When Justin Bieber started dating Hailey Baldwin, the singer was still associated with his past bad behavior. Hailey, on the other hand, was a self-confessed good girl, who was close to her family, including her famous actor father Stephen Baldwin. So what does he make of his daughter’s relationship and subsequent marriage to the former bad boy of pop?
Hailey and Justin are one of the major celebrity couples of the Instagram age. She is a successful model, while he is one of the most famous pop stars on earth. However, while they may have married young, it’s fair to say that their relationship has already experienced its share of ups and downs.
After meeting as teenagers, Hailey and Justin were first linked romantically in 2016 but split after just a few months of dating. They then rekindled their relationship in 2018, and in September that year they tied the knot in a courthouse wedding. But what did Hailey’s father Stephen think about his daughter’s marriage?
Hailey was born in Tucson, Arizona, on November 2 1996. She is the second child of actor Stephen Baldwin — one of the famous Baldwin Brothers — and the Brazilian graphic designer Kennya Baldwin (née Deodato). Her older sister, Alaia, is three years her senior and also works as a model.
Not only was Hailey born into an acting dynasty on her father’s side, but she has celebrity lineage through her mom too. Her paternal grandfather is Eumir Deodato, a Grammy-award-winning pianist, composer and record producer. So, it would seem that Hailey has celebrity in her DNA.
Despite her famous family members, Baldwin was raised away from the spotlight in Nyack, New York. She was homeschooled by her mother and had aspirations of becoming a ballet dancer, attending the American Ballet Theatre in New York during the summer when she was growing up. However, her dancing dream was not to be.
Ultimately an injury quashed Hailey’s hopes of becoming a ballet dancer. Speaking about her former training in February 2020, she told Elle magazine, “It was hard on my body… I got hurt a lot.” As a result, she abandoned her plans to attend Miami City Ballet School in Florida and moved to New York to pursue a career on the catwalk.
As her modeling career took off, Hailey felt thankful for her relatively unremarkable upbringing. In 2016 she told Glamour magazine, “I’m lucky that I was raised so normally in a suburban town. If I didn’t have that normal childhood before I started doing this, I don’t know — I think things would be different.
Hailey continued, “I don’t see myself as famous, I see myself as a normal person with a job that is not very normal. My work life is very out there and very public. But I do my best to maintain my privacy.” However, as the young model attempted to balance her professional and private lives, she was becoming a major name in the modeling world.
After walking down her first runway in 2014 Hailey went on to appear in a number of fashion shows. She’s modeled for brands like Ralph Lauren, Guess and Tommy Hilfiger. Meanwhile, Hailey’s also graced the pages of a number of glossy magazines including Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.
Through her successful modeling career, Hailey was able to build a reputation for herself which was separate from the achievements of her famous family members. In 2016 she told Grazia magazine, “I want to do everything on my own without my name being a factor… I try to keep myself separate from it.”
But while Hailey was determined to stand on her own two feet, that didn’t stop her from rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous faces in the world. She counts Gigi Hadid among her friendship group, as well as Kendall and Kylie Jenner. And it was through her girl gang that Hailey got to know Justin better.
Hailey had actually met Justin way back in 2009, when she was backstage with her dad at The Today Show. In 2014 they were photographed at the Hillsong Church in New York alongside Kendall Jenner, sparking rumors of a romance between the pair. But both parties denied that they were anything more than friends.
However, that all changed in January 2016 when Hailey and Justin appeared to confirm their romance when the singer posted a picture of them kissing on his Instagram. That year, in an interview with GQ, Justin described Hailey as “someone I really love.” However, he denied that they were an official item.
Revealing that he wasn’t ready for a serious relationship, Justin explained, “Right now in my life, I don’t want to be held down by anything. I already have a lot that I have to commit to. A lot of responsibilities. I don’t want to feel like the girl I love is an added responsibility.” It appeared, though, that the singer did indeed see a future with the model.
Justin told GQ, “I know that in the past I’ve hurt people and said things that I didn’t mean to make them happy in the moment…. What if Hailey ends up being the girl I’m gonna marry, right? If I rush into anything, if I damage her, then it’s always gonna be damaged. It’s really hard to fix wounds like that. It’s so hard.… I just don’t want to hurt her.”
That initial relationship between Hailey and Justin didn’t last long. And by August of 2016 the couple had reportedly parted ways. Moreover, it appeared that Justin had moved on to a relationship with the model Sofia Richie. As a result, things became strained between Hailey and her ex.
Addressing her breakup with Justin, in 2018 Hailey told UK newspaper The Times, “We didn’t speak for quite some time and there was a lot of weirdness that went on. 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.”
However, soon after, Hailey and Justin got their friendship back on track. Fans couldn’t help but notice that they appeared to be growing closer once more. And in July 2018 Justin asked Hailey to marry him while the pair were in the Bahamas on vacation. She said yes, and the couple were set on the path to becoming husband and wife.
At the time of their engagement Hailey was only 21, while Justin was 24. By many standards, they were considered quite young to be entering into such a serious commitment. As a result, some parents may have worried that the pair were rushing into marriage. However, both Justin’s mom and dad got behind the development, with each of them tweeting their support.
Hailey’s parents, meanwhile, were rather less vocal about their daughter’s engagement to Justin. By the time he’d started dating the model, the singer had already established something of a bad boy reputation. With that in mind, it’s possible to see why he might have been considered less than the perfect son-in-law material.
Back in 2015 Justin apologized publicly for a string of misdeeds he’d committed over the previous 18 months. They included a DUI, drag racing, egging his neighbor’s house, and abandoning his pet Capuchin monkey in Germany. In a Facebook video in which he addressed his poor behavior, the singer confessed, “I’m not who I was pretending to be.”
In contrast to her husband-to-be’s reputation, in 2016 Hailey told Grazia that she was a “good kid.” She’s also admitted that she never rebelled during her teenage years, thanks — in part — to her parents’ guidance and some of her father’s past experiences.
At some point in the late 1990s, Hailey’s father Stephen had struggled with alcohol and drug use. As a result, it seems that he and Kennya were particularly protective of their daughters. In 2020 Hailey explained to Elle, “I think [my parents’] approach was, ‘Your dad had an issue with all things alcohol and drug related. And this is why you need to be really careful.’”
Following his addiction issues, and with the help of Kennya, Stephen found God and became a born-again Christian. Much like Hailey and Justin, Stephen and Kennya had got together when they were only young. But together they had weathered the ups and downs of married life and had ultimately created a strong family unit for their kids.
With that in mind, it seems unlikely that Hailey and Justin’s age at the time of their engagement would have been a problem for Stephen. In fact, Hailey said as much in an interview with The Cut in 2018. The model explained, “My sister was 24 when she got married, and my parents also got married when they were young, too. I see no reason to wait. When you know it’s right, it’s right.”
Nor did it appear that Stephen had an issue with Justin’s past behavior in regards to him being with his daughter. Speaking of her plans to marry the singer, Hailey said that she’d asked her parents, “You’d stop me if you didn’t think this was the right decision, right?” But she added, “They didn’t… I think they love him more than me!”
Even with Stephen’s apparent backing, Justin still wanted to run his marriage proposal by his father-in-law before popping the question to Hailey. In 2018 a source told People magazine, “Justin asked Stephen for his daughter’s hand in marriage, and Stephen gave his blessing.”
The unnamed source added, “It was very important to Justin to make sure that her family was on board with the marriage, and they are… Stephen appreciated the respect that Justin has shown him as Hailey’s father. It sounds old-fashioned, but it’s a sign of respect. Justin and Hailey are very traditional when it comes to those things, and Stephen of course is, as well.”
So with her family’s blessing, Hailey went ahead and married Justin in September 2018 in an extremely low-key courthouse wedding. However, they planned a more extravagant celebration a year later, when they tied the knot in front of a star-studded congregation on September 30, 2019.
Celebrity guests at Hailey and Justin’s elaborate ceremony included Kendall and Kylie Jenner, Jaden Smith and Usher. The event was held at the luxurious Montage Palmetto Bluff resort in South Carolina. The model walked down the aisle in a custom made Off-White wedding dress by Virgil Abloh, but wore a further three designer dresses throughout the celebrations.
However, while their nuptials may have been one of the A-list events of the year, Hailey and Justin kept to focus on what was important to them — their family. Prior to the big day, Justin posted a throwback picture of himself and his bride on Instagram. In the image, they are both teenagers and flanked by their parents.
Paying tribute to Hailey’s mom and dad, in the post from September 2019 Justin wrote, “Me and the wife! and the in laws!! Thanks for lettin’ ur daughter marry a savage like me.” And not only did Stephen allow Justin to marry his girl, but he also gave her away at the wedding.
Stephen had spilled some of the details of his daughter’s wedding in an interview with the gossip site TMZ in 2019. The actor revealed that the second ceremony would be a religious affair, as both Hailey and Justin are devout Christians. The couple are both members of the Hillsong Church, an evangelical organization particularly popular with celebrities.
Speaking to TMZ, Stephen said of Hailey and Justin’s nuptials, “They’re going to have a lot of their pastor friends and their Christian friends around them this time… My only job is just walking my princess down the aisle.” And not only was faith to be an important factor in their wedding, but according to the actor, in their marriage too.
Stephen explained, “I just think that as Christians and as believers they understand that if you don’t have the God’s spirit working in your marriage it just makes it more and more difficult to make it work and have peace and find happiness. Weddings and marriage are supposed to be a holy commitment, one onto another.”
Following their September 2019 wedding, Hailey revealed why she and Justin had delayed their main celebration a year after their courthouse ceremony. She told Elle, “When we first got married, we were just figuring out our life together. I felt like putting a wedding in the middle of all of that would be really hectic and stressful.”
Meanwhile, the start of their marriage had been marred by Justin’s unexplained health issues. Hailey said of her new husband, “He was really sick. He has Lyme disease, and he was dealing with a bunch of medical stuff. We didn’t have a diagnosis… It was months of me being a new wife trying to help him figure out what was wrong and what was going on.”
Thankfully, Justin’s health has since improved and the couple were able to start looking ahead to their future together. Speaking of her marriage, Hailey told Elle, “I’m really excited about experiencing this new part of life, being someone’s partner. I think it’s exciting and it’s fun.”
So while Hailey and Justin may be younger than your average married couple, their relationship seems pretty strong. Praising her husband, the model revealed, “He’s an incredible, amazing man and such a good partner to go through life with. There is no one else I would have ever wanted to spend my life with except him. So, I’m lucky.”