At the end of February 2023, fans on TikTok started scrutinizing Hailey Bieber’s treatment of Selena Gomez amid speculation that Hailey had been subtly throwing shade at Selena on her social media for years. As a result, Selena gained 10 million Instagram followers, while Hailey lost hundreds of thousands, dropping to under 50 million followers after previously being above that threshold.
Both Selena and Hailey have tried to encourage fans to move on from the drama. Both women have romantic history with Justin Bieber, with Selena dating him on and off for eight years, and Hailey marrying him four years ago—shortly after he and Selena split up for the final time.
But once upon a time, Hailey was a Jelena fan, some pointed out, and a longtime, passionate Belieber. And several times, the women have tried to show support to each other in an effort to get the hateful comments they both receive to stop. Here, the full history of all their public drama because there’s a lot to unpack.
2011-2013: A teenage Hailey tweets her support of Justin and Selena dating, along with her love of Selena.
Oh No They Didn’t published screenshots of some of her old tweets, which have since been used in TikTok videos. Some include: “Selena Gomez is so cute. Don’t argue. Bye.” and “I’m for sure 100% team #Jelena.”
December 2014: Selena spends New Year’s Eve in Dubai with Kendall, Kylie, and more. In 2023, Kylie gets attention for saving a TikTok video that suggests the Jenner sisters invited Selena on purpose to get Hailey time alone with Justin.
E! covers Selena’s glamorous New Year Eve’s trip to Dubai with Gigi, Kendall, and Kylie. When the Selena-Hailey TikTok drama heats up over 10 years later in February 2023, a TikTok user points out that Kylie saved her video breaking down how the girls invited Selena on the trip to give a then-18-year-old Hailey time alone with Justin. “She most likely saved it on accident,” the user wrote of Kylie adding the video to her favorites.
Justin and Selena were on-off in fall 2014, with Selena releasing “The Heart Wants What It Wants” that November after she sparked breakup speculation at the beginning of October 2014. Selena had suddenly left Paris alone after going there with Justin for Paris Fashion Week. She tweeted on October 1, “Sometimes we think we aren’t good enough. But then I realize when I think I’m alone, I have God.”
Hailey later says that she and Justin became romantically involved when she was 18. Dating rumors between Hailey and Justin start later in 2015, although they initially just say they’re friends.
2016: Longtime friends Hailey and Justin go public as dating. Their relationship ends in August 2016, and they then don’t talk for over a year.
Hailey and Justin met in 2009, when Hailey was just 13. She later denied romantic rumors about them in 2014, saying, “I’ve known [Justin] since I was like 13—and we’ve just been good friends over the years. We have just stayed close, and there’s nothing more to it than that.” She would later reveal they actually became romantically involved when she was 18 (so in 2015, when they first sparked dating rumors, then denied it).
Hailey later told ELLE in 2020 that they stopped talking at that point for almost two years. “Our lives seemed to be going in very different directions,” she said. “I actually think—now that I look back at it being married—that it was a good thing for the two of us, very healthy.”
A source later tells Page Six in October 2018 that despite the two publicly ending things (and Justin publicly dating other people, including Selena again), Hailey never gave up on trying to end up with Justin. “She was super obsessed with him,” the source said. “Justin was trying to get back with Selena and [Hailey] couldn’t get over that. She wouldn’t talk to other guys, wouldn’t date other guys. Wouldn’t give other guys the time of day. She wanted to [put] it super out there how religious she was, I think, just so it would hook [Bieber].”
Hailey later reveals she and Justin were actually secretly on-off for years after TMZ reported they were in 2018.
In a November 2021 episode of the In Good Faith with Chelsea & Judah Smith podcast, Hailey said: “We’d have conversations when we were younger, [and] we always knew if we ever do get back together, it will be with the intention of getting married. We used to say that to each other and talk about that. I don’t think it was that surprising for us. I don’t know if I ever thought it would be that soon. I didn’t think I’d be getting married at 21. I always used to think in my head, ‘Oh, if Justin and I ever get back together, we’ll be a little bit older and it’ll be later in life,’ and God was like, ‘Yeah, that’s really funny because here’s you at 21.’”
December 2017: Hailey and Justin start talking again while he’s dating Selena. Selena isn’t happy about it.
Hailey’s nearly two years of not talking to Justin comes to an end. TMZ reports that Justin reached out to Hailey to “clear the air” over their brief relationship and bad breakup as part of “his new ‘open and honest’ approach to life,” per sources connected to his then-church, Hillsong.
Justin tells then-girlfriend Selena (a month into their rekindled relationship) that he reached out to Hailey. Selena didn’t take the news of him talking to Hailey well, and she and Justin fought about it, which led them to couple’s therapy, per TMZ’s sources.
It’s worth noting that Justin told i-d magazine in 2015 that he cheated on Selena in the past, perhaps fueling some of Selena’s reported discomfort then. Justin said in 2015, “We were working out how to be in a relationship, how to be ourselves, who we were, in the middle of having people judge our relationship through the media. I think that really messed my head up too. Because then, it’s like trust and all this other stuff that starts messing with your mind. You’re on the road. And there are beautiful women on the road. And you’re just getting yourself into trouble…”
March 2018: Justin and Selena’s 10-year on-off relationship comes to its final end.
Justin and Selena give their on-off 10-year romance one more go from November 2017 to early March 2018. At first, their split is reported as a break before it became a permanent breakup.
A source told E! at the end of March, “Selena realized even though he’s made some positive improvements, they just aren’t a perfect match right now.”
May 2018: Hailey says she and Justin are better as friends.
Hailey gives an interview to The Times UK where she addresses her relationship with Justin. She describes them as better off as friends given their failed romance. They start dating again a month later.
“Justin and I were friends for a long time,” she explains of their relationship. “I met him when I was really young and he was one of my best friends. Everybody knows that at a certain point in time that turned into something else, but that just happens when you’re 18, 19. It was what it was. We went through a long period of time when we weren’t friends. We didn’t speak for quite some time and there was a lot of weirdness that went on. We’ve moved past that.”
She also says their time dating publicly was “weird. I’d never been through [a high-profile relationship] like that. But it brought both of us to the realization that we just work much better as friends. He’s somebody I really cherish. Now it’s a very mature situation. It’s good.”
June 2018: Hailey and Justin start dating again
Justin goes to a church conference in Miami where he reconnects with Hailey in person, and their rekindled friendship quickly becomes romantic.
Hailey speaks to ELLE about what happened there in an interview published in February 2020. “We ended up being at this church conference together in Miami, and it was the first time we’d seen each other in a while. I remember we were hanging out and I was like, ‘Listen, I’m really, really happy for us to be friends again. I want us to always be cool and be friends,’” Hailey says. “He was like, ‘Yeah, here’s the thing: We’re not going to be friends.’ And I was like, ‘Oh. Is that so?’ I think we were both a little unsure about what was going on in the very beginning. It was familiar territory, but when a lot of time goes by, it’s like getting to know a new person.”
July 2018: Hailey and Justin get engaged.
Justin pops the question a month into dating Hailey again while in Bermuda. Selena shares Instagram of herself looking unbothered on a yacht in NYC (the boat’s name was Justine).
Sources talk to the tabloids about how Selena feels about the news.
A source tells E! that Selena is surprised and not surprised simultaneously. “Selena was surprised an engagement happened this quickly but not surprised Justin would do something like this knowing who he is,” the source said. “At the end of the day though she doesn’t really care. Selena is totally over him. She had tried again to make it work that last time and it didn’t work out. Selena is definitely on a different path right now and in a much better place since Justin is out of the picture…She isn’t focused on dating as much as she’s just really focusing on herself. She’s happy right now just spending time with her girlfriends and going to church.”
And a source tells People that she and Justin “haven’t spoken in months. She hasn’t been talking about him since they ended things again earlier this year.”
Hailey later says in a September 2022 Call Her Daddy interview that there was no overlap between her and Selena’s relationships with Justin. “The timeline also that sometimes is in question of us getting together then getting engaged and him having been spending time with his ex before that, this is so crazy,” she begins. “I’ve literally never talked about this ever. I understand, again, how it looks from the outside. There’s a lot of perception there. But that was a situation where I know for a fact that it was the right thing for them to close that door.”
“As a woman, I would never want to get into a relationship with someone and be engaged to them and be getting married to them and think in the back of my mind, I wonder if that was really like, closed for you,” she adds. “And I know for a fact that the reason we were able to get back together was because it was very much completely closed. And that is respectful to me.”
August 2018: A source says Selena has “no negative thoughts or feelings” about Justin and Hailey’s engagement.
A source told Entertainment Tonight, “Selena is such a catch, and her friends want her to be with someone who’s worthy of her. They really didn’t like Justin and her together. He didn’t appreciate what he had in her.” The source added that Gomez “still has no negative thoughts or feelings [about Hailey and Justin’s engagement]. She wants nothing but happiness for them.”
September 2018: Hailey and Justin get married in NYC.
To everyone’s surprise, Justin and Hailey legally tie the knot in a New York City courthouse. Justin later reveals in his and Hailey’s February 2019 interview with Vogue that it was partly because they were waiting until marriage to have sex, as Justin was “more than year into a self-imposed tenure of celibacy,” the outlet revealed, to try to rid himself of the vice. He was getting a little tired of waiting and felt four months into dating he was ready to permanently commit.
While sex was part of the reason, Justin explains he was also sure about Hailey: “When I saw her last June, I just forgot how much I loved her and how much I missed her and how much of a positive impact she made on my life. I was like, ‘Holy cow, this is what I’ve been looking for.’”
Early October 2018: Selena is hospitalized and later reveals she had psychosis. Justin is photographed crying with Hailey amid the news.
Selena is hospitalized due to low white blood cell counts, TMZ reports, then later went to a treatment center after having a panic attack in the hospital. Selena would later reveal that she had an episode of psychosis in her 2022 My Mind and Me documentary.
Her friend Raquelle Steven said in the documentary, “If anybody saw what I saw in the state that was she in at the mental hospital, they wouldn’t have recognized her at all, and I was devastated because psychosis can last from days to weeks to months to years to life.”
Rolling Stone reported in its fall 2022 cover story on Gomez pegged to the documentary that she “only remembers snippets of this time, but she knows she ended up in a treatment facility, where she spent several months suspended in paranoia, unable to trust anyone, thinking they were all out to get her. Her friends have since told her that she was unrecognizable during this period.” Gomez luckily recovered from the psychosis. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began treatment.
Justin is photographed looking distraught and crying with friends after church and later alongside Hailey amid the very scary news breaking. The public didn’t know then all Selena was privately going through.
A source spoke about Bieber’s headspace to Entertainment Tonight at the time, saying, “Selena holds a special place in his heart. Justin spent most of the day alone and even took a solo hike to the Wisdom Tree in L.A. to get away and decompress. Justin then went to his church where he was noticeably upset, without Hailey, and was comforted by friends.”
“Above everything, Justin wants the best for Selena,” the source says. “When the two rekindled their romance, he got to see how her health really affects her, so he understands how serious this is.”
Late October 2018: Justin reportedly works to get over his Selena feelings after marrying Hailey.
A source tells Us Weekly that Justin is still dealing with lingering feelings for Selena despite being married to Hailey. “For Justin, there’s always going to be a soft spot in his heart for Selena,” a source said. “Because you don’t just stop loving someone and caring about someone, especially when they’re going through a difficult time like she is, but he’s still totally infatuated with Hailey and he’s made Hailey his priority.”
“He sees his romantic life going forward with Hailey and he has to separate himself from feeling guilty or bad about Selena because it wouldn’t be fair to his current relationship,” the source said. “Hailey is still feeling secure in their relationship because of that.”
A Miami music source makes a more blunt comment to People of all outlets, claiming, “This was his first great love and while he was young and traveling around the world as a superstar, he learned a great deal from her,” the source said. “He may or may not have made a mistake with his recent marriage but he was extremely upset over what has happened to Selena. He feels like she is part of his life and he wants her to happy and healthy.”
All parties seem to have completely moved on since then.
November 2018: Hailey follows then unfollows a Selena fan account on Instagram.
Hailey gets fan attention when she is caught following then unfollowing a Selena Gomez fan account, @houseofsel.
She apologizes to the owner of the account in a DM, calling it an accidental follow and writing that she was “so sorry!”
March 2019: Justin publicly comments on fans’ treatment of Selena and Hailey, asking fans to accept Hailey is his wife and to stop bullying her.
Justin makes a rare public comment on the bullying Hailey had received, telling his fans to stop and accept he is married to her now and not getting back with Selena. He writes:
“I absolutely loved and love Selena she will always hold a place in my heart, but I am head over heels in love with my wife and she is absolutely the BEST THING that has ever happened to me period….This is a reply to all immature sick people who send Hailey hurtful messages like ‘he always goes back to Selena’ or ‘Selena is better for him’ YOU HAVE NO IDEA MY LIFE AND WHATs good for me. Hailey is my Bride period if you don’t like that or support that that means you don’t support me and if you don’t support me your not a fan nor a good person.”
April 2019: Justin explains why Selena was in his search history. Hailey posts and deletes comment to trolls saying he and Selena should be together.
Fans accuse Justin of deliberately looking up Selena’s Coachella performance when he shared his computer desktop on his Instagram Story, and they noticed her performance in his search history.
He hits back in a series of comments, saying, “that video of Selena singing Taki Taki came up after my wife and I watched my Coachella performance. Obviously she’s gonna be in the related category, it [literally] was the next video that played.. to fans and people who think I’m maliciously trying to start shit grow up.”
Around the same time, Hailey, gets media attention for posting an Instagram Story she later deletes asking Jelena fans to move on. “You little internet kiddos need to learn how to move on for real,” she writes. “We’re adults that have better things to do than waste time explaining something just so you can stop your delusional fantasies. I’m not gonna sit here and let obsessive strangers try to tell me about my own husband, you wanna talk about somebodies [sic] husband then get ur own. G’night!!”
June 2019: Selena removes the last trace of Justin from her Instagram.
Selena quietly takes down her March 2018 birthday tribute to Justin back when they were still dating. Fans notice, and some see it as her way of quietly saying she wants no traces of the Jelena era on her social media. The chapter is closed.
September 2019: Hailey likes a photo with Selena in it a week before her and Justin have their South Carolina wedding.
Hailey shows a little surprise support to Selena, liking a photo of Selena with her four close friends. Raquelle Stevens, a friend of Hailey’s too, shares the pic to promote the girls’ Giving Back Generation episode, which Raquelle hosts.
Early October 2019: A source says Selena is thankful to have moved on from Justin.
After numerous delays, Hailey and Justin finally get married in South Carolina in front of friends and family. Selena remains silent on social media that day. A source tells Us Weekly she is happy to have moved on.
“Selena knows she’s better off without Justin, and that it’s the healthiest decision for her,” a source says. “She is open to dating, but right now she is solely focused on herself and enjoying life to the best of her ability, and getting back to being the Selena that she and all of her close ones knew prior to dating Justin.”
Late October 2019: Selena releases “Lose You to Love Me,” her big Justin Bieber breakup song. Hailey posts she’s listening to Summer Walker’s “I’ll Kill You” the same time the song came out. Selena addresses fan speculation Hailey is throwing shade at her.
In one of the biggest Selena-Hailey internet drama episodes, Selena releases her big breakup song about Justin, “Lose You to Love Me.”
Hailey gets fan attention for posting an Instagram Story showing herself listening to Summer Walker’s “I’ll Kill You” after the song came out.
The next day, she denies it has anything to do with Selena in a comment on JustJared’s Instagram after the outlet frames it as Hailey’s possible response to the song. Hailey wrote, “please stop with this nonsense. There is no ‘response.” This is complete BS.” The comment is eventually deleted but the outlet takes a screenshot of it while it’s still up.
Selena later goes on Instagram Live and tells her fans not to harass Hailey. “I do not stand for women tearing women down,” she says. “And I will never, ever be by that. So please be kind to everyone. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. If you’re my fans, don’t be rude to anybody, please.”
A source later details to E! how Hailey and Justin feel about the song. “Of course Justin and Hailey have heard Selena’s new song, and they are both trying to not give any reaction to her lyrics referencing Justin,” E!’s source explains. “It isn’t ideal for Hailey, but she understands the creative process of writing music and that Justin had a past. Justin has completely moved on from that chapter of his life and understands that Selena is allowed to reflect on the past in her own way. Justin and Hailey both want Selena to be happy and in a good place and aren’t fazed by it.”
November 2019: Hailey likes a photo of Selena during the AMAs, where Selena performs Justin breakup songs “Lose You to Love Me” and “Look at Her Now.”
Perhaps to distance herself from her Instagram Story the night Selena released “Lose You to Love Me,” Hailey gets fan attention for liking a post of Selena from AMA night less than an hour after Selena’s makeup artist Hung Vanngo posted it.
A source speaks to Us Weekly about Hailey’s feelings about Selena then and why she liked the Selena AMAs Instagram. “Hailey wasn’t mad about ‘Lose You To Love Me’ at all,” the source says. “Hailey thinks Selena is talented. By liking photos of Selena, whether it be a glam shot or ones that her friends post on Instagram, Hailey wants to show that there are no hard feelings. It’s her way of trying to make peace and show her support for Selena in a low key way, yet public way.”
January 2020: Selena says there’s no drama between her, Hailey, and Madison Beer after fans speculation.
Selena and Hailey get attention for being at Los Angeles hotspot Craig’s on the same night. Selena was celebrating the release of her album Rare there while Hailey was out to dinner with friends, including Madison Beer. A fake rumor circulates on Twitter claiming that Madison and Hailey provoked Selena, and some fans believe it’s true when Selena unfollows Madison on Instagram.
Madison gets harassed by fans, and writes on Instagram, “These rumors are gettin insane. I just had dinner with my friend Hailey of ten years. And that’s it? How is that a crime? I love Selena… Always have. (As y’all know.) And I would literally never in a million years try to upset her??? This is just mean and unnecessary and nothing happened. It was just a coincidence, you’re bullying me for no reason…”
Selena confirms this in a comment on Madison’s Instagram and refollows her, saying, “This is disgusting reading all of this. This wasn’t intentional whatsoever. I’m so disappointed that people would speak to someone like this. I have known Madison since she was a baby and watched her continue to become the woman she is. There is no issue.”
May 2020: Hailey talks about how she feels being compared to Selena and Justin’s other exes.
On her and Justin’s Facebook Watch series, she addresses a fan question about how she feels about everyone having a say in their relationship.
“It’s definitely not easy,” Hailey starts. “Justin knows that I’ve had a really, really hard go, and a really hard time with a lot of the things people say and a lot of the ways that I feel like people have made comparisons and just put me in a position where they’ve made me really feel like less of a woman. It’s not easy, I think especially when people have fans that are really passionate and they want to express that and they want to express their opinion…I also think when people have a lot to say about something, they go out of their way to make somebody feel less than or go out of their way to make somebody feel bad, it’s because they’re going through something themselves, and they’re projecting onto this public figure, and it makes them feel better about themselves. That reality doesn’t make it any easier, but I think it helps to remind myself, ‘That person is only making me feel that way because they’re going through something themselves.’ I’ve addressed it a lot, I’ve addressed how…I think I’ve gotten to a point where people are gonna say what they’re gonna say…people think they know what happened in his life and his relationships and they think they know what happened between us and our relationship and how we got here and there’s no possible way they could. They invent details that they think are true that really aren’t, and I got to a point where I’m like, ‘Why am I even gonna try to go out of my way to set the record straight where it’s really nobody’s business and it doesn’t matter?’…There’s so much that people don’t know that went behind the scenes.”
December 2020: A source says Selena, Justin, and Hailey are all sick of the Hailey vs Selena fan commentary. Justin hits back again over Selena fans harassing Hailey.
A source makes it clear to Entertainment Tonight that Selena would like to be excused from the Justin and Hailey narrative. “Selena, Justin, and Hailey are all tired of the Selena vs Hailey narrative at this point,” the source says. “It’s exhausting for everyone, and they just want people to move on so they can move on too and not focus on any further negativity or past situations.”
Justin, meanwhile, posts an Instagram Story after seeing a Jelena fan harass Hailey. He writes, “This sad excuse of a human just encouraged people on video to literally go after my wife telling people to say that my previous relationship was better so on and so forth. I just wanted to share this so that people get an idea of what we face on a day to day. It is extremely hard to choose to take the high road when I see people like this try and rally to gather people to bully the person I love the most in this world. It is not right. But I will say this. As many people as there are that want to spend their time publicly degrading shaming and trying to humiliate us we would like to ask those who have it in them to lift us up in prayer. We need prayer and support as we continue to put ourselves out there!”
March 2021: Hailey likes an Instagram of Selena again.
Hailey shows Selena a little love by liking her Vogue cover.
August 2021: Hailey likes Selena’s ELLE cover on Instagram.
Another fashion magazine cover, another like from Hailey to show some public good will.
April 2022: Hailey asks Selena fans to leave her alone.
Hailey reaches her limit with hateful comments from Selena fans. In a candid TikTok video, she shares, “Leave me alone at this point. I’m minding my business. I don’t do anything. I don’t say anything. Leave me alone, please. Enough time has gone by where it’s valid to leave me alone. I beg of you, truly. That’s my only request. Leave me alone. Be miserable somewhere else, please.”
Hailey fans start harassing Selena when some commenters accuse her of throwing shade at Hailey by sharing a silent skincare tutorial TikTok. The theory is rooted in the fact that Hailey regularly posts her own skincare videos, and therefore Selena was mocking Hailey by showing her own skincare routine. The video didn’t mention Hailey or anyone else, but Selena still responds to controversy and apologizes.
She disables comments on the video. “This is why I believe in taking care of your mental health,” Selena writes. “Guys no idea what I did but I really am sorry. Zero bad intention. Deleting soon.”
Shortly after that incident, Hailey shows public support of Selena, liking Miley Cyrus’s Instagram praising Selena’s Saturday Night Live impression of Miley.
September 2022: Hailey’s Call Her Daddy interview comes out, where she says she and Selena have privately talked and are on good terms. Selena speaks out against fan hatred to Hailey again.
Hailey’s big Call Her Daddy interview comes out where for the first time, Hailey addresses Selena, Hailey’s exact timeline with Justin, and how fans’ harassment has affected her mental health.
Regarding her relationship with Selena, she says, “I respect her a lot…There’s no drama personally.”
She adds they have talked one-on-one privately. “Yes, [we have spoken]. Yes [we have spoken after my marriage],” she says. “So that’s why I’m like, it’s all respect, it’s all love. It’s also why I feel like if everybody on our side knows what happened, and we’re good and we could walk away with clarity and respect, then that’s fine. Which had brought me a lot of peace, and I’m like, ‘Hey, we know what happened. It is what it is.’ You’re never going to be able to correct every narrative, and there’s going to be new ones that come [from this interview]. It’s never going to end, and that’s why I get to the point where like, that’s why I didn’t speak about a lot of this stuff because I’m like, there will be something new. ”
Hailey suggests in the interview that Selena has never publicly told her fans to stop harassing Hailey, despite Selena doing just that in October 2019.
So Selena tells her fans again to stop harassing Hailey during an Instagram Live a day after the interview airs. “I think some of the things that I don’t even need to be aware of are just vile and disgusting,” she starts. “And it’s not fair because no one ever should be spoken to in the manner that I’ve seen and all I have to say is it’s incredibly ironic that I would release something that is all about kind words [her makeup line Rare Beauty’s Kind Words Matte lipstick and lip liners, which Gomez did a press tour of Europe to promote] ’cause that’s exactly what I want. That’s it. If you support Rare, I cannot thank you enough, but know that you are also representing what it means and that is words matter. Truly matter. So it’s coming from me, and I just want all of you to know that I hope that you understand that this is much bigger than anything else. I’m really grateful to all of you for hearing me out, so have a wonderful rest of your day, and I appreciate all the love. Thank you.”
October 2022: Selena and Hailey nearly break the internet hugging it out and taking pics together.
Selena and Hailey show they really are on good terms when they’re photographed hugging at the Academy Museum Gala. A source tells Entertainment Tonight, “Selena and Hailey were both super chill together at the Academy Museum Gala. They’ve both moved on and are happy in their own lives. They wanted to show the world that there’s no beef or bad feelings between them anymore.”
A source later tells Entertainment Tonight that Selena and Hailey “are more than cordial and just want to remain friendly.” The insider adds, “Justin, Hailey, and Selena are glad to have cleared the air, moved on with their lives, and closed that chapter.”
November 2022: My Mind and Me comes out. Selena calls Justin breakup the ‘best thing that ever happened’ and doesn’t mention Hailey. Selena addresses Hailey’s Call Her Daddy interview.
In footage from around the time “Lose You to Love Me” comes out, Selena calls her and Justin’s breakup the best thing that happened to her. “Everything was so public. I felt haunted by a past relationship that no one wanted to let go of,” Selena started. “But then I just moved past it, and I wasn’t afraid anymore.”
“I feel like I had to go through the worst possible heartbreak ever and then just forgetting everything at the drop of a hand, it was really confusing,” she added. “But I just think that needed to happen and ultimately it was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
In interviews promoting the documentary, Selena addresses Hailey’s Call Her Daddy interview and their public reunion. “Somebody made a comment and it involved me, and then for two days I felt bad about myself,” she tells Rolling Stone, not referring to Hailey by name. Previously, this type of incident “could have set her back for months,” the outlet wrote.
In a Vulture interview, writer Rachel Handler asks Selena for the story behind the photo, saying “I thought it was powerful of you guys to publicly be like, ‘We’re moving on.’” Selena keeps her comments brief, saying, “Thank you. Yeah, it’s not a big deal. It’s not even a thing.”
February 2023: Selena and Kylie’s TikTok drama takes place, prompting the internet to revisit Selena and Hailey’s history.
Here, a play-by-play, day by day.
February 15, 2023: Selena says she’s only on TikTok and quit other platforms because of comments pitting her against Hailey and Justin.
It’s one of her first times being explicit about how the comments from Justin and Hailey fans affected her. Selena tells Vanity Fair:
“I never got the chance to go to an actual high school. The world was my high school for the longest time, and I started getting inundated with information that I didn’t want. I went through a hard time in a breakup and I didn’t want to see any of the [feedback]—not necessarily about the relationship, but the opinions of me versus [someone] else. There’d be thousands of really nice comments, but my mind goes straight to the mean one.”
“People can call me ugly or stupid and I’m like, Whatever. But these people get detailed,” she continued. “They write paragraphs that are so specific and mean. I would constantly be crying. I constantly had anxiety…I couldn’t do it anymore. It was a waste of my time.”
“The only thing I have on my phone is TikTok because I find it to be a little less hostile,” she said. “There are wonderful things about social media—connecting with fans, seeing how happy and excited they are and their stories. But usually that’s filtered through [for me now]. I created a system. Everything I do I send to my assistant who posts them. As far as comments, my team will put together a few things that are encouraging.”
February 9, 2023: Selena responds to a fan pointing out Hailey seemed to post shady video that “God’s timing is always right” while Selena was getting body-shamed.
A fan points out a January TikTok Hailey posted and later took down of her (and longtime friend Kendall Jenner) lip-syncing the words, “And I’m not saying she deserved it, but God’s timing is always right” came out suspiciously around the time Selena was being body-shamed over bikini photos she posted from her vacation.
Selena comments on the video from her TikTok account: “It’s ok! I don’t let these things get me down! Be nice to everyone! x.”
February 22, 2023: Kylie and Selena shut down accusations that Kylie and Hailey threw shade at her in later Instagram Stories about her eyebrows.
Selena posts a series of TikToks and instagram Stories where she uses the Bella Hadid filter and gives Bella some public support and love. She later reveals on the platform that she over-laminated her brows.
Fans notice that Hailey and Kylie post Instagram Stories around the same time showing off their eyebrows. A fan shares a TikTok accusing Hailey and Kylie of throwing shade at Selena. Kylie comments on the post and denies it. Selena comments, too, and says there’s no drama.
“This is reaching,” Kylie writes. “No shade towards Selena ever and I didn’t see her eyebrow posts! U guys are making something out of nothing. This is silly.”
“Agreed @kyliejenner,” Selena comments. “It’s all unnecessary. I’m a fan of Kylie!”
Some fans don’t buy it, and the #teamselena hashtag starts to take off.
February 23, 2023: Selena comments on several TikToks about Hailey and eventually temporarily quits the platform.
Selena encourages fans once again to stop harassing her and Hailey. A TikTok user told fans to leave both women alone in a video, pointing out that they would not read the mean comments left on their pages. Selena comments “facts” on the post.
Selena defends Taylor Swift in a TikTok featuring old footage of Hailey showing her distaste for Taylor’s music. “So sorry, my best friend is and continues to be one of the best in the game,” Gomez writes.
Selena gets emotional on another TikTok where a user expressed sympathy for all Selena had to go through including Justin and Hailey get together, engaged, and married so quickly after Selena and Justin’s final breakup. “That made me cry 🥺 thank you!” Selena wrote.
Selena also comments “I love you” on a TikTok where a fan shows support for Selena following all the bullying fans believe Selena has received from “mean girls and nepo babies.” The user calls out Kylie explicitly for her treatment of Selena. (The user has since gone private.)
As Selena’s comments get more fan attention, Selena goes on TikTok Live and says she’s quitting TikTok. She disables her account briefly and reactivates it hours later.
“I’m very happy, I’m so blessed, I have the best friends, the best fans in the whole world, and I just couldn’t be happier,” she said in the live. “And I’m good. I love the way I am. I don’t care, I’m big, I’m not—I don’t care. I love who I am. And yeah, I’m gonna be taking a second from social media, because this is a little silly. And I’m 30, I’m too old for this, so. But I love you guys so much! And I will see you guys sooner than later, I just… I’m just gonna just take a break from everything.”
February 28, 2023: Fans accuse Hailey of throwing shade again when Hailey posts Instagram story featuring “Calm Down” but the version without Selena.
Some fans suspect Hailey took a subtle jab at Selena again by sharing an Instagram Story where Hailey used audio from Rema’s song “Calm Down” without Selena’s audio from the remix. It’s worth noting the story was a repost, and Hailey may not have even chosen the song herself.
Early March 2023: Selena, Hailey, and Kylie move forward, no longer acknowledging the TikTok drama. Selena’s Instagram following grows, while Kylie’s and Hailey’s fall.
Hailey goes on vacation in Cabo and posts a tribute for Justin’s birthday, keeping her social media presence business as usual.
Selena is photographed smiling on set with fans and is active again on Instagram, sharing cheery photos from her life and the Only Murders in the Building set.
Both parties have moved on, but TikTok is still unpacking their drama in early March. Selena gains 10 million Instagram followers, firmly cementing her status as Instagram’s most followed woman.
Senior News and Strategy Editor
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.