Regardless of which side you're taking in the social media war between Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, it's important to consider all the facts. After Selena fired back at the way Justin disrespected his fans, Justin jabbed, "It's funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way."
Attention? Really, Justin?
Selena launched her career on Barney and Friends a full decade before she and Justin began dating, and she's been pretty clear about wishing the tabloids would stop linking her to her ex. Selena is a powerhouse all on her own.
And then there's the fact that Justin's not above dropping Selena's name into an interview or posting a throwback kissing pic on Instagram. Whether he means to or not, every time he alludes to his old relationship, he goes viral. Instantly.
This trick isn't new at all, but he's used it pretty regularly over the past year—especially last fall, when he dropped a whole album full of Selena references and serenaded her with a romantic rendition of "My Girl" at a hotel. Take a look at the nine times Justin caused a media storm.
1. When Justin played Selena's music in the background of his Instagram.
Who knows if he intended to have "Same Old Love"—a song widely interpreted to express Selena's feelings about him—playing in the background when he addressed a fistfight he got into back in June. But regardless of how much thought Justin put into the 'gram, it certainly made headlines.
2. When he refollowed Selena on Instagram.
After unfollowing Selena in November 2014, he finally clicked that little blue "follow" button on his ex's account in June 2016. The heart wants what it wants ... to see on Insta.
GUYS I KNOW I USUALLY DONT FANGIRL OVER JELENA BUT. . JUSTIN FOLLOWED SELENA ON INSTA????— ?LIFEISWORTHLIVING? (@Harshiniizle) June 6, 2016
3. When he liked a hot pic of Selena in a bikini on Instagram.
If a double-tap seems like a small gesture, well, it is. But when you're Justin freaking Bieber, you should know better than to casually like your ex's bikini photo unless you intend to launch a fully fledged Internet meltdown.
4. When he posted a grainy old photo of them kissing in March.
The thiiiiiiiiirst. It's real. This low-quality throwback—simply captioned "Feels"—earned 3.7 million likes, making it the most-liked Instagram of all time for a while this spring.
But soon, Selena toppled him with a photo of herself solo. She got 5.3 million likes. Boom.
5. When he accompanied her on a romantic stroll through Beverly Hills late at night.
He had to have known that this would've made headlines.
6. When he serenaded her with "My Girl" and "Sorry" at a hotel.
And the entire world thought exactly at the same time, "Huh, it would be kind of nice to have Justin Bieber as my ex. That looks amazing."
7. When he sang about her all over Purpose.
I'd like to think the original draft of the lyrics for "Sorry" went something like this: "I'm sorry I dragged you through an on-again, off-again, seven-year-long relationship / I'm sorry for all the heartbreak I've caused / Your hair looks so shiny and beautiful and you're so talented, Selena / I love you, I'm sorry, I love you." But, you know, I'm not a songwriter, so.
Right around the time he dropped Purpose, he confirmed to Ellen DeGeneres that the three Purpose songs inspired directly by his relationship with Selena were "What Do You Mean?", "Sorry", and "Mark My Words".
8. When he called her his "homey" and hinted he might have cheated.
"She's my homey," he told Us Weekly in November right before Purpose dropped. "We're friends. We don't talk every day. But every now and then, she hits my phone up." Lest you think the effort is one-sided, he added, "I hit her phone up, too, I hit her phone up, too! It's not just her."
He also hinted that he might have cheated on Selena in the past—look carefully at his statement about women needing to feel "security."
"[We were] young and we kinda just invested too much of ourselves into each other," he explained. "I learned a lot from the relationship. About life, how to treat women, what women want and need. I think a woman needs security. I think a woman needs to feel that security and know that nothing else matters. I learned that with her."
9. When he explained why he hadn't listened to her album.
He told Billboard he doesn't want to hear Revival because "I know I had a lot of play in that one... I don't know what she's saying about me."
TBH, that's his loss. That album was straight fire.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.