The Truth About Chrishell Stause And Justin Hartley's Relationship

Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley seemed like the ultimate Hollywood couple. The stunning duo worked together on the set of "The Young and the Restless" and quickly became magazine cover staples thanks to their megawatt smiles and enviably loved-up romance that seemed, on the surface at least, to be picture-perfect. They married in a lavish ceremony in October 2017 and shared stunning snaps from their big day with People (does it get any more Hollywood than that?), with Stause gushing at the time, "They don't make them any better than Justin, and I could not be more thrilled to officially be Mrs. Hartley!"

But, sadly, this one wasn't built to last, and Mrs. Hartley's happiness unfortunately didn't last too long. Things imploded in 2019 with all the drama we'd expect from two soap stars, with Stause finding out Hartley had filed for divorce as the "Selling Sunset" cameras rolled (more to come on that later) and admitting the ordeal changed how she really felt about relationships. "My whole life, I had this idea of Cinderella — a guy sweeps you off your feet, you live happily ever after. But it's a new world out there and I've just decided we were all messed up a little bit by Cinderella. Sometimes you have to be your own fairy godmother," she told People in February 2022.

But what really happened between the soap world's former golden couple? From strained mother-in-law relationships to cheating allegations, here's what went down.

Justin Hartley was accused of not taking Chrishell Stause seriously

During a Season 5 episode of "Selling Sunset," Chrishell Stause's sisters, Shonda Stause and Sabrina Stause, threw a little shade at someone thought to be Justin Hartley by suggesting that he wasn't the most supportive. Though no names were named, Shonda referred to Chrishell being criticized in a previous romance, noting (via Us Weekly), "I don't think that he took you seriously. A lot of your jobs, he acted like they were not real jobs. And this was your life. This was your job. You worked so hard for it." Sabrina then told Chrishell, "There are just some instances in the past where it felt like you were covering for your partner at the time. Maybe they were doing something that was a little disrespectful and you were, like, standing up for them... it was just so sad that you felt like you had to kind of pretend to be something else." Chrishell agreed, admitting she lost who she was.

But that's not the only family admission that came out in the wake of Chrishell and Hartley's split. In her book, "Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work," the star admitted her late mom was never her ex's biggest fan. "I'm not sure if she did it on purpose or as a dig, but she always called him Jacob," she revealed, adding that Hartley never reached out after her mom's death.

Babies on the brain

It sounds like babies may have played a part for Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley, who didn't welcome any children together during their relationship. People reported shortly after their split that they had differing opinions when it comes to parenthood, with a source claiming of the "Selling Sunset" star, "She thought babies would happen soon after they got married, but it just hasn't worked out." Notably, Justin already has a daughter, Isabella, with his other ex-wife, Lindsay Hartley.

Speaking on Season 3 of "Selling Sunset" of her desire to have kids with Justin, she told co-star Mary Fitzgerald that she'd deviated from the path she'd planned for herself — seemingly because of Justin's timeline. "He is more patient than me, but I definitely would have thought that I would be a mom at this point, but I love him," she said of her then-husband (via Us Weekly). "He is my person, so things change." 

Stause has admitted multiple times since that she wants to become a mom, which eventually became the main reason for her split with Jason Oppenheim in December 2021. She's since been vocal about being open to solo parenting. "I definitely have come around to the thought that, yes, I'm going to go and try and [find a partner], but if I don't find that, that's okay too," she told People in February 2022, around the same time she revealed her relationship with non-binary singer G Flip.

It takes two to Tango

It's no secret that Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley weren't exactly on the same page when it came to their marriage. "Justin loves Chrishell, but people close to the couple feel he's choosing his career path over their marriage. Justin is finally getting his big break in Hollywood and it's completely changed him and how he treated his marriage," a source told ET of their split. 

Another insider dished on their dynamics to People, claiming Stause felt her husband supposedly didn't take their marriage as seriously as she did. They noted Justin had already been through a divorce (he was married to Lindsay Hartley from 2004 until 2012) but claimed Stause had refrained from taking the plunge and walking down the aisle before because she only wanted to don the white dress once. "It's partly why she and Justin waited so long to get married: she wanted to be sure that when they said their vows, they meant them. And she did — she would have stayed forever," the source claimed.

Stause appeared to confirm that in her 2022 book, "Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work," writing, "When I got married, I imagined being eighty years old on a porch with my husband someday, holding wrinkly hands and laughing about an inside joke." She added of their tough divorce, "Part of auditing is realizing that there are two people in a relationship and owning your part in what went wrong."

Justin Hartley never thought he'd get married again

When things were good between Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley, they seemed really good. In fact, the two regularly gushed about one another in interviews and on social media, which is why the world was so shocked when they went their separate ways. Hartley even admitted to Anthem in 2016 that he never thought he'd get married again after his first ended in divorce, but bragged that it was because she was such a great person. "Divorces are not amazing. To get yourself into a place where you're ready to make that commitment again, it takes a special person, a special situation, and a special chemistry. If you asked me three years ago if I thought I'd be engaged and ready to have a new wife and be on this show, I would've laughed at you," he said.

Hartley also gushed over his then-fiancee on Harry Connick Jr.'s now-defunct talk show, "Harry," joking that he was worried about making sure Stause showed up for the wedding, because he loved her so much. He bittersweetly added, "It's a special thing, isn't it? That when you find that one person, and it sounds so cheesy. Some people are like, 'Oh, there's one person for everyone.' But when you meet that one person, you realize, like, 'What the hell have I been doing my whole life? This is the person.'"

A divorce text

One of the most shocking things about Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley's relationship is the dramatic way in which it all imploded. Stause has been pretty vocal about the fact she was blindsided by Hartley's divorce filing, with the "Selling Sunset" cameras capturing the aftermath. Stause found out in 2019 via a text message from Hartley that he'd filed for divorce. "45 minutes later, the world knew," she tearfully told her co-star Mary Fitzgerald of the heartbreaking message. "I talked to him right after because I thought that must be a joke. That was kind of the end of the communication," she added, noting that they'd had a fight shortly before Hartley filed but did not have chance to talk things out. "What am I supposed to say? What do you say after that? It's like, now I have to find a place to live, now I have to scramble and figure this out."

People reported that Stause was shocked by the whole thing, with a source claiming in December 2019, "Chrishell is still reeling. Yes, they'd had some problems, but she certainly never thought he would just go and suddenly file for divorce, and not even try to save things." They also claimed Stause had been ready to stick by her former man through thick and thin, telling the outlet, "She was his staunchest supporter and would've had his back through anything."

Chrishell Stause was Justin Hartley's biggest fan

Chrishell Stause admitted that she loved being her former husband Justin Hartley's biggest fan during their marriage, telling Us Weekly in March 2019 (the same year that they split) that being able to publicly support him gave her a sense of pride. "I get a kick out of when people see how great he is. I see it as a positive because he really is," she admitted, revealing her penchant for decorating her social media pages with snaps of the "This Is Us" star. "On social media, I'll post things because I feel like I'm a fan as well, and I will do Man Crush Mondays for him," she added.

And it seemed like social media was fairly important for the couple, as Hartley made the bold move of cleansing his account of any trace of Stause shortly after he filed for divorce. Screen Rant noticed in August 2020 that the "This Is Us" actor had removed the multiple photos and videos that featured his former wife — which just so happened to be the same month he went Instagram-official with his current wife, Sofia Pernas (via Cosmopolitan). 

Stause later did the same and wiped Hartley from her page; she confirmed on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in April 2022 that she'd sold her old wedding ring, using the money to purchase her new home. "[When] life gives you lemons, sometimes you gotta add a little vodka!" the reality star joked of her decision.

The sweet gestures

During their time together, Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause seemed very much in love and would often have sweet surprises for one another, which only made their sudden split all the more shocking. Stause told Us Weekly in March 2019 about the time her then-husband surprised her with a cheese board while she was filming a movie. Ah, a cheese board. "If you know me, that is like my love language," she explained. "That's the sixth on the love languages, if you didn't know. So he had a cheese board waiting for me and a bottle of wine. And it was just so sweet and so nice, and just like one of those things."

It sounds like Hartley was pretty attentive to his wife's needs when things were good, as he opened up to Us Weekly (which seemed to be the former couple's favorite outlet) in March 2018 about the cute as a (coffee) bean thing he did for her every morning. "I'm an early riser, so when I hear her coming down the stairs in the morning, I turn on the coffee maker for her and get espresso going. She really loves that I do that," he shared. The star also dished on their cozy date nights, admitting they weren't the biggest fans of going out. "We really are all about staying in recently, cooking together, watching movies and that sort of thing," he said. Oh, the way they were!

Therapy time?

Despite the claims that Chrishell Stause was more invested in saving her marriage to Justin Hartley than he was, Stause's "Selling Sunset" co-star Christine Quinn alleged that the two had both been going to therapy in an attempt to save their marriage before things imploded. "We all just thought maybe they were having communication problems for a while. We heard that they were in therapy, so obviously there were some issues going on with them," the Netflix villain told Page Six in July 2020.

But Stause wasn't happy with her arch-enemy revealing such private information about the state of her relationship with the world, and actually denied Quinn's take on what was going on behind closed doors toward the end of her marriage. The reality star slammed Quinn on Twitter, writing, "I just learned Christine is giving press 'information' about my divorce. Let me be VERY clear. She knows absolutely nothing about the situation and is obviously desperate to gain attention by doing so. Anything from her is either a complete lie or total conjecture on her part." Stause then added in a second tweet, "It's so frustrating and unfortunate that someone would use someone's personal painful situation to get press for themselves. I can't say I am surprised, but please check the source." The reality star reiterated that Quinn was not privy to the details of Stause and Hartley's former marriage.

Justin Hartley had 'reservations' about Selling Sunset

Though Justin Hartley was clearly used to life in the spotlight (thanks to his roles in big-time shows like "The Young and the Restless" and "This Is Us"), he had a few reservations about his then-wife, Chrishell Stause, putting so much of her personal life out there in front of the cameras. The real estate agent admitted to StyleCaster that she and Hartley had some candid conversations about whether appearing on the Netflix show was the right move for her. "I think everyone would probably have reservations signing up for something like this, which is fair. That was a normal conversation that you have with anybody in your life who cares about you," she explained, clarifying, "They were normal conversations of concern."

Notably, even when things were good in their marriage, Hartley never agreed to appear on the series. His absence was certainly felt by plenty of fans, as a few of Stause's co-stars have had their partners appear on-screen. "Selling Sunset" creator Adam DiVello addressed Hartley steering clear of the reality series while speaking to Variety in August 2020, but claimed it was all to do with logistics. "I think it was just contractual. We certainly asked many, many times. I think it was just his contract with NBC," he said.

Justin Hartley reportedly grew 'irritated' with Chrishell Stause

Following the demise of their marriage, Chrishell Stause began speaking more about their relationship in interviews (and, of course, during episodes of "Selling Sunset"), which Justin Hartley reportedly didn't like. "He's irritated that she's airing their private information publicly and knows there is more to the story than is being told. His close friends and family know what really happened, as does Chrishell, so ultimately it's her choice of what is put out there," a source told Us Weekly in August 2020 (the same month he removed her from his Instagram and debuted his new romance with Sofia Pernas). They added that, in addition to never appearing on the show, Hartley hadn't watched the episodes where Stause discussed their relationship and breakup, but he had been told about them.

And it sounds like it wasn't just Hartley who got frustrated. Stause admitted in her 2022 book, "Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work," that her ex left a bad taste in her mouth. "Divorce is humiliating, and it can make you feel like a failure as a person," she confessed, while sharing a similar sentiment to Us Weekly in August 2020. "It's an embarrassing, humiliating type of thing to go through without cameras and without people judging you, so I just hope people are gentle when they watch. We're real people. This was a traumatizing time in my life."

Chrishell Stause insinuated that Justin Hartley cheated with Sofia Pernas

Was there infidelity in Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley's marriage? Well, she certainly hinted at potential cheating on social media. In August 2020, Stause liked a seemingly unfounded tweet suggesting that something may have gone on between Hartley and his eventual wife, Sofia Pernas, while he was married to Stause. The theory was that Pernas and Hartley got together while they were filming separate projects in Canada before Hartley divorced Stause. Making the whole thing even more dramatic? Pernas also worked on "The Young and the Restless" and was friends with Hartley and Stause before dating the former (via the Daily Mail).

However, E! News denied infidelity rumors. "Chrishell is heartbroken that he has moved on so quickly. It doesn't do her any good to dwell on the possibilities of Justin cheating, and [she] is trying to move on," a source claimed, but also noted, "[Chrishell] speculates a lot about what truly happened between them."

As for Hartley, he reflected on meeting Pernas while married in an interview with Haute Living in December 2021, saying, "I knew that she was very kind and very nice. I liked being around her. But I was in a different place in my life. I wasn't available. Timing has a lot to do with that. I'm very lucky to not only have found 'the one,' but I found her when she was available and the timing was right."