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When Justin Bieber announced his engagement to Hailey Baldwin in July, the once troubled pop star-turned fervent Christian gushed on Instagram about how he had finally found true happiness and “favor from the Lord.”
Not only was 24-year-old Bieber marrying “the love of my life,” he proclaimed that he was on track to living the plan God had laid out for him.
To Bieber, God had intervened to bring him and the 21-year-old model together again after they first met as young teenagers in 2009 and previously dated in 2016. During their time away from each other, they hooked up with other people — in Bieber’s case, with Selena Gomez, with whom he had a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship between 2011 and this past year.
“God’s timing really is literally perfect,” Bieber declared in his post about finding his way back to Baldwin. He said he believed that he and the leggy, blonde model were following God’s will. He quoted scripture in saying that people should marry to benefit the individual and society.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains FAVOR from the Lord!,” Bieber wrote. “This is the year of favor!!!!”
But so far, “the year of favor” hopes may not be working out.
That’s in part because Bieber reportedly went ahead and married Baldwin in a secret, ceremony on Sept. 13 at the New York City Marriage Bureau. To friends, Bieber’s whirlwind engagement and marriage isn’t a sign of emotional health and stability but evidence that he may be spiraling back out of control, according to Page Six.
“I think he has an ongoing identity crisis,” a source told Page Six.
Following Bieber’s apparent marriage to Baldwin, friends also have worried about his other recent erratic behavior, according to Page Six and other outlets. There have been his emotional crying jags in public, his busking outside Buckingham Palace in London a week after the reported marriage, and his recent jittery and shaking appearance in a video while meeting fans in Michigan. Bieber’s team was caught off guard by his decision to rush into marrying Baldwin without signing a prenuptial agreement, Page Six added. Bieber is worth an estimated $265 million.
Bieber has looked especially distraught since hearing news last week that Gomez had suffered an emotional breakdown and health crisis — related to her kidney transplant and ongoing struggles with depression — and was undergoing treatment at an undisclosed East Coast facility, according to Us Weekly.
— X17online.com (@x17online) October 12, 2018
Three times over the past week, Bieber has been photographed looking disheveled and emotional.
People magazine reported Monday that Bieber still loves Gomez, even though he is married to someone else. “He is not over Selena,” a Miami music source told the publication.
“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 added.
But other outlets say that Bieber isn’t just feeling pressures from his new marriage, but from his decision to put off releasing new music and from the never-ending attention of being a celebrity.
“He has so much going for him but he doesn’t feel whole,” one insider told Us Weekly. The celebrity photography agency X17online, recording Bieber and Baldwin leaving a lunch date Friday, reported “the pop star seems headed in the same direction” as Gomez.
Bieber’s recent behavior also has prompted friends to wonder if he has replaced his past embrace of a hard-partying lifestyle — which reportedly included serious drug use as well as known acts vandalism, a brothel visit and a 2014 DUI arrest — with a new addiction to God and religion, Page Six added.
One friend, New York City-based tattoo artist JonBoy, told Page Six that Bieber’s turn to religion has been a good thing. “He’s come a long way,” said JonBoy, who recently inked the singer and Baldwin. “It’s amazing how much he’s changed and how much God has done.”
But another friend sees Bieber’s turn to religion as over the top — and not necessarily in a healthy way. “He found restitution through his religion and his faith and that’s where he became super addicted to churches,” the friend told Page Six. “He’s super into church [and] Bible study and that’s Hailey’s thing as well.”
It’s possible that Baldwin capitalized on their shared interest in religion to reel Bieber back in and to get him to propose. The two officially became an item in 2016, but then called it quits after about seven months. Bieber and Gomez, meanwhile, rekindled their relationship in the fall of 2017 but ended things in March.
But Page Six reported that Baldwin never was ready to give up on Bieber, even as he was trying to get back together with Gomez.
“(Baldwin) was super obsessed with him,” a friend of Baldwin’s told Page Six. “Justin was trying to get back with Selena and (Baldwin) 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),” the friend added to Page Six.
In a new interview with Harper’s Bazaar, Baldwin sounded very satisfied with where her life is at right now.
Her modeling career has skyrocketed over the past year with coveted runway gigs for top fashion houses. She also was named the new global brand ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger in the spring. Then there is her romance and possible marriage to Bieber.
She wouldn’t say too much about her new “husband” in her interview, other than, “He is incredible. He crushes everything. Every song, every feature. It’s crazy to see what he does. I’m always blown away.”