Justin Bieber may NOT be married to Hailey Baldwin, though dozens of outlets had reported on Friday they tied the knot. Not one publication or website, however, had on-the-record confirmation. And while it's easier to simply regurgitate claims and use words like "reportedly," Gossip Cop was busy fact-checking the secret wedding claim by reaching out to numerous individuals in both their camps. Late on Friday, Baldwin, herself a primary source, tweeted, "I understand where the speculation is coming from, but I'm not married yet!" UPDATE: They actually tied the knot, having brought a preacher and witness to the courthouse.
It all started with TMZ reporting Bieber and Baldwin obtained their marriage license on Thursday, complete with long-lensed photos of them entering a New York City courthouse. Hours later, however, People declared in a headline "Whirlwind Wedding! Justin Bieber Secretly Marries Hailey Baldwin Two Months After Proposal: Sources." That set off an avalanche of reports.
Billboard, for instance, ran the headline, "Justin Bieber & Hailey Baldwin Get Married in New York: Report." Its story even acknowledged, "An unnamed source reportedly confirmed to People that the 24-year-old singer and 21-year-old model tied the knot at a courthouse in the city, with no information at press time about the location or timing of the marriage."
Elle did the same thing for an article it titled, "Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin Are Reportedly MARRIED." The magazine posted a story online that stated, "Just minutes after TMZ reported that Jailey is getting married as early as next week, People came along and reported that nope, Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber are already married NOW. They got married yesterday in New York City's courthouse." Clearly, there was confusion and no definitive answer.
While Gossip Cop understands the desire to be first or among the earliest to report a big story, it's also important to be factual, which is why we sometimes have to take our time. Gossip Cop tried very hard to coax Baldwin and Bieber's friends and reps to go on the record to confirm or deny the claims earlier on Friday, but none would. Apparently, Baldwin felt the statement should come directly from her, though she curiously later deleted it. We don't mind reporting after the fact, as long as we've accurate. It's certainly better than being than being first, but having false information. It's a belief we're wedded to, even if Bieber and Baldwin are or aren't married. (But they happen to be married.)