing baby talk,” Baldwin admitted. All things that a young couple who are in love probably should be doing, whether or not they’re international celebrities. Bieber refers to his model partner as a “wifey,” too.
The signs, thankfully, are good for the Biebers. In that February 2020 The Tonight Show appearance, Baldwin looked radiant while discussing her husband with Fallon. ‘You guys are so cute together… it’s so cool to see you guys together, and you really are magic together, I got to say,” the host gushed. And as Baldwin smiled, blushed and uttered her thanks, it was with the look of a woman totally in love.