Courtney Stodden has opened up about being groomed by their ex-husband Doug Hutchison for six months before they married in 2011 — when they were 16 and he was 50 — alleging that he started pursuing another teenager while they were divorcing. 

The 27-year-old, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, faced widespread media scrutiny, received death threats, and was labeled everything from a ‘teen bride’ and a ‘whore’ for marrying a man 34 years their senior.

It was Stodden’s mother Krista Keller who legally consented to the marriage, and it took years for them to see Hutchison’s predation as child abuse. In 2018, they filed for divorce, which was finalized in March 2020. 

Speaking with Alex Cooper on the Call Her Daddy podcast, Stodden described how The Green Mile actor connected with them via email under the guise of being their acting coach, claiming he knew their age and what they looked like beforehand. 

‘My manager at the time sent him pictures, and he was very much aware of what I looked like. But he claims…he never knew my age. That’s not true. He did,’ they said. ‘My mom received a call from him, and he said, “I really want to start teaching your daughter acting,” and she goes, “OK, well, you know she’s only…she just turned 16.”‘

Courtney Stodden, who is is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, opened up about being groomed by her ex-husband Doug Hutchison on the Call Her Daddy podcast 

Speaking with host Alex Cooper (pictured), Stodden described how Hutchison connected with them when they were 16 under the guise of being their acting coach

Speaking with host Alex Cooper, Stodden (pictured)described how Hutchison connected with them when they were 16 under the guise of being their acting coach

Speaking with host Alex Cooper (left), Stodden (right) described how Hutchison connected with them when they were 16  under the guise of being their acting coach

Stodden married Hutchison in Las Vegas in 2011 with their mother Krista Keller's legal consent. They were 16 and he was just days away from his 51st birthday

Stodden married Hutchison in Las Vegas in 2011 with their mother Krista Keller’s legal consent. They were 16 and he was just days away from his 51st birthday 

Stodden shared that their mother knew about their email exchanges with Hutchison, saying they weren’t sexual in nature, but they also weren’t appropriate.  

‘Then, as a child, I didn’t really see it as anything predatory,’ they said, recalling how Hutchison would ask things like, ‘What’s your favorite color?’ and ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’  

‘Now I know in retrospect it’s just a way to start figuring out the child and to get your claws in them and control them,’ they explained. 

The television personality noted that their mother had ‘always been very protective’ of them and now regrets signing off on their marriage.  

‘My mom has gotten a lot of hate, and I understand why,’ Stodden said. ‘If I ever have a baby and I’m raising that baby, from my own experiences, I would never sign my kid off, ever, to an adult man, who is 34 years older. There is just no way that would happen. 

‘But I think she thought she was doing something that was going to make me happy, truthfully. I really believe that,’ they added. ‘In retrospect, she knows it was the wrong decision. She’s apologized to me so many times and has said, you know, “If I could just do anything to do over, I’m just so sorry, I wouldn’t sign off on this.”‘

Stodden, who was aware of the actor’s age, said they spoke online and over the phone for six months before he traveled to their hometown in Washington to meet them in person.  

‘I believe [that trip] was obviously to see his child in person, verify the parents are on-board. “I’m not going to go to jail, and I can get that free pass to molest a child. I just need that paperwork signed for me to get married because it’s a loophole,”‘ they said. ‘Then a week later we got married. So I basically just met him in person one week, and then a week later I’m married.’ 

Stodden, who was aware of the actor's age, said they spoke online and over the phone for six months before he traveled to their hometown in Washington to meet them in person

Stodden, who was aware of the actor’s age, said they spoke online and over the phone for six months before he traveled to their hometown in Washington to meet them in person

Looking back on that week, Stodden explained that they thought she wanted to marry Hutchison, but there was also a part of them that wanted their father to forbid it. 

‘My dad just said he needed to meet him in person and then he could just sign off on it, which in retrospect makes me extremely angry,’ they said. ‘He was in his very own fragile state of mind at that point in the marriage with my mother. My mother was in a very bad place with my father, so this was a perfect grooming situation for someone like Doug.’

Stodden was with their parents when they picked up Hutchison from their airport and drove about an hour and a half to a café. They thought their father would spend the weekend with Hutchison and be more hesitant about signing off on their marriage.  

‘Like I really did want to marry Doug because I thought I was in love with him, but there was also something in me as a child that made me question if my father really loved me. So it was like this dichotomy,’ they recalled. 

‘When we got to that diner, we had a little lunch. My dad immediately — before they ate their lunch — took Doug outside and said, “You know what, you have my blessing.” 

‘He didn’t even see him for maybe an hour? They didn’t talk. My dad was driving, Doug was in the backseat, and he gave Doug the blessing to take his child away from him.

‘Even if he did feel like his family was falling apart and all these things, I feel like he did choose himself.’

Stodden noted that their father did pull them aside for a five minutes before they picked up Hutchison and asked if this was what they wanted.   

Stodden said that with their parents' approval, they married Hutchison a week after they met in person for the first time

Stodden said that with their parents’ approval, they married Hutchison a week after they met in person for the first time 

Stodden said that they wore a padded bra with cutlets to make their breasts look bigger on their wedding day. They recalled being 'petrified' Hutchison would be put off by their body because they 'looked like a 12-year-old' without clothes

Stodden said that they wore a padded bra with cutlets to make their breasts look bigger on their wedding day. They recalled being ‘petrified’ Hutchison would be put off by their body because they ‘looked like a 12-year-old’ without clothes

‘I knew he was arguing with my mom. I could hear them screaming throughout the house, but I just think he gives up so quickly,’ they said. ‘That’s just the kind of person he is. He just runs away from issues.

‘So it just makes sense why this happened, and it happens to so many other children in the USA. About 300,000 children, underage children, were married to adults between the years of 2000 and 2018, and 86 per cent of those children are girls. 

‘And it’s in this country,’ Stodden stressed. ‘We think of child brides as some foreign situation, but it is so prevalent in the USA right now, and it’s terrifying. And some are as young as 10 years old.’ 

She added: ‘I think it’s pretty obvious that [Hutchison] looked at me like a child but wanted to treat me like some kind of object.’

When asked why they didn’t just date him instead of getting married, they explained that they ‘grew up in a really Christian family’ and was a virgin before they met. 

Stodden said no one really discussed with them how their life would change if they got married, admitting they ‘really didn’t even know what was going to happen on the honeymoon.’   

They were married in a Las Vegas chapel on May 20, 2011, six days before Hutchison turned 51. Their mother had to sign off on the marriage because they were underage. 

‘I was beyond nervous because I just wanted to play the part for him. I wanted him to be impressed with me, like I was a woman. I mean, I was a kid,’ Stodden recalled of their wedding day. 

'My mom has gotten a lot of hate, and I understand why,' Stodden said, noting that their mother has apologized numerous times for signing off on the marriage

‘My mom has gotten a lot of hate, and I understand why,’ Stodden said, noting that their mother has apologized numerous times for signing off on the marriage 

Stodden said Hutchison was 'on top of the moon' the morning after their wedding, saying: 'I mean, he just got to molest a child, legally'

Stodden said Hutchison was ‘on top of the moon’ the morning after their wedding, saying: ‘I mean, he just got to molest a child, legally’

‘So I feel like I was playing dress-up in a sense, but I was so madly in love with him that I just, like, I don’t know, it was just this really strange feeling that I always carried with me.

‘The photo of my father walking me down the aisle is really interesting to me because he has this look on his face…where he’s just so angry? But he’s still doing it? Which was really…I don’t know.’

Stodden said they were never able to ask their father why he walked them down the aisle that day because the marriage led him to disown them. 

‘My father has completely disowned me. He texted me and said: “You are not my daughter.” This was about three years ago. So I don’t have a relationship with that man,’ they explained. 

Stodden believes that ‘underneath it all’ their father is ‘a really scarred, amazing, gentle man’ who didn’t know how to deal with what had happened.  

They explained that they went from living in a ‘really small town’ with their parents to the Hollywood Hills. After they got married, they had their honeymoon at the penthouse at the famed Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. 

‘I just shut down. I disassociated myself. I tried the best I could to put on that role because that’s what grooming is, really,’ they recalled, saying Hutchison gave her a little bit of wine before they lost their virginity. 

‘I remember running into the bathroom, shutting the door, and just looking in the mirror and crying for I don’t know how long. I was just crying,’ they shared. ‘And I know I was feeling stuff that I wasn’t necessarily letting myself process, or I wasn’t old enough to process, or something, I don’t know.’

Stodden alleged that Hutchison emotionally and physically abused them throughout their relationship, saying they have 'physical scarring' from their sexual encounters

Stodden alleged that Hutchison emotionally and physically abused them throughout their relationship, saying they have ‘physical scarring’ from their sexual encounters 

'People were talking about how I was dressing or behaving,' Stodden said. 'Little did they know then that is a part of grooming. I was trying to be that part'

‘People were talking about how I was dressing or behaving,’ Stodden said. ‘Little did they know then that is a part of grooming. I was trying to be that part’

Stodden said she was ‘petrified’ to get undressed in front of Hutchison because they thought he would be put off by her teenage body.  

‘I take my bra off. I was wearing [one of] those Bombshell Victoria’s Secret bras. Do you remember that? It’s like two big cup sizes. And then inside of that, I had a cutlet. So they were like [big]. 

‘And I was so freaked out to undress because I’m like, he’s just not going to love me like this. Like I look like a kid. I looked like a 12-year-old with my clothes off,’ they said. ‘Little did I know it was a fantastic night for him. But I was a complete nervous wreck.’

Stodden recounted waking up the next morning and hoping to find blood on the sheets as a confirmation that she was a virgin.  

‘I’d grown up in such a religious household, and I remember looking down at the sheets, the white sheets, and I was just, I was praying to God. For some reason, I kind of felt like I was the one who wasn’t good enough all of the time,’ they said. 

‘I was like, please. I pray to God that there was some cherry on there because if there’s no freaking cherry, like I’m not going to be good enough for this man. Literally how sick is that? I mean, I’m not putting down anybody’s beliefs, but like for me I just look back at it and I think it’s so sick.  

‘And I saw [blood], and I felt like, OK, so this is ordained by God. This is an ordained situation.’ 

Stodden said Hutchison was ‘on top of the moon’ that morning, describing how they woke up to him wearing a little hat and playing the piano.  

‘I mean, he just got to molest a child, legally,’ they noted. 

Stodden (pictured with their mother) said Hutchison forced them to do reality television in order to make money for him

Stodden (pictured with their mother) said Hutchison forced them to do reality television in order to make money for him 

They said they were 'so underweight' and sick when they filmed the 'The Mother/Daughter Experiment: Celebrity Edition' with their mother in 2016

They said they were ‘so underweight’ and sick when they filmed the ‘The Mother/Daughter Experiment: Celebrity Edition’ with their mother in 2016 

When Stodden and Hutchison spoke about their marriage in the media and during interviews, it was presented as they had a lot in common.

They explained that they would follow his lead and talk about how much they loved the same music and old TV shows like ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘The Honeymooners.’ In reality, they said they were ‘drinking all the time’ during dinners.

Stodden said that Hutchison’s drinking became an issue about two months into their relationship, describing him as being like ‘Jekyll and Hyde.’ 

‘He was extremely emotionally abusive to me. At times physical, but mostly emotionally abusive,’ they alleged. ‘Because I think that’s the ultimate power a groomer has over a child, is that emotional abuse and control. 

Stodden said he had a gun in the house but explained they didn’t want to ‘legally talk about that’ when asked if he would ever take the weapon out when he was drunk. 

They also claimed they had to have sex with Hutchison on his schedule and alluded to it being violent, saying: ‘I still have scars on me — physical scarring.’ 

In addition to the alleged abuse they were suffering in their marriage, they were also being targeted in the media and online. 

‘I was way too young to be crying on the kitchen floor every freaking night with a bottle of wine and opening another one,’ they said. ‘I felt like I didn’t have at that point in time, 17 years old, like I had anybody in my corner because I was being told to commit suicide at 16 [by online trolls]. 

When asked if their mother ever had a sexual relationship with Hutchison, they admitted that they weren't entirely sure. 'I would never know. Usually, I would say, "Absolutely not, that’s crazy," but my life has been [crazy],' they said

When asked if their mother ever had a sexual relationship with Hutchison, they admitted that they weren’t entirely sure. ‘I would never know. Usually, I would say, “Absolutely not, that’s crazy,” but my life has been [crazy],’ they said

Stodden had separated from Hutchison a couple of times during their marriage, but they were groomed to feel like they 'couldn't live without him'

Stodden had separated from Hutchison a couple of times during their marriage, but they were groomed to feel like they ‘couldn’t live without him’

‘Every minute, I would turn around, there’d be another hit piece, you know, in the grocery store or somewhere else,’ they recalled. ‘People were talking about how I was dressing or behaving. Little did they know then that is a part of grooming. I was trying to be that part, right? That part really did a doozy on my self-worth, really.’ 

Cooper noted that Stodden was also being bullied by celebrities, saying Courtney Love called them a whore, Anderson Cooper shamed them on national television, and Chrissy Teigen publicly wished them dead.  

Stodden insisted they had never met nor had they ever spoken to Teigen in their life, saying: ‘And I actually really liked her. Like I followed her. I mean, obviously, I love John Legend.’

‘I was following them and then I started seeing this on my timeline and I was like, “But I love you!” I just had this feeling, “But I really like you!”‘ they recalled. ‘But other than that, at that point in time, I was so young, I don’t think I processed how deeply that led to my future depression.’

Stodden explained that Teigen privately messaged them for ‘a really long time,’ sometimes as late as 2 a.m.   

‘I specifically remember this one because I was just like so shocked. It was really early in the morning at some point. I mean, this was a freaking decade ago,’ they noted. ‘I know people can change a lot in that time frame, but I didn’t hear from her when she apologized. I was blocked from everything!

‘She messaged me, “I cannot wait for you to die.” And that was just one of them that I remember. And then publicly she was saying, you know, “I can’t wait for you to take a dirt nap.” She was just obsessed with seeing me die.’

Teigen publicly apologized for her bullying tweets aimed at Stodden, Lindsay Lohan, and others in a lengthy Medium post last year, insisting that she is no longer that person.   

During the interview, they also touched upon how celebrities like Chrissy Teigen publicly bullied them and contributed to their depression and low self-worth

During the interview, they also touched upon how celebrities like Chrissy Teigen publicly bullied them and contributed to their depression and low self-worth 

Courtney Stodden, 27, slams ex-husband Doug Hutchison, 61, as a 'predator' and 'pedophile'

 

Teigen publicly wished Stodden dead on Twitter and would also bully them with private messages. The cookbook author later apologized for her behavior last year

Teigen publicly wished Stodden dead on Twitter and would also bully them with private messages. The cookbook author later apologized for her behavior last year   

‘She had to have been in a really dark a** place to tell these children and women these things, to, I don’t know, make herself feel better about herself?’ Stodden said of Teigen. 

‘I know now she says she’s doing the best she can, and I really hope that she means it. If that stuff continues, we’re just going to see more suicides, unfortunately, it’s not going to help.’

They added that they ‘really don’t have anything to say to her’ before referencing Lohan’s 2004 film ‘Mean Girls.’  

‘I don’t need to speak to Regina George. I don’t need that. I’m Lindsay,’ they said.

Stodden had separated from Hutchison a couple of times during their marriage, but they said they always felt like they ‘couldn’t live without him.’ In 2018, they revealed they had been sexually assaulted twice while separated from their husband. 

‘I was raped a few times when I left him, and I’d go back to him and he’s just kind of like, “Well, what do you expect? You left me. I’m the one who loves you. I’m the one who takes care of you.” And so that’s why it took so long,’ they told Cooper.   

‘The media’s always wondering why did it take so long. That’s what was happening, this abuse, this emotional abuse,’ they explained. ‘I think, too, like so many victims and survivors blame ourselves.

‘We blame ourselves because we think it’s our fault, but the full picture is the abuser is the one who is controlling that. It’s not your fault at all — and I wish I could have told myself these things in those moments.’ 

Stodden claimed it was Hutchison who pushed them to do reality shows to make money, calling them the ‘golden goose.’  

Stodden left Hutchison and filed for divorce in 2018. Their divorce was finalized in 2020

Stodden left Hutchison and filed for divorce in 2018. Their divorce was finalized in 2020 

Stodden alleged that while they were divorcing, they found out that he was 'pursuing a 15-year-old girl in the UK'; the legal age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16

Stodden alleged that while they were divorcing, they found out that he was ‘pursuing a 15-year-old girl in the UK’; the legal age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16

‘My pedophile husband is the one who decided to sign me up for things because he needed the money. Another misconception is people thought I was a gold digger, [that] I married him for money,’ they said. 

‘I’m the one who was taking care of him. That’s why I entered reality TV because I felt like I had to. He controlled the bank accounts. I didn’t even know how to write a check.’

Stodden described their relationship as feeling ‘almost like a conservatorship in a way’ because they were the one who was ‘making the money.’ 

They recalled holding onto Hutchison’s legs and crying in their hotel room in London before producers picked them up to film the 12th season of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ in 2013.   

‘This was the first time that I was ever truly away from him. I couldn’t breathe being away from this man,’ they said. ‘That’s how groomed I was. I didn’t know how the hell I was going to be away from him for a few weeks or a month or whatever. I was so distraught and I was so depressed.’

While on the show, Stodden stuck up a friendship with Dustin Diamond, and he made them realize that there was something off about their relationship with Hutchison.   

‘By the time I ended the show, I knew I didn’t want to be with him anymore, that there was something that wasn’t right,’ they said. ‘By the time we got back to the US, I told him I wanted a separation, and that’s when I finally felt free enough to get away from him, strong enough to get away from him. 

‘I was assaulted [during our separation], and then I went back.’

Stodden later went on to appear on ‘The Mother/Daughter Experiment: Celebrity Edition’ in 2016, saying they hadn’t spoken to their mother for two years at that point because Hutchison was isolating them from their family. 

Stodden, who got engaged to their boyfriend Chris Sheng last year, admitted they have 'severe trust issues' that are prevalent in their current relationship because of their experience

Stodden, who got engaged to their boyfriend Chris Sheng last year, admitted they have ‘severe trust issues’ that are prevalent in their current relationship because of their experience

Stodden also claimed they had to block Hutchison, saying he has been reaching out because he knows they are happy and trying to move on

Stodden also claimed they had to block Hutchison, saying he has been reaching out because he knows they are happy and trying to move on 

‘I know on Mother/Daughter I was so underweight,’ they said. ‘I felt so anorexic before that. I went on the show, [and] I was throwing up right when I got there. I was throwing up nothing. I hadn’t had anything to eat in a few days. I wasn’t eating on set.

‘I got to a point where I was so freaking sick and I was sent to the hospital on the show because of it — because I was going to faint. Like I was just so sick. But really, Doug cared about me finishing it out and getting the money and then returning it to him.’ 

On the show, it was revealed that their mother was having an emotional affair with Hutchison and that he was having sexual fantasies involving all three of them.   

Stodden said they are ‘still working on that in therapy,’ but they noted they had ‘never personally heard’ Hutchison talking about their mother in a sexual way.  

‘My mom has had her own experiences in life. I really [saw] her fall in love with my husband through me,’ they said. ‘So it was like this, I don’t know. She even told me, “You and I are like Siamese twins. Whatever you feel, I feel.” I was a kid and she was going along with her kid with this situation. I’m still healing from this.’

When asked if their mother ever had a sexual relationship with Hutchison, they admitted that they weren’t entirely sure.  

‘You know what, I would never know. Usually, I would say, “Absolutely not, that’s crazy,” but my life has been [crazy]. When I go to sleep, my dreams are so normal. Then when I wake up my life is so freaking insane. I like to sleep most of the day.’

Stodden said they are ‘haunted by a lot of s**t,’ explaining that finding out if their mother had a sexual relationship with Hutchison is not a top priority right now because of everything else they are dealing with in therapy. 

They alleged that after they left Hutchison and filed for divorce in 2018, they found out that he was ‘pursuing a 15-year-old girl in the UK.’ The legal age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16.

‘I have all of the proof. I have all of the emails. I got connected with an ex-assault victim and he was doing the same thing to another 15-year-old girl while I was going through this process,’ they said, breaking down in tears.   

When asked if they think Hutchison should be in jail, they said they believe 'he should be looked into way more than he has been'

When asked if they think Hutchison should be in jail, they said they believe ‘he should be looked into way more than he has been’

'I was not a child bride. I was a child who was exploited,' Stodden said at the end of the interview. 'I think that is something people should think about'

‘I was not a child bride. I was a child who was exploited,’ Stodden said at the end of the interview. ‘I think that is something people should think about’

‘I found out through a stepmother who reached out to me on Instagram, and I just can’t tell you how much that broke me, even after all of the control,’ they explained. ‘I felt like I didn’t have any control over my own body, my own finances. I couldn’t sign any legal documents in that marriage. I couldn’t sign off on my own marriage, I was just so controlled.

‘But then I think that there’s this trauma bond that happens when you’re that age, right? I don’t want to say I had Stockholm Syndrome, but there’s this grooming. It’s the mental effects of grooming, where I didn’t want to believe. 

‘A few people would reach out [to warn me], and I just didn’t want to believe it. It’s not how he made me feel. He made me feel really, really special, and unique,’ they said. ‘I just really believed him, and then just finding out everything it’s just…horrible.

‘And then reading that he’s ready to marry another minor. I just helped with the attorneys there [so they could] get this little girl away from him. It just became my mission because I know exactly what he was doing.’

Stodden alleged he had sent the girl the same letters and emails he had sent to them when they were a teen, saying: ‘It just clicked that I was with a predator.’

Their divorce was finalized in 2020, nearly a decade after they got married. 

Stodden, who got engaged to their boyfriend Chris Sheng last year, admitted they have ‘severe trust issues’ that are prevalent in their current relationship because of their experience with Hutchison. 

They also claimed they had to block their ex-husband because he has been reaching out to her, saying he asked for his guitar back a few months ago. 

‘It’s just so obvious that he’s still trying to victim claim [and] control, even after knowing that he was just doing this to a 15-year-old girl less than a month and a half ago,’ they said. 

Stodden vowed that they are ‘never going to speak to him again,’ saying they ‘will never let him in.’ 

When asked if they think Hutchison should be in jail, they said they believe ‘he should be looked into way more than he has been.’  

‘I was not a child bride. I was a child who was exploited,’ Stodden said at the end of the interview. ‘I think that is something people should think about.’

DailyMail.com has reached out to Hutchison for comment. 

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