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Why Justin Bieber Lashed Out at Selena Gomez — and Why He Defended Sofia Richie

Looks like Jelena is officially never, ever getting back together. Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have been embroiled in a bitter Instagram feud over the past 24 hours, and a source tells Us Weekly that the “Sorry” singer has been sparring with Gomez because he thinks she’s all about “getting publicity.”

Related: PHOTOS: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez: The Way They Were

The “Kill Em With Kindness” singer, 24, first threw shade at Bieber, 22, after he threatened to make his Instagram account private following a slew of negative comments about his new girlfriend, Sofia Richie. In response, Bieber lashed out at Gomez, claiming she “used [him] for attention,” and then the exes both accused one another of cheating during their relationship. The entire alleged exchange was captured by fans’ screenshots, but it’s still unclear whether the conversation was doctored at all in the photos.

“Justin thinks Selena is all about attention so that’s why he said that,” a source close to the “Company” singer tells Us Weekly exclusively. “He remembers she always brought him out to be seen with him in the beginning, especially that Vanity Fair Oscars party,” the insider tells Us of the pair’s famous 2011 appearance. “She was the one who made him go out with her to that. She was always about making their relationship public and getting publicity, and he thinks that’s what she is doing now.”

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber arrive at the 2011 American Music Awards.
Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber arrive at the 2011 American Music Awards.

Related: PHOTOS: Justin Bieber’s Biggest Scandals Ever

Bieber addressed the haters in the first place to defend his 17-year-old model girlfriend from “crazy online abuse,” the source continues. “He spoke up on Instagram because the Beliebers were threatening Sofia, writing really horrible things and really racist things,” the source continued. “Whenever he is with any girl, they attack whoever he is with. They did it to Selena for years. Sofia wasn’t used to it and suddenly they all started attacking her, so Justin said something to protect her.”

As previously reported, after posting a series of silly selfies with Richie, Bieber captioned the last one, “I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate this is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that i like.”

Related: PHOTOS: Celebs With Bieber Fever!

According to the screenshots, Gomez sniped, “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol -it should be special between you two only. Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you. They were there for you before anyone.”

Bieber reportedly replied, “It’s funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love.”

Things really got ugly when the “Hands to Myself” singer said her ex “cheated multiple times.” Bieber then reportedly shot back, “I cheated.. oh I forgot about You and Zayn [Malik]?”

Both stars have yet to publicly address the Instagram war. 

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