All in the past. Courtney Stodden is opening up about her divorce from Doug Hutchison, whom she wed at 16 when he was 51.
“I was scared to live without a man who convinced me that I couldn’t live without him nor would I ever find love again,” she told Us Weekly exclusively on Wednesday, March 4. She claimed: “Doug threatened to kill himself multiple times in a manipulation tactic to get me to stay. He now isn’t legally allowed to own a firearm due to police detaining him.”
Stodden, now 25, last saw the Green Mile actor more than three years ago. “He’s been in Royal Oak, Michigan, ever since. [The] last time we communicated was over a few months ago. I stopped responding based on the advice of my therapist,” she shared.
Though she continues to recover from the rocky marriage, she detailed her experience with re-entering the dating world. “I’ve been dating the same guy for three years, Chris [Sheng]. I am working on myself every day,” she revealed. “It isn’t easy to believe in love. It’s hard for me to completely open up to him and trust. I’m constantly pulling back and criticizing everything about everything. I need time to heal and hopefully I can learn how to love again fully.”
Stodden is feeling “grateful” in the wake of her separation, but it wasn’t an easy place to get to. The “Mistletoe Bikini” singer revealed that she also harbored anger toward her parents for allowing her to get married as a minor.
“I’m angry at my father for not protecting me. I’m angry at him now for continuing to cut me out of his life and further hurt me,” she admitted to Us. “I have been terribly angry at my mother, but we are healing now. I love both of my parents. I just feel violated in a lot of ways they could have protected me from.”
If she could go back in time, Stodden would tell her 16-year-old self: “Do not take responsibility for this man. Ever. Take responsibility for yourself.”
Hutchison’s rep, Charles Lago, told Us exclusively that his client “is aware of everything” Stodden has claimed and intends to share his side in his memoir, In Flushing Hollywood: Fake News, Fake Boobs.
“Doug’s first half of his book is about the actors he worked with, the second half is about meeting Courtney,” Lago said in a statement to Us. “He goes on to say she came up with schemes after Doug’s money ran out. Courtney never had the miscarriage it was all fake, none of the separations of their marriage were true, they were all conducted by Courtney. He went into the relationship with some money, then he gave her hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery. When it ran out Courtney started running these scams. This book is him cleaning his soul and about redemption. Courtney recently found out about the book and wasn’t angry, but she was a little surprised.”
Stodden, meanwhile, issued a response to Us’ statement from Hutchison’s rep. “The fact is I was 16 and I didn’t know any better when I married him. When we married, he only had $50k to his name and that went to paying off his debts,” Stodden said in a statement to Us. “I became the primary breadwinner and had to shoulder that responsibility because he could not or refused work. I was just a teenager who felt responsible for this man who is older than my father.”
On Tuesday, March 3, Stodden revealed via Instagram that her divorce from Hutchison was finalized. “It’s March 3rd, 2020 — today, I am officially divorced from actor Doug Hutchison. It’s an emotional day for me,” the model wrote. “God only knows how he’s feeling, but I can tell you that it’s for the better.”
Stodden then referenced a throwback shot of herself and the 59-year-old actor, noting that she feels “absolutely taken advantage of.” She also claimed to be a victim of abuse during their nearly decade-long marriage.
“I’ve been scared to even speak up about feeling groomed or being verbally abused during the almost 10-year marriage because I was a child and he was 50 when we married. But I’m a woman now and it’s time for me to put my big girl pants on and speak on this matter,” she explained. “I’ve felt completely trapped, manipulated and at times abandoned by adults // growing up in such an environment — it became a lonely and dark place. Stay tuned for my book.”
The Celebrity Big Brother alum concluded by directing the final portion of her statement toward her former spouse, adding, “And to Doug … I’ll always love you; yet I’ll always be angry. You’ve left me — a child woman, feeling belittled and confused. These things I shall overcome. I wish you well. But please don’t ever do this to another minor again. It’s not right … even if the parent signs off. Wait a respectable amount of time before marrying. Children aren’t on your level. I’ll always love you regardless. Be better. As shall I.”
Stodden and Hutchison got married in Las Vegas in May 2011. The marriage instantly raised eyebrows, and Hutchison spoke to Fox News last month about how they handled the criticism.
“At first, Courtney and I kind of rode on it. Once it was public, our marriage, and we started getting that backlash, instead of running away from it, we decided to embrace it,” he told the outlet in February. “We got a lot of hate mail. I got death threats. We were both called vicious names and seen as villains in the press.”
He also mentioned the repercussions the marriage had on his career, adding, “She was 16 and I was 50, so I knew our union was going to turn heads, but I didn’t realize the impact it would truly have. I didn’t realize that in marrying Courtney, my manager would drop me, my agent would drop me. I was blacklisted. I was blackballed from casting directors.”
Stodden officially filed for divorce in 2018. In a YouTube video posted in January, she opened up about how her “brain wasn’t developed” when she wed Hutchison.
“His brain was fully developed and [he had] a relationship with a minor. From there on it was too much for anybody to handle behind closed doors,” she said at the time. “I believe Doug and I had so much love that was chaotic and toxic for the situation given. I was a child. I don’t believe Doug ever saw me as a child.”
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With reporting by Brody Brown and Travis Cronin
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