Who is Chrishell Stause? Inside the life of Justin Hartley's ex

Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause has settled in with the Oppenheim Group brokerage in Los Angeles. During her time on the Netflix show, viewers have learned a lot about her, including her tough upbringing, past relationships, and heartbreaking divorce from actor Justin Hartley. As we've watched Stause (whose real name is Terrina Chrishell Stause) on Netflix, we've been curious to know even more about her and her life story, so here's what we've learned.

Stause was born and raised in Kentucky before heading to Murray State for college. She got bit by the acting bug and performed in a few productions while in school, according to Soap Central, including Steel Magnolias and The Importance of Being Earnest. Shortly after she finished school, Stause landed the role of Amanda Dillon on All My Children.

Stause went on to have other soap opera roles on The Young and The Restless and Days of Our Lives, as well as drop-in parts (as herself, of course) in various shows like The Rachael Ray Show, The View, The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, and more. And as Stause continued to make a name for herself as an actress, she also found herself in more high-profile romances — like her relationship with actor Matthew Morrison.

Chrishell Stause was once engaged to Matthew Morrison

Chrishell Stause was engaged to Glee's Matthew Morrison for a hot second back in 2007, but didn't end up walking down the aisle. The details around their breakup are a little bit murky, but Stause alluded to a bad relationship on the first season of Selling Sunset. While talking with some of her coworkers, she made a comment about being glad she didn't marry the man she was with when she was 25 — that man being Morrison. Stause said on the show, "I didn't know who I was at 25. And I didn't know what I wanted because actually, if I ended up with the person I was with when I was 25, I would want to kill myself... Yeah you can Google that! You were a d**k! Sorry!" Ouch.

Morrison has claimed more than once that the split was amicable and the two just weren't meant to be, including in a Parade interview in 2010. In that same interview, he refuted rumors that were floating around about Stause speaking out against him (rumors that can no longer be attributed, as it's all been scrubbed from the internet). Morrison claimed again in 2013 to Cosmo U.K. (via Contact Music) that the split was friendly enough and that he'd proposed due to pressure from society, but knew it wasn't right.

Chrishell Stause was blindsided by the divorce with Justin Hartley

A few years later, Chrishell Stause started dating actor Justin Hartley. According to Us Weekly, the two first confirmed their romance in January 2014 after having met through Hartley's ex-wife, Lindsay. They dated for two years before the This Is Us actor popped the question and were engaged another year before getting married in October 2017. Once married, Stause also became step-mom to Hartley's daughter, Isabella, whom he shares with his ex-wife.

For the two years they were married, Hartley and Stause showed up on red carpets looking gorgeous, and Stause often gushed over her husband on Selling Sunset. She said more than once how in love she was with him and how happy she was to have the man of her dreams. On the show, she shared, "I knew right away when I met Justin he was gonna be my husband. I knew, so much so, that I text one of my bridesmaids that I found him."

However, viewers saw their split play out in Season 3 of Selling Sunset when Hartley texted Stause to tell her he wanted a divorce, and within the hour, the news hit the internet. He filed for divorce in November 2019, citing irreconcilable differences, but noted that their separation date was July 2019 — months before the official paperwork when Stause seemingly had no idea anything was wrong, according to Entertainment Tonight.

Chrishell Stause focuses her energy on giving back to those in need

Chrishell Stause is moving on from her split with Justin Hartley and continuing to throw herself into her work at the Oppenheim Group, as well as her charity work. In the third season of Selling Sunset, viewers saw Stause throw a charity event to help sell a house, but she also opened up about her charity of choice, Upward Bound House. The charity aims to help end homelessness among families with children, a cause close to Stause's heart as she experienced bouts of homelessness while growing up.

Stause told Soaps.com in 2018, "I was homeless a few times in my life and it was really hard growing up, but now I'm super grateful about everything." She also revealed that she was homeless in both 7th grade and 10th grade for periods of time — her family living mostly out of a car. "As you can imagine, as a high schooler it wasn't the coolest thing. It was just really hard to live the lie at school and make sure no one knows and being really embarrassed about it. Even talking about it now I start to sweat."

Now that she's in a position to help, Stause is quick to do as much as she can, including encouraging people to donate for Giving Tuesday and organizing charity events to help give back.