Not holding back! Chrishell Stause is spilling all the tea about her past relationships in her new memoir, Under Construction, dishing on what went wrong with ex-husband Justin Hartley and ex-boyfriend Keo Motsepe.
Stause, 40, recalled being “pretty much inseparable from day one” after meeting Hartley, 44, in an excerpt shared by E! News ahead of the book’s February release.
“I fell hard and fast and thought that he hung the moon,” the Selling Sunset star wrote. “I didn’t mind my love life being public because it was something I was so proud of. I always wanted to have a family, and at the time I thought I was with the love of my life. However, I never could have predicted how it all came crashing down so forcefully.”
Us Weekly confirmed in November 2019 that the This Is Us actor filed for divorce from Stause after two years of marriage. Their dramatic split played out on season 3 of the Netflix reality show, with the Kentucky native claiming that Hartley told her via text that he was filing. Us broke the news in January 2021 that the duo’s divorce was finalized.
“Although there were definitely signs that things were far from perfect, ending things in such a finite way, without talking it through, was a complete shock,” she wrote, noting that she no longer sees Hartley’s 17-year-old daughter, Isabella, whom he shares with ex-wife Lindsay Korman. “The last thing I want to do is rehash old wounds but being so far away from it now I can see that what happened was a gift. Now I understand much more clearly how I deserve to be treated.”
The former soap opera actress confessed that sometimes even the healthiest relationship can “turn toxic over time” because “it simply wasn’t meant to be.” In other cases, the signs can be easy for people to spot.
“When someone is in love, it’s hard to convince that person that the relationship isn’t right,” she continued. “Even if he’s waving red flags like a bullfighter to everyone around you, you’re the girl striding right up to him, oblivious to any impending danger. You’re too distracted and in your own world to listen.”
Stause noted that going through a divorce — especially a public one — can be “humiliating” and “make you feel like a failure as a person.” After the end of her marriage, she “contemplated quitting” Selling Sunset. However, she was reminded that “the show was not looking to exploit my pain, but instead would allow me to share my story on my own terms.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum “was terrified” of having that part of her personal life filmed for the reality TV series — but she assured fans that “nothing was exaggerated” for the cameras. Eventually, she gave herself “some distance” from her relationship with Hartley and sparked a romance with Motsepe, 32, whom she met while competing on season 29 of the ABC ballroom dance show.
“I did fall for another love bomber not long after my divorce, and we were quickly heading toward real commitment,” Stause wrote. “He was a tall dancer, and he started off as this amazing, positive, generous guy. I took him home for Christmas to meet my family. After the honeymoon phase, though, things took a turn. This time, instead of making excuses for his behavior, I actually opened my eyes, pushed past the smoke and mirrors, and saw the truth.”
The twosome called it quits in February 2021 after three months of dating. At the time, a source exclusively told Us that Motsepe was “caught in a web of lies,” adding, “He genuinely loved her but made a big mistake.” Stause later accused the South Africa native of “playing the victim” amid their breakup in a lengthy Instagram Story post.
In her book, the Days of Our Lives alum emphasized that she was the one who decided to end the whirlwind romance — and she felt “empowered” after doing so.
“I made choices where I continued to date the same ‘type’ [after Justin], even though those types tended to not be a good fit for me,” Stause wrote. “I let things slide when I shouldn’t have and didn’t pay close enough attention to early warning signs. … [After Keo], I took care of myself, I kept busy, and I felt strong knowing that I’d done the right thing for me.”
Stause went on to date her boss Jason Oppenheim before splitting in December 2021.
Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work hits shelves on February 8.