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Shawn Mendes finally admitted what he and Hailey Baldwin spent months denying to the press: They were really romantically involved right before Baldwin got back together with—and ultimately married to—Justin Bieber. And it was complicated, Mendes told Patrick Doyle for Rolling Stone.
“I don’t even wanna put a title on it,” he said. “I think it was more of a zone of limbo.” Historical context: He and Baldwin were reported to be dating this time last year by Us Weekly after being seen holding hands at her Halloween party. In December, Mendes brought Baldwin home to Toronto, where they were seen cuddling over the holidays. Their romance was causal because of distance, a source told Us Weekly. But the two would ultimately go to the Met Gala in May as each other’s date. In June, Baldwin got together with Bieber and would get engaged a month later.
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Mendes told Doyle he’s not bitter though. “I get it, you know,” he said of Baldwin’s decision to rekindle things with Bieber and then ultimately permanently commit to him. “I texted Hailey, ‘Congratulations,’ [when they got engaged] and I really am happy for them. She’s still one of the fucking coolest people ever—she’s not just a beautiful person visually, but she’s one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever met.”
Then Doyle wrote this of the conversation: “It seems like he might be about to say something more about how it all went down, but he stops himself. ‘I think I’m an idiot to not, you know….But you can’t control your heart.'”
Mendes also admitted to feeling some pressure to date women publicly because he has been the subject of gay rumors. (Mendes is straight.) “In the back of my heart, I feel like I need to go be seen with someone—like a girl—in public, to prove to people that I’m not gay,” he said. “Even though in my heart I know that it’s not a bad thing. There’s still a piece of me that thinks that. And I hate that side of me.”