TMZ reports that Justin Bieber, 24, popped the question to model Hailey Baldwin, 21, on July 7 in the Bahamas -- barely a month after they rekindled their old on-off romance, which hardly ever seemed more than casual.
Two eyewitnesses told TMZ that the engagement happened at an island resort while people eating at a restaurant on the property were salsa dancing. “Justin’s security told everyone to put their phones away because something special was about to happen. They say Justin then proposed in front of everyone,” TMZ writes.
A third source with knowledge of the situation confirmed the engagement news to TMZ.
Justin’s father, Jeremy Bieber, posted a cryptic Instagram photo of his eldest child silhouetted against the sun with the caption, “@justinbieber Proud is an understatement! Excited for the next chapter!” — which fans believe is in response to the engagement news.
Justin and Hailey — who were linked in 2015 and 2016 — only went public with their rekindled romance in June. Since then, they’ve been spotted holding hands, making out and goofing around everywhere from Miami and New York City to Los Angeles and the Hamptons. On June 21, they pranked fans by sporting faux wedding bands when they knew they were being tailed by the paparazzi during an outing in New York City. Two days later, they made their new relationship Instagram official when Hailey appeared on his Instagram Story.
In an interview with The Sunday Times published in late May, Hailey (who was romantically linked to pop star Shawn Mendes as recently as early May) made it seem like she and Justin (who split from longtime love Selena Gomez — again — around March) were firmly in the friend zone these days.
“The dating pool is small. It’s rare to find somebody that has the same ideas and morals as me. I have found people like that before, though, which is refreshing,” she said. When asked about her previous romance with Justin, she explained, “Justin and I were friends for a long time. 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.”
Hailey continued, “We didn’t speak for quite some time and there was a lot of weirdness that went on. We’ve moved past that. 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.”
A year earlier in 2015, when they were first linked, Hailey praised the pop star and credited him, along with the pastors at Hillsong Church, which they both attend, with keeping her grounded. “[Justin and I] are very close with Carl and Laura [Lentz]. They care about me as authoritative figures in my life and I go to them with a lot of things and I ask for their advice,” she told the New York Post.
“It really keeps me grounded to be a part of their church.” She added of Justin, “This past year [Justin] has made a lot of big changes in his life. He’s really a good person and I don’t think everybody knows that side of him. I think he’s trying to get everybody to know that’s who he really is.”