Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin have reportedly gone public as a couple in all but name.
Well, before the scoop that the Purpose superstar and the model were reportedly seen making out at a New Year’s Eve party on the Caribbean island of St. Barts, affectionate photos and videos shared by the longtime pals on their social media pages during the New Year’s break hinted that they are romantically involved.
Justin and Hailey spent Christmas with the singer’s siblings, their father, Jeremy, and friends. The group later traveled to Anguilla for New Year’s, with the Biebs and Hailey ringing in 2016 on nearby St. Barts.
In a report yesterday, TMZ claimed the 21-year-old Canadian and 19-year-old daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin attended nightclub owner Richie Akiva’s villa-held New Year’s party, where the singer performed. It’s said the pair were spotted kissing at the bar by people at the soiree.
The website’s reveal came after mainstream outlets spent Saturday playing photo assumption over non-smiling paparazzi-obtained photos of Justin and Hailey walking to a private plane heading home from the Caribbean island of St. Barts on New Year’s Day.
The “Sorry” singer and Topshop model were photographed walking to a private plane, and indeed “did not look too happy,” as E! Online put it. Their headline read, “Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin Don’t Look Very Happy in New Photo From St. Barts New Year’s Holiday.”
Mail Online used the term “glum.” The Mirror went with the following.
— Mirror Celeb (@MirrorCeleb) January 2, 2016
Into the mix of this, and news of Akiva’s throwdown, Billboard revealed Justin also performed at actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s New Year’s party before midnight.
The publication, which may have editorialized, wrote, “The audience — of course filled with beautiful blonde models — gave the love right back. There was a rotation of girls hugging and kissing Biebs, who started the night with a black shirt on, but lost it for good about midway through the celebration.”
— billboard (@billboard) January 1, 2016
Some outlets took that snippet and ran with it, musing whether Hailey and Justin had words or were sad to be going home. As it turned out, the couple weren’t going home when they took a private jet on Friday, but were returning to Anguilla.
About the rest, it shouldn’t need pointing out that the singer is expected and used to letting fans hug and kiss him on the cheek. Regarding the “glum” pics, it’s not a stretch to imagine the pair probably didn’t feel inclined to perform like Cheshire cat for paps after partying on New Year’s Eve.
“First day of 2016 not lookin too shabby,” she tweeted and Instagrammed, alongside a selfie revealing her standing on the edge of a building overlooking a gorgeous blue ocean, wearing a T-shirt and a hat which may belong to Justin.
“Couldn’t have asked to have a better start to the New Year surrounded by the best people,” she chirped in another tweet, adding a heart icon. Notably, Justin retweeted her message. So, he wants people to take note of it and stop the widespread salivating over a possible “trouble in paradise” scenario.
Amid the media, and some fans of Bieber, Baldwin, and Gomez freaking out yesterday about the notion of “Jailey” as a reality, the singer shared an unclear Instagram photo showing him smoking. His caption (which changed twice), began, “Don’t waste your time picking apart this photo.”
He went on to add, “What you do shouldn’t be decided by someone else’s decisions. Spend more time focusing on who people are, and less on what they do unless it’s directly affecting you!”
Some fans went nuts. Some still are. Others didn’t. It’s worth noting, it’s possible Justin’s attempt to set a boundary for himself is directed more towards media than fans, since the effects of the largely negative-messaging reporting Bieber receives (to a lesser extent since Purpose) might be more perceived as more hurtful from his perspective.
The singer posted other photos. One showed him wearing a stylized jacket. A snap of Hailey wearing the same jacket, which he captioned, “Werk,” followed.
Hours later, Justin shared an outrageously cute video on his shots account of him jumping a tennis net, before larking about with Hailey while beaming, then seemingly formally “presenting” her to the public.
Neither of the pair has confirmed their relationship status. But it very much looks like “Jailey” is now out and proud, and congratulations are in order. Some fans still attached to the “Jelena” era expressed their discontent at the Biebs’ and Hailey’s various social posts. Other shared delighted support.
Has the pop prince finally moved on emotionally and mentally from a mutually painful breakup with ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, who is seemingly involved with One Direction’s Niall Horan? Time will tell. But it’s certainly time for media and fans to end the speculative and tired blame game regarding the demise of “Jelena.”
It’s a new year, and a new beginning. For everyone.
[Images via Instagram]