It’s been ten years since Justin Bieber released the music video for his iconic hit “Baby,” and Jasmine Villegas is finally opening up about her time on set, how the cameo launched her career, and her relationship with Biebs.
The singer/songwriter, now 26 and a mom of two, reminisced with Celeb Secrets host Juliet Schroder about being apart of the iconic video, which to date has over 2 billion views and 11 million dislikes, making it the most disliked video on YouTube.
“If you would have told me ten years ago that I would’ve had two kids and a whole career, I would have never believed you,” Jasmine explains to Celeb Secrets. “Being in the music video gave me the boost for my career because I went on tour afterwards, so that video is something that I will always be grateful for.”
When talking about how she dealt with being shot to stardom literally overnight, Villegas says it was “a journey of self-love during that time.”
“Social media was so new around that time and I was so young that I wasn’t the one on my socials. I would perform at local gigs but after I got signed to Sony that was when I was in the ‘Baby’ video,” she says. “People thought that I was really pushing [Justin]. They didn’t know that it was acting. I didn’t expect to get that much hate, but it taught me to have tougher skin.”
“Looking back on it, it was hard because it was a new experience. There were a lot of people wishing bad and even death on me, but I learned to navigate through it because I know I wasn’t doing the things that people were saying,” she adds. “When I was on tour, I had people flipping me off, but I focused on the positive and that outnumbered the hate. It was definitely a journey of self-love during that time.”
The 26-year-old also shares that fans were always skeptical about her relationship with the Biebs. After ten years of keeping silent, Jasmine finally opened up about it for the first time with Celeb Secrets, saying that she actually dated Justin for seven months while on tour.
“After filming, we hung out a few times and we did date for a little bit. We were so young so I don’t even know if it counts as a relationship, but we did date for seven months which was really cool,” Jasmine spills.
She also recalls not being allowed to “broadcast” the relationship online due to his team’s requests.
“Our close friends knew for sure, but he was in his prime and his core fans were girls so we couldn’t go out in public. We couldn’t have a boyfriend/girlfriend type of [relationship] and personally for me I felt like he was the star and I was the opener. We dated for the first half of the second leg and then actually broke up while on tour,” she shares.
Going into more detail, Villegas says at one point she felt that she wasn’t “on the same status” as the Biebs — especially after their breakup — because he went on to date Selena Gomez right after, which to this day is probably one of the most public relationships of the 2010s.
“We weren’t allowed to showcase the relationship so we broke up, and then he got with Selena [Gomez] and I just remember thinking to myself, ‘dang, I’m not a star like these two, maybe that’s why I wasn’t able to be public about it.’ I went through a relationship that I had to hide the whole time for him to get into a relationship right after me and have it everywhere, so I thought that I wasn’t on the same status to be able to be public,” she recalls.
“I was so young and there were a lot of factors, but it did get awkward on tour because she would come to shows while they were dating and I was there. I was on ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ when I was younger so it really came full circle for me.”
Saying that she and everyone else on the tour “always keeping it cool,” Villegas describes it as an “experience.”
“Catering was my safe place. I was always in catering and I stayed away from any situations that I felt awkward in,” she says. “I would always be talking to the chefs and they would save me cakes after my performance. It was towards the end so I didn’t have to go through that reminder for too long. There’s no bad blood between any of us, but at that time it was definitely awkward for me, but I got over it.”
In terms of a ten year reunion, the singer says that it would have to be at the bowling alley at CityWalk in Hollywood.
“I feel like it would have to be there,” Jasmine tells Celeb Secrets. “But if it’s not open still, I think just CityWalk in general in that one spot with the escalators. We would actually have to have a bowling game because we were hitting gutters and reenact the whole routine including the dance battle. Drake, Tinashe, the Power Rangers, and Shorty were in the video and have their own careers. They evolved and have gone to do their own different things in life, so it would be cool to all come back into one thing and reenact the dance battle. It would be really fun to play it on the big screen to watch and even have supporters come too.”
These days, Jasmine has been keeping busy with her 5-year-old Ameera and 2-and-a-half-month old son Zayne, who she had in the height of the pandemic, all while working on new music which she hopes will be released soon.
“It’s pretty hectic now but it’s so rewarding to get so much done. I feel like a super parent,” she says. “I’ve recorded all the music before the pandemic and both before and during my pregnancy. It was at a time where I was going through a certain relationship situation that I was going through and instead of me venting about it on social media, I wanted to vent about it through music. I was able to put it into words with the people I was working with, as well as some Spanish lyrics [because I am half Mexican], so that was really great. It was something really new and different for me that I haven’t really done before.”
“I put out my EP when I was 19 with Interscope and then I had my daughter so I took a break. Time waits for nobody, so it’s almost like starting all over again,” she says. “The pandemic and COVID hit, so once it lightens up I’ll be able to go back to LA and finish up what we’ve been working on.”
“I’m going to start with an EP again,” she continues. “I have just been so out of the radar for so long when it comes to music, so I want to focus on a smaller project first and then follow with the full-length album.”
Jasmine will also be celebrating the ten year anniversary of the video with a LIVE Q&A with Taki and J-14 on Thursday, August 6th. The virtual event will give fans the opportunity to ask questions and engage others within Bieber fandom community while discussing filming the video, her time with Justin, the legacy of the song and what she’s up to now. You can find more info about the event here.
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