Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s It’s Complicated series, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity "feuds" that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
There's a lot of mystery surrounding Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause's high-profile split. Hartley filed for divorce in November 2019 after just two years of marriage. The news instantly made headlines because, up until that point, the couple had seemed totally in love at various industry events. As if breakups aren't hard enough, Stause said she was completely blindsided by Hartley's decision to file for divorce. She candidly shared her heartbreak over their marriage's demise on Selling Sunset, singing a much different tune than the loving words the couple shared about each other over the six years they were together. Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause's quotes about each other through the years really took a 180 in 2020.
From the start, Hartley and Stause's romance seemed like a fairytale. The duo started dating in 2013 after they met by chance, and both called it love at first sight (but more on that later). Over the course of their relationship, they got hitched and bought a house, while simultaneously growing their careers to new heights. Hartley's career took off big time after he landed his leading role as Kevin Pearson on This Is Us in 2016, and Stause's reality show career also propelled her into the spotlight at lightning speed in 2019. Whether it was due to fame, their busy schedules, or other factors, somewhere along the way, Hartley and Stause stopped seeing eye to eye. Now, as they navigate divorce, these quotes shed light on their story.
Aug. 4, 2016: Hartley Can't Stop Gushing Over Their Engagement
During an interview with TooFab, Hartley revealed how he proposed to his future wife.
"Chrishell and I have a relationship story between the two of us that I incorporated [into the engagement]," he said. "I thought it was touching, I meant every word of it and she means the world to me. I could not be happier. And she said yes. I don't know if that makes me lucky or her, sort of… I'm kidding. I'm thrilled!"
Hartley was unbelievably nervous about getting down on one knee, hinting at just how deep his feelings for Stause ran. "I don't think I realized how nervous I was until afterwards and then I was like, 'That's a lot, that's heavy,'" he explained. "But at the time, it just felt right. We've been together for a while, it was time."
Nov. 1, 2017: Hartley Reminisces On Their First Date
Shortly after tying the knot on Oct. 28, 2017, Hartley shared his and Stause's first date story with People, revealing they met through a mutual friend.
"We met up at a concert and talked all night," Hartley shared. "I drove her home and called the next day. We haven't been apart since. I knew right away [and] was like, 'Oh boy, here we go.'"
Hartley was looking forward to a long life ahead with his wife. “At the risk of sounding cheesy, I look forward to sharing life experiences and growing old together," he shared. "Someday, we can talk about all the things we did together 30 years ago!”
Stause excitedly raved about finally being married to Hartley in the same interview. "They don't make them any better than Justin, and I could not be more thrilled to officially be Mrs. Hartley!" Stause told People. "The wedding exceeded anything I could have ever imagined," she added.
April 10, 2019: Stause Is Hartley's "Light"
Hartley gushed about his then-wife's character and what he thinks draws so many people to her in an interview on The View. "She has this sort of... she’s a light, and is one of my favorite human beings on the planet. It’s infectious, just being around it," he said.
Stause, who was seated in the audience, responded with some sweet words of her own. "Obviously, he's just the most supportive person," she said.
According to court documents, two short months later, Hartley and Stause separated. While Hartley officially filed for divorce on Nov. 22, 2019 and the pair attended several industry events up until mid-November, he listed their separation date as July 8, according to documents obtained by People. Hartley and Stause's reps did not respond to Elite Daily's request for confirmation on the details of their divorce filing.
August 2020: Stause Implies Hartley Gave Up On Their Marriage
Stause and Hartley have yet to give a detailed account of why their marriage ended, but some of the details are trickling out through Stause's storyline on Season 3 of Selling Sunset.
In one confessional, she expressed her sheer confusion over the divorce. “Because of the crazy way in which this went down, people want answers, and I f*cking want answers," she said.
In another segment, she revealed she felt "stupid" after their relationship fell apart. "When I think of marriage, I think you work on things with people. They’re not perfect, no one is. You work on it. You talk about it," Stause said. "You don’t go out looking for greener grass. Sometimes you have to water the grass that you have, and that’s what marriage is. Sometimes it can be hard, but I mean, I don’t think it should be more hard than easy at all. That’s why I’m so confused because I didn’t feel like that balance was off. I just feel stupid."
"I want to hide under a rock until this all goes away," she told Netflix's cameras. "It makes me so mad because this all could have been avoided if we had done this privately. My mind is blown that he would think that this is the way to conduct himself."
In another confessional, she revealed Hartley's fame might have played a part in the split. "There can’t be one person fighting for a relationship. You have to have two people, and I think a lot has changed in the six years that we were together and then the two years we were married, a lot has changed," Stause said. "I didn’t care about all that stuff. I met him before all of that ... It’s just annoying because then you get rid of the people that [were there before]. One day that’s gonna go away."
"I can understand, like, God forbid, your feelings obviously changed for me at some point, I just feel like that’s how you would treat the garbage that you’d throw out," Stause said about the way the divorce went down.
Hartley has yet to address the divorce publicly.