Remember when Justin Bieber challenged Tom Cruise to a UFC fight last month?
The invitation, which came via Twitter seemingly out of nowhere, caused a lot of head-scratching. But the Biebs soon recanted, telling TMZ he had recently seen an interview with Tom, “and it was just on my mind.”
“It was just a random tweet,” he added. “I do bad stuff sometimes.”
Weird, but whatever. We’ve all said something we’ve regretted after watching a Tom Cruise interview, right?
But, the story doesn’t end there.
Over the weekend, Justin Bieber posted an Instagram video of his Bottle Cap Challenge. He nominated his wife, Hailey Bieber, and ... Tom Cruise. And right before he kicked the cap off the bottle, he said, “This could be Tom Cruise’s head.” The feud lives on!
HuffPost has not heard back from either Justin or Toms’s representatives. And, like all puzzling celebrity feuds, we have a deep need to figure out what the heck is going on here.
What follows is a quick jaunt down the rabbithole of every possible reason we could come up with why Justin might be going after Tom. As ever, please get in touch with tips related to any weird feuds.
Is it all part of the Scooter Braun vs. Taylor Swift drama?
As you know doubt know already, Scooter Braun, Bieber’s manager and sometimes enabler, is currently caught up in a headline-grabbing fight with Taylor Swift. An impressively long list of celebs have been caught in the crossfire, including Bieber himself, who’s very firmly Team Scooter.
Braun characterised the fight as a joke on Twitter, but that didn’t stop him from retweeting the second threat.
So, the question remains: Tom Cruise a Swiftie? We know his daughter, Suri, is a fan. Did Bieber predict all this was going to happen in advance, and that the two of them would be on the opposite side of the feud, and just preemptively threaten to fight him?
How likely is this? Very unlikely.
We know what you’re thinking — maybe the feud started over a case of wildly different opinions related to monkey ownership.
Justin, of course, had a pet capuchin named Mally until the monkey was confiscated by German authorities in 2013. He claimed he had documentation for the pet, but never produced it, even though it’s illegal to own a monkey as a pet in California.
Poor Mally, who now lives at a German zoo, apparently still has issues given that he was taken away from his family too young. Still, Justin has said he’d like to get another monkey one day, which prompted a primate expert to describe him as a “super-moron.”
Did Tom Cruise speak out against monkey ownership?
On the contrary, it was Tom’s idea for his character in Rock of Ages to have a baboon sidekick. That choice was not in the script, or in the Broadway show the movie was based on.
How likely is this? (Mission) Impossible. (Sorry.)
Is it a church vs. church showdown? At least some people on Twitter seem to think so.
How likely is this? Mildly likely.
Baldwin family feud
Through Hailey, Biebs is now part of the notoriously messy Baldwin family. Hailey’s father, Stephen Baldwin, is an ultra-religious and conservative Trump supporter, and doesn’t speak to his more liberally-minded famous brothers Alec, Billy and Danny. He seems particularly fixated on Alec Baldwin, perhaps because he’s the most famous in the family, and he’s the one who skewered Trump on “SNL.”
Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise appeared in Rock of Ages together, and appear to be friends. Could this be a way of indirectly lashing out at an enemy of his father-in-law?
How likely is this? It seems like a pretty roundabout way to get to Alec Baldwin. We’re going to say not very likely.
Defending Brooke Shields
In 2005, when Tom was in the spotlight for dating Katie Holmes and jumping on Oprah’s couch, he criticised Brooke Shields for using medication to treat her postpartum depression (Scientology is opposed to the field of psychiatry, which the church calls “an elaborate and deadly hoax”).
Tom said that Brooke, his co-star in the 1981 movie Endless Love, was “irresponsible” for talking openly about taking antidepressants. She called his comments a “ridiculous rant” and “a disservice to mothers everywhere.” He later apologised, although he maintained that he thinks antidepressants are “dangerous.”
How likely is this? Not very. We have no existing proof that Justin Bieber actually knows who Brooke Shields is.
Justin’s second threat to Tom occurred right after the week that contained both Canada Day and the Fourth of July. Was he feeling a hardcore Canada-vs-US mentality?
Publicity stunt and/or nothing
Maybe Biebs is just being weird and aggressive as a way to get his name out there. Maybe, after all this, the whole thing is just for (bottle cap) kicks.
How likely is this? We’re 99 per cent sure this is the case.
But hey, if in ten years we found out that Justin is a huge fan of The Blue Lagoon and would do anything to protect Brooke Shields, don’t say we didn’t warn you.