Justin Bieber has apologized but remained defiant after being lambasted on social media for posting a sonogram image on April Fool's Day to suggest that he and wife Hailey Baldwin Bieber were expecting a child.
"There's always gonna be people offended, there's also people who don't take jokes very well, I am a prankster and it was APRIL FOOLS,” the pop star, 25, wrote on Instagram Tuesday afternoon. "I didn't at all mean to be insensitive to people who can't have children. A lot of people I know, their first go to prank on April fools is telling their parents they are pregnant to get a big reaction."
He then added, "But I will apologize anyway and take responsibility and say sorry to people who were offended. I truly don't want anyone to be hurt by a prank.. it's like when I shoved cake in my little sisters face for her birthday expecting her to laugh but she cried. You sometimes just don't know what will hurt someone's feelings not to compare pregnancy with cake in the face but it's just to paint the picture of not knowing what will offend. Some might have laughed but some were offended .. I think With pranks u sometimes have to roll that dice."
On Monday, Bieber had posted a sonogram image without a caption. Daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres wrote in a comment, "@JustinBieber, if you're April Fooling me, so help you." Reality-TV star Kris Jenner commented, "Ugh I actually got chills.... I almost cried then I realized what day it is."
About an hour afterward, Bieber posted a second sonogram image, with a puppy inserted where the fetus had been. "Wait omg is that a,,, APRIL FOOLS," he wrote.
The postings sparked a backlash from many. "I pray to god that you never go through the loss of a baby because things like this hurt so badly," commented one person. "I hope you don't have to hear the wails in the hospital when no heartbeat can be found. I hope you never have to comfort your wife when she feels the aftermath of a miscarriage." Wrote another: "@justinbieber you should be ashamed of yourself! Joking about being pregnant and thinking you're absolutely hilarious. Do you know that 1 in 8 struggle to get pregnant or have fertility problems? Do you know that 1 in 4 have suffered miscarriage or infant loss."
Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, took the prank in stride. In two comments, she wrote: "Ya well it better be. … Ha ha. Happy #AprilFools I'm always on guard and ready for you today. I am SO looking forward to the day y'all bringing me babies that are 'GRAND'! You're going to make BEAUTIFUL children and be GREAT parents when the time comes!! Maybe just don't call me Grandma. Or Nana. Or Nanny. Or... OKAY I DON'T KNOW IF I'M READY!"