The Untold Truth Of Courtney Stodden

Courtney Stodden, amazingly, (and as of this writing) is only 25 years old. But she's been famous for almost a decade. The model/singer/reality TV star/one-time PETA spokeswoman has lived in the spotlight since she was only 16. Was she a child star?  Or some kind of youth advocate who went viral for inspiring social or political change? No, it was none of that. 

If you're familiar at all with the controversial starlet, then you already know. But for those of you who came here to find out more, after maybe stumbling across one of her music videos on YouTube, or finding yourself uncontrollably blushing when one of her racy Instagram snaps hit your feed, we won't spoil the surprise. 

This still-rising star is a remarkably open book, and since she's been swimming around the fishbowl of celebrity for so long, you'd think there's not much else to reveal about her. But you'd be wrong. This is the untold truth of Courtney Stodden. 

Let's talk about Courtney Stodden's marriage

Courtney Stodden burst onto the scene in 2011 when she married character actor Doug Hutchinson, who played a villain in the Tom Hanks-led The Green Mile, and had small roles on Lost and The X-Files. Why did anyone really care about an unknown starlet and a lesser-known character actor getting married? Because Stodden was 16 and Hutchison was 51 at the time. Thus began the media circus/slow-motion train wreck of their marriage. People could not turn away. Even Anderson Cooper commented on it at the time, adding them to his "RidicuList."

Incredibly, Stodden's parents signed off on the union, with her mother, Krista Stodden, telling Radar Online at the time, "We are totally supportive of this marriage. Doug is a wonderful man and we love him." The couple were married in Las Vegas, Nev., and Stodden's parents had to sign a permission form for the wedding to take place. Why did the "good Christian girl" — as her mother deemed her — choose Sin City for her nuptials? Because in Stodden's home state of Washington, anyone under 17, even with parental consent, can only marry after "after petitioning the court in 'special circumstances,'" which are vague, but "typically they include pregnancy or childbirth," according to FindLaw. If Stodden was 17, a simple parental consent would have been all they needed. Apparently, Hutchison and Stodden's love just couldn't wait that extra year.  

Courtney Stodden seemed to be deeply in love with Doug Hutchison

One wonders how an aspiring teenage singer and a middle-aged character actor found any common ground, much less fell in love enough to decide to circumvent the law to be together. How did Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchinson meet? Online, of course. Speaking with ABC News in 2011, Hutchison said he started corresponding with Stodden about her interest in his acting workshop. He claimed he didn't initially realize Stodden was only a teen; perhaps it was her makeup, or her now-famous figure, which Hutchison confirmed was real from "head to toe." Stodden called Hutchison her "soulmate," and told the outlet that her marriage was "a beautiful gift" from God, while also noting that she "was a virgin when [she] married [Hutchison]." To the skeptics who said Stodden only married Hutchinson to help her career, she responded "If it does, that's just another beautiful blessing that God hands me. But if I'm just with him for the rest of my life, supporting him, that would make me happy too."

The pair was instant paparazzi fodder, like the time just months after their scandalous marriage when they got booted from a pumpkin patch for Stodden's "inappropriate behavior," per the Daily Mail. Clad in barely-there Daisy Dukes and stiletto go-go boots, Stodden brazenly made out with Hutchison as the tabloid press snapped away. It's unclear if they got any pumpkin picking in, but they definitely got the attention for which they were clearly shopping.

Couples Therapy didn't really help Courtney and Doug

It probably was not a good sign that Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchinson went on a reality show for couples having problems in 2012, just a year after being married. The two appeared on VH1's Couples Therapy in its second season. And as usual, it was a complete train wreck. For starters, Stodden couldn't even stay in the cast house, because child labor laws precluded it. On top of that, her castmates weren't exactly impressed with her famous persona. 

"Courtney was just a creepy overtly sexual person," fellow Couple's Therapy star Nik Richie told The Daily Beast, adding, "She wouldn't open up and that's what bothered a lot of us. Obviously there's something there. Why does this person crave so much attention? Why is this person so sexual at 17? Why is she wearing stripper clothes?"

The outlet also noted that the show's therapist, Dr. Jenn Berman, suggested that Stodden and Hutchinson "had a multitude of issues to work out." For example, Hutchison revealed on the show, per Berman, "that he does not like the attention his wife's scanty wardrobe provokes and that he is uncomfortable with her friendship with an ex-boyfriend." The show therapist also said that Stodden, on the other hand, who "is obsessed with herself and her image, acknowledged she sometimes forgets she is married." Uh. Oh.

All within Courtney Stodden's marriage was not how it seemed

Perhaps not a shock to most people, Courtney Stodden's marriage was not picture perfect. And so, in 2013, just two years after they married, the couple separated. In a seemingly amicable statement to the Daily Mail, the estranged newlyweds said, "Courtney was married at a young age. Now, at nineteen, she's interested in exploring life as an unmarried single young adult — with the freedom to explore her independence. Doug supports Courtney 100 per cent.... Doug will be co-managing Courtney's career."

The pair did not stay apart for long. They reunited in 2014, and even renewed their vows. Stodden's mother told People at the time, "She got a taste of being single... she did date, but she found out that she really, really loves Doug and he's the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with."

Stodden got pregnant two years later, telling Heat (via The Sun), "This was strictly an 'oops' baby. I love children, but I really wasn't ready — I'm only 21." She also confessed to feeling "absolutely terrified" of the "overwhelming responsibility" of becoming a mother, which resulted in "depression" that her doctors treated with the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. Sadly, Stodden suffered a miscarriage at around three months into the pregnancy. 

Stodden admitted again in 2019 that she struggled with depression and alcohol abuse during her marriage, posting in an Instagram Live video (via OK!) that after her 25th birthday that was "going alcohol-free."

Where did that 'good Christian girl' go?

Courtney Stodden has often presented a hyper-sexualized image to the public (just take a gander at almost any of her eye-popping Instagram posts). And just to be clear, we're not begrudging a woman her sexuality or freedom to express it in anyway. But it is, however, a definitive departure from both her mother's 2011 characterization to Radar Online of her as "a good Christian girl," not to mention her own proud claim that she was a virgin until she was married. She often doesn't hold anything back about her life. In 2013, when she was barely 18, she told TooFab about her husband, "Our sex was good. I'm not going to lie, but I'm a young girl who wants to experience sex of all kinds and he's an older man and he's slowing down a little bit. I just wanted more sex."

Perhaps this is the reason she made a deal for a sex tape in 2015, when she was still only 20 years old. She appears solo in the illicit flick, which is called Courtney Uncovered: The Courtney Stodden Sex Tape, and was released through Vivid Entertainment. TMZ reported at the time that the seamy self-romp garnered her a $1 million. From "good Christian girl" to porn star in four years...that is quite the trajectory. But Stodden definitely lives her truth.

Courtney Stodden made serious waves on Celebrity Big Brother U.K.

In 2013, Stodden checked in to the Celebrity Big Brother U.K. house. Her appearance on the show was wild, which her fans and followers no doubt expected. She talked to castmates about her marriage saying (via E! News), "Love is love, regardless of gender and age, I think.... I could marry so many more men with so much more money than [Hutchinson]. I find it quite funny that people say I'm with him for the money, because I'm not."

She also participated in a comedy skectch in which she pretended to be pregnant with a co-star's baby, while donning outrageous outfits. However, on the subject of having children, she did tell a castmate, "I want to adopt eventually when I'm in my late 20s. This sounds really selfish but I don't want to give birth. I'm so tiny already, I'm really small. I don't want to have a baby, I just don't."

She was eventually evicted from the house, telling E! News of the experience, "I was able to come away with strength, wisdom and positivity from my experience. I feel more like a grown woman." She was still only 19.

Courtney Stodden's true passion is music

Courtney Stodden was trying to launch a music career long before Doug Hutchison entered her life. In fact, she told HuffPost in 2013, "When I was around the age of 12, I started writing my own material, making homegrown music videos to slap up on YouTube." Her first video, "Don't Put It on Me, Girl" was widely viewed on the heels of her controversial marriage in 2011. A pop/EDM artist, Stodden clearly draws influences from musicians like Lady Gaga. However, she also told HuffPost, "I'm a different breed. Determined, artistic, provocative and very edgy. Ready to give the world something unique and legendary. You know you're doing something right when people either love you or hate you."

Her songs range from the honestly not bad, like 2013's "Reality," to the downright cringey, like her 2016 Christmas single, "Mistletoe Bikini." In more recent years, Stodden has clearly started listening to Lana Del Rey, and adopted a new persona, "Ember," reflected in music like 2018's moody "For You." For better or worse, wants to be considered a serious artist. To wit: 2017's "Glass of Wine," which Stodden described to Us Weekly as "a passion project" and "an emotional journey." Perhaps the best way to listen to her is with your eyes closed? Her over-the-top appearance can distract from her music, but listened to on its own, it can be a different experience. (And no, we can't believe we just wrote that, either.)

The #MeToo movement empowered Courtney Stodden to share her truth

Courtney Stodden released a single in 2018 called "Me Too." In a since-deleted tweet (via TooFab), she said of the song, "It's an honest look at my own personal experiences with sexual assault at such a young age. I have a voice." The song's lyrics include lines like "Me too/Only caring about himself/Intimidation will work well/I was left overpowered."

A few months prior to the release of the track, Stodden spoke with The Tomorrow Show about two #MeToo stories she was planning to share when she felt ready. Of the two incidents that she alleges happened during her separation from Doug Hutchison, she said, "At that age, I was only 19 when my first experience happened. I didn't really think it was wrong, which is the crazy part. I felt like, 'Okay, well that's how sex is.'" It took her a while to realize that what she had gone through was not normal. She added, "You know, I only had sex with one man before that — that was Doug...I really didn't realize it was sexual abuse until I started hearing these women talking. It wasn't until #MeToo started that I was like, 'Wow, maybe that wasn't okay.'"

In a February 2020 Instagram post, Stodden claimed fashion mogul Peter Nygard "tried to lure [her] multiple times and touched [her] in places that were extremely inappropriate." It's always brave when a woman tells the truth about the things she's faced.

Courtney Stodden had a lot to say about her divorce

Courtney Stodden filed for divorce from Doug Hutchison in 2018, but the split wasn't finalized until March 3, 2020. To celebrate to occasion, Stodden headed over to Instagram, and seemingly held nothing back.

"It's an emotional day for me," she captioned a photo of the pair in what seemed like happier times — which apparently were not. "I look back at this picture and feel absolutely taken advantage of. 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. 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."

Curiously, she concluded the statement by telling Hutchison, "I'll always love you," however, she added, "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."

How much has almost a decade of stardom earned Courtney Stodden?

Although many celebrity divorces conclude under the shroud of a confidential settlement, sometimes custody and asset battles result in the public disclosure of financial records. This was exactly the case with Courtney Stodden, and the details on her balance sheet weren't pretty. 

Radar Online broke the story in 2018, revealing that Stodden and Doug Hutchison owed $5,000 to a collection agency at the time. And her debt-to-income ratio? Not good. She made $2,500/month, but her expenses ran to nearly double that per month. Yikes. She only owned an $18,000 life insurance policy and $10,000 in furniture According to divorce docs (via The Blast), Stodden claimed she had had a particularly bad year, due to "no major production deals." Her husband was no better off, having filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Perhaps this is why Stodden did not ask for spousal support.

Fortunately, things seemed to have turned around, even though Stodden still hasn't made it to the A-List. So, how has being a controversial media personality for almost a decade worked out for her? As of this writing, Stodden is reportedly worth around $500,000.

Courtney Stodden is no longer living 'for men'

In an April 2019 interview with BuzzFeed, Courtney Stodden opened up about her life post-Hutchinson, and gave people a glimpse into her new Hollywood Hills, Calif. home, which is decorated with images of Marilyn Monroe, Stodden's idol. She also told the outlet she was working on a new album, with the help of her new boyfriend/manager, Chris Sheng, who is at least a little more age appropriate than her ex — he's only 15 years older than she is, instead of 35.

"Now that I'm an adult, I realize I'm not just a body. I'm a human being. I'm a good woman," Stodden told the outlet. Having been through so much already, it's perhaps unsurprising that she added, "I'm so ready to not live for men anymore. That's primarily what's held me captive, is finding that approval from my father and men."

It would appear that Stodden is ready for a new chapter in her life, and to live for herself.