Nepo Baby of the Week: Prayers Up for Hailey Bieber

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Getty

Although he’s only 30 years old and she’s 27, Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin) have already stirred up more gossip than most celebrities do in a lifetime. Still, even by the couple’s usual standards, the past few months have been a lot. Fans are constantly poring over their social media activity, convinced that they’re on the verge of a divorce, and now, Hailey’s own father has fueled speculation with a bizarre social media repost. At this point, after dutifully plugging my ears and covering my eyes for months as a Responsible Journalist who does not trade on such speculation, even I am compelled to ask: What the hell is going on?

For those who didn’t spend the 2010s following the many, many updates surrounding Justin Bieber’s love life, here’s a quick recap: Bieber and Baldwin first met in 2009 when they were both teens; she was a fan, and her father, actor Stephen Baldwin (brother of Alec Baldwin), pulled some strings. Years later, the two started hanging out, courtesy of their mutual friend Kendall Jenner. Throughout the 2010s, Bieber reportedly became the world’s most prolific romantic ping-pong ball, bouncing between Selena Gomez, his now-wife, and an army of models. That suddenly changed in 2018, when the “Peaches” singer proposed to Hailey just months after breaking things off (again) with Selena. Somehow, even though the two had been icy for years, Hailey said yes.

The Biebers got married two months after their engagement, and, as documented by their first Vogue profile as a couple in 2019, their union was challenging from the start.

“The thing is, marriage is very hard,” Hailey told reporter Rob Haskell. “That is the sentence you should lead with. It’s really effing hard.”

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Beyond the meticulous tabloid coverage that’s hung over these two like a loud, chattery cloud for years, their fans have also become part-time detectives, scouring their every social-media post for clues about their relationship status. For months, they’ve been convinced that the couple could be headed for a divorce. Fans’ evidence includes a trove of romantic Instagram posts that Hailey seems to have archived, according to The US Sun. Then again, some fans take this to mean that Bieber could be pregnant and gearing up for a more conservative era in her branding.

Meanwhile, faceless “sources” have been telling the tabloids that Hailey is sick of Justin’s immaturity.

“He acts like a needy kid all the time and she’s constantly having to apologize for him and try to get him to act like an adult,” a supposed insider told Radar Online back in September. More recently, in February, InTouch quoted another anonymous chatterbox who said, ​​“Justin is clingy and he relies on her so much for his emotional and psychological wellbeing. There are times Hailey just wants to end it so she can be on her own again… Friends are surprised they’ve lasted this long.”

Before we take any of this too seriously, it’s worth remembering an infamous quote from Hailey’s uncle Alec: “Consider the source.” That said, the rumors don’t seem to be going away, and now, even Papa Baldwin has called attention to the alleged marital woes between Justin and his “Favorite Girl.” (“Sorry.” I mean… Sorry.)

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As reported earlier this week by outlets including People and Page Six, Stephen Baldwin shared an Instagram post from All Things Possible Ministries founder Victor Marx—a clip of Bieber strumming a guitar and singing along to the song “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever” by Delirious? and Hillsong Worship. Marx’s post included a strange text missive over the video: “Christians, please when you think of Justin & Hailey, take a moment to offer a little prayer for them to have wisdom, protection and to draw close to the Lord.” (The post now appears to have been removed.)

As seen in a screenshot captured by Page Six, Marx also included a caption alongside the video. “I seldom like to post about certain folks in the limelight because of the negative comments we get,” he reportedly wrote. “Eileen and Hailey’s mom pray often together for J&H and our children as well.”

The caption continues: “There are special challenges that folks in high visibility positions face and also the enemy doesn’t want them to draw closer to Jesus. So often regardless of the material things or the accolades they often face spiritual warfare that intense and seeks to ship-wreck their faith, marriage and life in general [sic]. So thank you.”

Faith has long been a bedrock of the Biebers’ relationship. As Hailey told Vogue back in 2019, “The common denominator, I promise you, is always church.” The two apparently ended their long period of mutual “excommunication” after they ran into each other at a Miami conference hosted by Vous Church pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. “By then we were past the drama,” Hailey told Vogue. “I just gave him a hug. By the end of the conference, he was like, ‘We’re not going to be friends.’ I was like, ‘We’re not?’” The two got engaged within a month.

Apparently, church is still a major part of the couple’s life. After Hailey’s father shared that cryptic post from Marx, People reported that the two were spotted at a late-night service in Los Angeles at Churchome Church at Saban Theatre.

People described the couple as looking “solemn”—her in a bright yellow argyle sweater and him in a droopy black hoodie with a scarf wrapped around his face—but mostly, they just look tired. Maybe it’s the hour that’s got them looking so dour, or the “enemy” trying to “ship-wreck their faith,” or maybe it’s the frustration of having cameras stuck in their faces while they try to go to church. Whatever the reason, only the Biebers can say. By now, however, it seems clear that only a miracle will put this endless speculation to rest.

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