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Explained: The Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber Social Media Drama

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The rumours of a feud between Justin Bieber’s wife and his ex-girlfriend reached a fever pitch Sunday, as Bieber posted photos from his 29th birthday party and fans combed his social media posts, as well as those of his wife Hailey, his ex Selena Gomez, and a web of their friends and fans, for hints of the relationship drama that has engulfed the trio in recent weeks.

On February 22, Selena Gomez, who dated Bieber on and off between 2010 and 2018, posted a TikTok joking about accidentally over-laminating her brows.

Hours later, Bieber’s wife Hailey — who married Justin in 2018, reportedly just six months after he broke up with Gomez for the final time — posted an Instagram screenshot of herself FaceTiming with her pal Kylie Jenner, with the screenshot featuring close-ups of both of their brows, which fans mistook for a dig at Gomez.

As fan speculation grew, Jenner and Gomez both denied rumours of a feud on February 23; in a TikTok comment, Jenner called accusations that she and Bieber attacked Gomez’s eyebrows “a reach,” to which Gomez responded that the rumours were “unnecessary” and that she is a fan of Jenner.

On the same day, Gomez commented on other videos referencing the drama: she thanked a fan for praising her handling of her split from Justin Bieber and his marriage to Hailey, and she wrote “I love you” in response to a fan who criticised “mean girls and nepo babies” for attacking Gomez.

That same day, Gomez defended her longtime friend Taylor Swift in the comments section of a TikTok video in which Hailey Bieber was miming a gag when Swift was mentioned, with Gomez calling Swift “one of the best in the game.”

Finally, on February 23, Gomez announced her retirement from social media, saying in a TikTok Live video, “I’m 30, I’m too old for this.”

Still, rumours of drama persisted, and on February 28, Haley Bieber posted an Instagram story set to Rema’s song “Calm Down”—but without Gomez’s feature, which some fans misinterpreted as a dig at Gomez.

Justin Bieber posted photos of his star-studded 29th birthday party, an outdoor gathering with balloons and a concert, on Sunday, and one of the photos showed Hailey standing next to him, while another appeared to show her hugging him.

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