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Justin Bieber and Rich Wilkerson, Jr., one of his pastors, are not gay "lovers," contrary to a half-baked claim. Gossip Cop can expose this allegation to be nothing more than sensationalized clickbait.

MediaTakeOut is exclaiming, "MTO SHOCKER: Justin Bieber Is Photo'd Out... Looking ALL LOVED UP With His 'PASTOR'... If We Didn't Know Better... We'd Say They Were LOVERS!!!" It says in the article, "Justin Bieber has been photo'd all over the country - with his 'Pastor.' But what's got people talking is how CLOSE the two men seem to be. Here are some recent images of Justin and his 'pastor.'"

The "images" is actually just one photo, showing Bieber giving Wilkerson a smooch on the cheek outside a church in New York. Then the webloid offers up video, saying, "And here they are playing around in the pool." But there's a few notable details the site fails to mention. The pool footage is several months old, as it was taken in Dubai in May while Bieber was horsing around during a break from his Purpose World Tour. Similarly, the kiss photo is also not new. It was snapped in March.

MediaFakeOut only posted the unconnected picture and clip now because they re-circulated on social media over the last day. The Shade Room, for instance, posted the pool video on Instagram on Sunday, writing, "#JustinBieber & his pastor spotted out for a swim." The caption wrongly implied this outing just happened, when it actually took place three months ago. What's also noteworthy is that neither The Shade Room nor MTO identify the pastor in question.

Bieber is actually close to a number of pastors, including Carl Lentz and Judah Smith. The site seems to be implying that the person in the photo and video is Lentz, since he is the pastor with whom the singer has been most often associated this summer. But it's actually Wilkerson, who, like Lentz, is happily married. In fact, he just celebrated his 11th wedding anniversary earlier this month, and gushed about his wife on Instagram. It's also galling that the outlet can't even identify which pastor this is and yet has the nerve to put "pastor" in quotes three times as if he's not really a religious leader and is just using the title to try to cover up a romantic relationship with Bieber.

To recap: MediaFakeOut is suggesting Bieber and Wilkerson are "lovers," and it's only evidence is a photo and video that were seen by fans months ago. And this comes after the bad blog did a similar story implying Jay-Z was gay by the "feminine" way he walked out of a restaurant. Let's be clear: This bogus online publication is not committed to delivering real news. It's committed to scoring traffic by running absurdly twisted allegations that readers are compelled to click. There was no real news value to the Jay-Z story, which consisted solely of two paparazzi photos, and there isn't news value to this one about Bieber. It's just a months-old video and picture being used to falsely claim the singer has a gay lover. It's pretty pathetic.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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