The Transformation Of Chrishell Stause From Childhood To 40

"Selling Sunset" star Chrishell Stause has come a long way over the years. Although her rise to the top has of course had its obstacles, such as very public break ups and drama with her costars, it seems her willingness to share those moments, while somehow keeping her often positive attitude, has made her the fan-favorite star she is today.

While "Selling Sunset" seemingly launched Stause into fame in 2019, she actually worked in Hollywood long before that as an actor. While she's found professional success, her personal life's been of note, too; the ups and downs of her high-profile relationships have made waves and headlines. 

These days though, Stause appears to be living her best life. As she told KCM in February 2022, "I'm proud to finally get to a place where I'm completely independent... I have a business where I can be successful in my own right, with or without the cameras." So how did Stause get to this good place? Let's break down her transformation from childhood to age 40.

Chrishell Stause was homeless during childhood

Terrina Chrishell Stause may look super glamorous on "Selling Sunset," but the Kentucky native's life hasn't always been that way. On July 21, 1981, her mother went into labor while she was at a gas station, and as the reality star told Vulture, made it to a hospital before giving birth. Moved by the kindness of the Shell employee who stuck by her side until the ambulance arrived, Stause's mom found a way to commemorate the moment. "She wanted to name me after him," the reality star shared. "He worked at the Shell station, so she just thought 'Chris, shell.'"

Throughout her childhood, Stause's family experienced hardship. She told Page Six, "I was homeless a few times in my life and it was really hard growing up." Reflecting on that period of her life in "Under Construction," she writes, "I actually missed a whole year of middle school due to our house burning down, forcing us to live in a tent, hopping from campsite to campsite."

When Stause was 10 years old, her parents joined what she referred to as a cult. She recalls in her memoir, "They forbade members from celebrating birthdays and Christmas, and they would randomly make house calls to make sure you were still earning your way to heaven." While Stause clearly went through a lot as a child, she doesn't blame her parents, who dealt with addiction and mental health issues. As she shares in "Under Construction," "I'm thankful that I grew up learning how to be resilient and resourceful."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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Chrishell Stause got a fresh start in her teens

It appears that high school was not easy for Chrishell Stause, considering she was self-conscious about her living situation. In her memoir, "Under Construction," she reveals that during that time, her family was staying in an abandoned schoolhouse. She writes, "The collapsed roof meant that the old mattress I slept on was always a little wet and mildewy." To this day, Stause is apparently still very affected by it. She told Page Six, "It was just really hard to live the lie at school... and being really embarrassed about it. Even talking about it now I start to sweat."

Despite her struggles in high school, Stause managed to go to college, attending Murray State University where she first got to pursue acting as a theater major. It's also where she got to have a fresh start by deciding to go by her middle name instead of her first name, Terrina. She wrote in an Instagram Story (via The U.S. Sun), "I grew up a very uncool kid from a tough childhood... I associated Terrina with the kid everyone made fun of."

Even with all her success as an adult, Stause hasn't forgotten where she came from, even when an Instagram troll called her "trailer park" pejoratively. She clapped back (via Hello!), "When I lived in a trailer park, that meant we were doing better than usual."

Chrishell Stause's soap opera career beginnings

At age 22, Chrishell Stause decided to pursue acting by moving to Hollywood right after college. She didn't find work right away though, recalling to Daily Actor, "When I moved to LA, I was a waitress at Tony Roma's, slinging ribs. I was hosting a jewelry show on ... Ultimate Shopping Network." However, by age 24, seemingly to her own surprise, Stause landed a role on the daytime drama "All My Children."

That gig, which she was confident she would not land, turned out to be Stause's big break and lifelong dream come true. She revealed to KCM, "I would watch these soaps and idolize these women. Then here I am actually filming that opening sequence ... I was trying so hard not to cry." Stause remained on the show until its end in 2011, learning a lot along the way. She explained, "It's basically like acting boot camp, because the pace that you're working at, the amount of dialogue that you're working with."

Later in her career, Stause went on to appear on other soaps, such as "Days of Our Lives" and "Young and the Restless." It seems that time on daytime TV will always be special. Stause gushed to CBS, "Daytime fans are the best fans. ... It just felt really warm and welcoming, and it just made the whole experience even more exciting."

She got engaged to Matthew Morrison

In 2006, Chrishell Stause entered in what would be her first high-profile relationship among many. She recalls in "Under Construction," "I dated 'Glee' actor Matthew Morrison in my midtwenties, and we fell in love and got engaged." However, the two split that next year, with Morrison later revealing that he regretted proposing. He told Cosmopolitan U.K. (via Express), "I didn't do it for the right reasons... I felt under pressure from society. ... But after I did it, I immediately felt in my heart it wasn't right."

Stause was apparently not happy with how that went down. She once said on "Selling Sunset," "If I ended up with the person I was with when I was 25, I would want to kill myself." She even added, "You were a d**k! Sorry!" According to The U.S. Sun, Stause even revealed to Star magazine that she was actually the one who called off the engagement because Morrison cheated. Yet Morrison brushed that off as fake news, telling Parade, "There's this one about my ex-fiancee going to the tabloids, which so isn't true. I have a great relationship with her."

It appears that both Morrison and Stause were just simply not ready to be married. She clarifies in her memoir that when it came to their romance in general, "I didn't fully understand what a healthy, solid relationship looked like, even though, of course, I thought I did."

A romance with Justin Hartley blossomed

At age 32, Chrishell Stause began dating "This Is Us" star Justin Hartley. According to Us Weekly, the two initially crossed paths when they both appeared on daytime soaps, but things didn't get romantic until they were set up by a friend. "We met up at a concert and talked all night," Hartley gushed to People. "We haven't been apart since. I knew right away." It seems that Stause was immediately just as smitten since, sharing with People, "The next day I texted my friend: 'I found him.'"

The two went on to make their couple debut at the 2014 Unbridled Eve Derby Prelude Party where, according to E! News, they canoodled all over the red carpet. Then two years later, Hartley asked Stause to be his wife. He dished to TooFab that he not only got down on one knee but integrated their relationship story into his proposal. He recalled, "I don't think I realized how nervous I was until afterwards and then I was like, 'That's a lot, that's heavy. But at the time, it just felt right."

Stause shared their engagement news on Instagram with a now-deleted post (via PopSugar) that showed off her new ring while on the beach. The sparkler was not only gorgeous but later came in handy after their split when she sold it to buy her house. She explained on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," "I was trying to, you know, make the best out of a situation."

Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley got hitched

In October 2017, 36-year-old Chrishell Stause tied the knot with Justin Hartley in a super intimate, outdoor ceremony held in Malibu. It appears it was the perfect day for Stause. She told People, "The wedding exceeded anything I could have ever imagined." The ceremony was also a star-studded event, as Hartley's "This Is Us" costars Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Milo Ventimiglia, and Chrissy Metz were among the 75 guests in attendance.

Yet, it seems for the couple, the best part of the wedding was officially becoming husband and wife. Stause said in People, "They don't make them any better than Justin, and I could not be more thrilled to officially be Mrs. Hartley!" As for Hartley, he gushed, "I look forward to sharing life experiences and growing old together." When it came to married life though, Stause later admitted that it didn't feel much different. She explained to ET, "Our life is already so settled and amazing. It had more focus on it, but as far as when we go home, everything is the same."

Before their wedding, the couple also got to work together professionally when they filmed the 2018 movie "Another Time." Stause told Daily Actor why she wanted to do the film, saying, "It just sounded like a fun opportunity, to get to work with my man and it really was." Yet it was more than just fun, because she added, "Creatively it's more stimulating, because you are kind of pushing each other."

She joined The Oppenheim Group and a reality show

At age 37, Chrishell Stause became a real estate agent for The Oppenheim Group, which turned out to be a job that would change her life. At that point, the "Misguided" actor had been working in real estate for two years. Stause revealed it was her side hustle from "Days of Our Lives," in a 2016 Instagram post, writing, "​​Wanna know what I do when I'm not stirring up trouble in tv land?"

Of course, it was real estate that made Stause more famous than acting, thanks to "Selling Sunset," the Netflix show that chronicles the drama of those working at The Oppenheim Group. Stause seemingly didn't see that coming, telling Parade, "I thought how great to be able to slowly start a second career when I'm not working with acting, and it's just taken off from there." She did admit though that she joined The Oppenheim Group specifically for the show, noting that she was essentially scouted for the gig. She explained, "I definitely had my license and I was practicing, but not at the level... at this company."

Although "Selling Sunset" made Stause a well-known reality television star, she apparently wasn't sure she was cut out for the show at first — despite her experience on TV. As she said in USA Today, "It really takes those people that don't care, and they make the best television... This was just so foreign to me."

Chrishell Stause's marriage ended without much warning

By age 38, Chrishell Stause's career was flourishing, with her appearing on both "Selling Sunset" and "Days of Our Lives." Her personal life, on the other hand, took a major hit when Justin Hartley filed for divorce in late 2019. Stause was totally caught off guard, revealing on "Selling Sunset" that she found out via text message mere minutes before the news went public.  "I always just thought, that's part of the relationship you just talk through it," she said. "If that's really what you wanted, there are better ways to go about."

Stause's career ultimately helped her get through the split. She dished on "Lipstick on the Rim," "That was obviously very humiliating and the fact that I still had to film a reality show ... but all of a sudden, I just lost everything, and I didn't want to lose the one thing that I worked really hard to have, which was my job." However, sharing her divorce on TV turned out to be healing. Stause told KCM, "The success of the show pulled me through a tough time," adding, "So many people helped to support my mental space."

While it's unclear why Hartley ended things, Stause hinted that his rising fame from "This Is Us" had something to do with it. She posted in a now-deleted Instagram post (via People), "It's hard to watch people change right in front of you. But it's even harder remembering who they used to be."

Chrishell Stause joined Dancing with the Stars

In 2020, 39-year-old Chrishell Stause competed on "Dancing with the Stars" alongside Gleb Savchenko. When it came to joining the show, Stause told ET, "I'm hoping this will be a new chapter, something positive." It appeared that by then, Stause was ready to put her divorce behind her, even though she seemingly admitted that it was what gave her the confidence to do the competition. She joked, "I've already fallen flat on my face in front of America already, so I really got that out of the way. I don't have anything else to lose, so it's only going up from here!"

However, Stause was dealing with another heartbreak at the time, since her mother died earlier that year. Following the loss, she wrote on Instagram, "In disbelief that you are gone." The year prior, Stause's father also died. In honor of their memory, Stause dedicated one of her "DWTS" performances to her mom and dad, sharing in another post, "Turning my pain from losing my parents into something beautiful and making them proud is the ultimate goal."

Stause was eventually eliminated from "DWTS" after eight weeks on the show. She confessed to ET, "You are never really prepared to go home in this process. It was heartbreaking to have it end." Yet she doesn't regret the time she spent on it either, adding, "I will always look back on this experience as one of the most fun, exhilarating things I've ever done."

A romance with Jason Oppenheim

Following her stint on "Dancing With the Stars," Chrishell Stause was ready to date again. She got together with dancer Keo Motsepe in December 2020. However, by the following February, Stause ended it. She later shared in "Under Construction," "After the honeymoon phase, though, things took a turn. ... I actually opened my eyes ... and saw the truth."

By July 2021, a then 40-year-old Stause had moved on with "Selling Sunset" boss Jason Oppenheim. The couple confirmed their romance on Instagram by sharing photos cuddled up on vacation. While many were surprised by the pairing, Stause told People, "We made it to a point where we're really happy to share it because we knew exactly what it was." It appeared the twosome then got serious rather quickly, with Oppenheim gushing, "Chrishell and I became close friends and it has developed into an amazing relationship. I care about her deeply and we are very happy together."

Sadly though, by the end of 2021, the couple parted ways. On a Season 5 episode of "Selling Sunset," Stause said of their breakup, "He just told me he doesn't wanna have a kid. And as much as this hurts me to say, I've been clear with him what that would mean, so we are done." While both were reportedly heartbroken, they seemingly ended on good terms considering that Oppenheim later wrote on Instagram Stories (via People), "We remain best friends," and that "She was the most amazing girlfriend I've ever had."

Chrishell Stause has found love and success

As of June 2022, Chrishell Stause appears to be thriving, especially when it comes to her romance with rapper G Flip. Stause confirmed their relationship at the "Selling Sunset" Season 5 reunion. "I recently have been spending a lot of time with someone that's very important to me. ... It started because I was just going to be in their video," she shared.

Since then, the two have been pretty inseparable, with G Flip even telling People they want to start a family. "We both feel like we'll be in each other's life forever," they explained. That may be hard for Jason Oppenheim to hear since he's apparently not over Stause. As he said at the Season 5 reunion, "There's a lot of sadness and loss. ... There was a lot of love between us and there still is."

Yet, Stause seems happier than ever, and her career is booming. She's not only killing it on TV, winning Best Reality Star at the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards, but has also added author to her resume with the release of her memoir, "Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work." Stause dished to KCM, "The book can be nerve-racking ... because you have a lot more control, but with that control comes a lot of responsibility and expectation." It looks like Stause is exceeding everyone's expectations, especially when it comes to how she's transformed over the years to the powerful woman she is today.