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Dean Sheremet: The “Dumbest Thing” LeAnn Rimes Ever Did for Her Career “Was Divorce Me”

Dean Sheremet and LeAnn Rimes

Dean dishes all the dirt! Dean Sheremet gave a recent tell-all interview about his ex-wife LeAnn Rimes‘ infamous 2009 cheating scandal with Eddie Cibrian, describing the entire ordeal as a “f—ing disaster” to former Us Weekly staffer Natalie Thomas on her lifestyle blog, Nat’s Next Adventure.

The dancer turned chef, 34, opened up about Rimes’ betrayal and the demise of their seven-year marriage in 2009; Us Weekly was first to reveal that Rimes was having an affair with her married Northern Lights costar.

“You know, it’s easy when you’re head over heels, especially so young, to fall completely in love and give yourself so freely,” he reflected of his marriage. “She was 18. I was 20 [when we got married]. I was a professional dancer. She was a superstar. I knew that one of us had to sacrifice something to have a healthy marriage. And that was my goal. As much as I wanted to be successful, I wanted a family more. I’ve always wanted to be married and have kids. Family is everything to me.”

Related: PHOTOS: The biggest celeb cheating scandals ever

At the time, the country singer’s career — she skyrocketed to fame at age 13 with her smash “Blue” — took precedent. “It would have been unfair for where she was in her career for me to ask her to pump the breaks. I thought it would be better for me to take all of my creative energy and ideas and put it into her,” Sheremet told the lifestyle blog. “This is childish and I recognize that now but I never thought I got the credit I deserved for the work I did. So that resentment slowly built over time. I have my own dreams and goals and I felt like there wasn’t room for me.”

Sheremet said that these “animosities” built up as he felt like his needs weren’t being met. “There was fighting,” he recalled. “And I was so intertwined in managing her career that I didn’t know how to make the distinction between husband and boss, husband and partner, husband and manager… I was husband, father, friend, lover, manager.”

Dean and Leeann
Dean Sheremet and LeAnn Rimes at the 49th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2007.

Related: PHOTOS: LeAnn and Eddie's controversial road to romance

He owned up to his personal failures , especially as a husband. “We’d be sitting at dinner and I’d be like, ‘For your next video we should do this, this and this. For the tour, the production should be like this,'” Sheremet continued. “And this [part] is my fault. I’m sure for her, all she wanted to do was have dinner. I was probably getting on her nerves all the time… There wasn’t a decision that got made that didn’t have my thumbprint or stamp of approval.”

While both parties were at fault, Sheremet said it was “the business” that destroyed their marriage. “I wasn’t the person she came home to and unloaded on,” he explained. “And, then, of course, I was thinking, I haven’t done what I’ve wanted to do in over eight years. I came to the realization that my name was never going to be on the marquee. No matter how much I put into this show or that tour, it was never going to be about me. And that was a really big moment.”

At the time Sheremet was also not a fan of L.A. “We were living in Bel Air at 20 years old with a giant mansion, Porsche, Range Rover, and Ferrari. I never felt comfortable with it,” he shared. “I’m not the type to throw money around. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.” While Rimes was the breadwinner, Sheremet said: “There was never talk of money or me not pulling my weight.”

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Despite the shortcomings in their marriage, Sheremet said he and Rimes, 32, made a good team — at first. “As it went on, the team became toxic. But when we were working together, we were brilliant,” he explained. “The dumbest thing she ever did for her career was divorce me… Because we were such a good team. The last hit song she had was when she was with me. It was ‘Nothing Better to Do.'”

With this rocky foundation of their marriage, Rimes received an offer to act in Lifetime’s made-for-TV movie Northern Lights. On the set, she met, and subsequently had an affair with her costar Eddie Cibrian — who was married at the time to future Real Housewives of Beverly Hills firebrand Brandi Glanville, with whom he shares two sons, Mason, 11, and Jake, 7.

Leann and Eddie in Northern Lights
LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian in 2009’s Northern Lights.

“Never in a million years did I think something like that would have happened,” Sheremet confessed. “The need for me in her life was so strong. There were things she couldn’t do without me. She had her own phone but never used it. People would call me to get to her. Everything went through me.”

Related: VIDEO: See footage of LeAnn and Eddie's affair in a restaurant

Sheremet said he suspected nothing was going on between his then-wife and Cibrian when he first visited the set. “He was a good looking guy. I just remember being like, ‘Oh, God, just another one of those Hollywood pretty boys,'” he recalled. “If you’re in a room with him, he’s probably one of the most charming people you’ll ever meet. But I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw this f—ing table… He just felt like one of those guys from the beginning. A total schmoozer. Very Hollywood. I never bought his schtick. But I wasn’t worried.”

He recalled to Nat’s Next Adventure when he felt like things seemed off after he got really sick and was gone for a week. “I’ll never forget this, there was this bar that everyone hung out at after set and I remember coming down the stairs and seeing the two of them shooting pool together,” he recalled. “I could just tell by the body language that everything had changed… She’s shooting pool, shooting tequila, in a tight tank, tight jeans, over the knee boots and she’s standing across from him, playing with the pool cue. All of a sudden, there was a huge shift.”

“I totally felt foolish. I felt like this pathetic husband hanging around. I was very aware of how others were looking at me,” he shared, adding that the eventual confrontation was “really emotional.”

“I was talking to LeAnn on the phone and said, ‘I think you need to take off your wedding ring. If you’re not going to respect what it stands for, you have no right to wear it,'” he recalled. “She freaked out but I think, in my mind, I was done. I tried to put that part of my life behind me and went to Michigan to reconnect with family- and myself.”

Related: PHOTOS: Celebrity splits

It took several months for their divorce to really settle in. “If you had asked me years ago, ‘If someone cheated on you, would you stay?’ I’d say, ‘F— her. On to the next!'” he said. “But I developed a whole new capacity for what I thought love was. I learned so much more acceptance. So I went with the back and forth cause I loved her and I was confused too… Like I was this puppy on a leash that would always stay.”

In retrospect, Sheremet said he and Rimes not only wanted to live in different cities, but entirely wanted two very distinct lifestyles. “She really lives on the adoration of others. I could be speaking out of turn but this is my perspective,” he shared. “She lives and dies on the perception of herself. I sympathize with that cause she’s been famous since she was 12 years old so she doesn’t know anything else. In L.A., there’s the paparazzi and that false sense of success, false security that you’re still relevant. If you’re in the magazines, then you matter. And that carried over to the divorce. She became even more ‘famous.'”

He said Rimes’ pursuit of fame over talent would be her undoing. “She’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, has the most incredible voice, she’s flawless,” he gushed. “But she got away from doing that and it breaks my heart. She’s gone away from what she was put on this earth to do. It’s all been at the expense of that. I think she learned a really hard lesson because it didn’t pan out the way she wanted it to.”

Related: PHOTOS: Failed reality TV romances

Ultimately, Sheremet said the cheating wasn’t what hurt him most in their split. “The hardest part was someone standing in the back of the bus in the middle of nowhere and saying, ‘I don’t love you anymore.’ I would’ve rather she said, ‘I slept with 20 guys.'”

Both Sheremet and Rimes have moved on since the explosive scandal. In 2011, he married photographer Sarah Silver, and Rimes married Cibrian. (Rimes and her husband have starred together in a VH1 reality show, which was canceled this past January after one season.) And despite Sheremet’s harrowing past with his ex, the current chef told the blog it’s all now a lesson learned.

“If you aren’t happy, you can’t make anyone else happy,” he advised his fans. “It’s never gonna work. It’s a faulty system. I check in with myself now all the time, ‘Am I happy?’ And if the answer is no, I know I need to change something.” He added in the context of relationships: “Communication is paramount for any relationship. Business, personal or otherwise. You have to check in. ‘Are we still good?’ You can’t assume.”

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