Star, 59, reveals teen bride’s huge lie
DOUG Hutchison says he's finally ready to come clean.
The Green Mile actor famously made headlines in 2011 when, at age 50, he married Courtney Stodden when she was just 16 years old. The relationship eventually derailed his acting career.
The couple separated and reconciled multiple times throughout their relationship before they finalised their divorce in January 2020. Once a judge signs off, they will both be officially single in March, People magazine reported.
Hutchison, now 59, is gearing up to release a tell-all titled Flushing Hollywood: Fake News, Fake Boobs on March 10. Hutchison said his memoir will shed the truth about his rise and fall in Hollywood, the many stars he encountered along the way, as well as his marriage to Stodden, now 25.
A rep for Stodden told Fox News she is "aware of the book and knows what's in it." However, Stodden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Hutchison spoke to Fox News about why he's releasing his book now, the most difficult chapter to write and how he still has love for his former teen bride.
Fox News: What compelled you to write this book and why now?
Doug Hutchison: This has been a long time coming. I feel like it's time to tell my story. My memoir was written so that I can finally tell the truth and, I guess, set myself free. I had been laying dormant for years and with 2020, it's just time. Perfect vision 2020 by the way, it's just the proverbial Phoenix rising from the ashes.
I hope that with my book, I can finally shed insight on my journey and hopefully, clear up some long-existing misconceptions. I also want to entertain the reader as they go along this ride that has been my life. There are shocking aspects to it. (My book) is definitely going to ruffle some feathers indeed. But there's that wonderful quote by Jessica Raine, the English actress. She said, "If feathers don't ruffle, nothing flies." If feathers are ruffled, then so be it.
Fox News: Why aren't you worried about burning any bridges?
Hutchison: The concern of burning bridges is over when you tell the truth. And when it comes to my marriage with Courtney, I take full responsibility. She was 16 and I was 50, so I knew our union was going to turn heads, but I didn't realise the impact it would truly have. I didn't realise that in marrying Courtney, my manager would drop me, my agent would drop me. I was black-listed. I was blackballed from casting directors.
I shot my career in the head for love. And in doing so, I lost my family and friends. I was suddenly on the Titanic and everyone was fleeing except for me and Courtney. Now, I have nothing to lose but, to tell the truth. I do hope my book isn't interpreted as mean-spirited, angry or bitter. Because I'm not. For a long time, I acted out of fear and lies for that same reason - I was afraid to burn bridges. Now, what am I afraid of? There is absolutely nothing to lose by telling the truth.
Fox News: Do you regret marrying Courtney?
Hutchison: Absolutely not. I don't believe in living a life of regret. I think that every choice we make, we make them for a reason … I have absolutely no regrets in my life. Do I wish I would have handled certain aspects of my life differently or said … some things differently? Yes - like everybody else. But my marriage to Courtney is not one of them. I regret none of it. It was a beautiful and powerful journey. A bittersweet journey with Courtney.
Fox News: Looking back, how did you cope with the backlash?
Hutchison: At first, Courtney and I kind of rode on it. Once it was public, our marriage, and we started getting that backlash, instead of running away from it, we decided to embrace it. We got a lot of hate mail. I got death threats. We were both called vicious names and seen as villains in the press. Instead of running away from it, we decided to embrace it. We thought, "We're in love - deal with it. If you don't like, that's your prerogative, but we're in love."
Fox News: Aside from the age difference, why do you believe you and Courtney received so much backlash?
Hutchison: I'm not sure why. None of us truthfully expected the tidal wave. We are certainly not the first May-December romance, especially in Hollywood. The world is not black and white. There is always grey in between. Especially when it comes to love. Courtney and I got married legally in a church to consummate our union … But after the backlash, we had two choices - hide under a rock or not. Despite our unconventional union, we were in love. And we didn't feel the need to hide that from anyone. And the same people who called her a slut, a whore and a gold digger forgot they were throwing insult after insult to a 16-year-old. And there were articles claiming this wasn't real, that we were staging this. She couldn't possibly be 16. And these people were looking at the same pictures I initially saw.
Fox News: In your book, you admitted that initially, you had no idea of Courtney's age because, in her photos, she didn't look 16. But after you found out, why didn't you cut her off altogether?
Hutchison: It's a complicated answer because, by the time I became aware of Courtney's true age, we'd already had fallen for each other … I remember she had a website up. When we first connected she was in Washington state and I was in Hollywood. I was floored by how beautiful she appeared to me, but I thought she was in her late 20s as many, many other people did. Not just based on her looks, but just based on her and her personality. I hate to use the cliche, but she was beyond her years.
I was floored when I found out. Because initially, we were exchanging emails back and forth. Then she gave me her phone number, I ended up calling and I got her mother Krista. I started talking to Krista about the possibility of Courtney coming down to Hollywood to take some of my acting classes because Courtney had expressed an interest in acting.
That's when Krista informed me she was only 16. The follow-up phone call to Krista after that was, "I know this is crazy but your 16-year-old daughter and I are falling for each other and I need you and your husband to be aware of this. If it makes you uncomfortable, I will step away." Krista said, "Doug, I've been monitoring every email between you and Courtney. You've been nothing but stand-up honest and respectful to our daughter. We have absolutely no problem with this at all." There it was - the green light. But at the time, we were truly falling for each other.
Fox News: According to your book, you initially had no intention of marrying again.
Hutchison: I couldn't even conceive that it was possible until Courtney and Krista revealed to me that there were certain states in our country that would allow someone in our situation to get married with parental consent, like Nevada. But initially, I didn't want to get married again. I already had failed at two (previous marriages). That was never my intention when Courtney and I were introduced and then her real age was revealed to me.
Fox News: You also claimed that one of the most difficult chapters for you to write was about Courtney's pregnancy and miscarriage. You alleged it was a lie. Then why did you go along with it?
Hutchison: I'm not proud to admit this, but again, this book is about the truth … I don't justify it in my book. I'm actually ashamed that we did it. I think that in some ways it was immoral. It was very unfair to those people out there who sincerely suffered from miscarriages. But at that point in time, we were completely broke.
I couldn't get a job to save my life in Hollywood anymore. I was black-listed. We did get a couple of reality shows that kept us afloat for a bit. We had burned through all of my savings. I went bankrupt. We were trying to build her credit. We were that desperate. Honestly, I didn't even know if we could have paid the rent the next month. It got that severe. So Courtney came up with a strategy. I don't blame her for this. I don't blame her for anything. It might sound odd, but I still love Courtney very, very much. I'm not in love with her anymore, but I do wish her the best.
I'm not trying to blame her, but it was her idea … She wanted to convince the public that she was pregnant so we can get paid for interviews and possibly a reality show. It was all about survival. It was all about a way to make rent, to pay the bills. It was desperation. I was an accomplice. I felt at the time there was no other choice in order to survive … We didn't think about the consequences, the future. But if you're not pregnant, then what? Then came the faux miscarriage. And that part to me hurt the most. Here we were going to the press, going to our families, our friends and announcing we lost our baby. We gained a lot of empathy. And the sad part is a lot of women came forward on social media saying how sorry they were because they went through the same thing. The press bought it, the public bought it, the family bought it - everybody bought it.
Fox News: That must have been difficult reading those messages.
Hutchison: It was devastating to me. I didn't want to look at it. I just stuffed it all down. I don't want to speak for Courtney, but I almost feel she became a poster celebrity and was able to give those people comfort. I know that sounds twisted, but that was the mindset. I supported it to justify this horror - the horror of what we were going through and the horror of what we were putting people through. It's really infuriating to me now … Every time I stumble upon one of those articles (about that time), my heart drops. So enough. It's time to reveal the truth, as difficult as it is. I'm not proud to admit this chapter at all. But all I can say is desperation is the mother of invention. And the invention was unfortunate … We maintained an illusion that we were living large. But it was far from the truth.
Fox News: How did faith play a role in helping you get your life back together?
Hutchison: One of the (reasons) I fell in love with Courtney is that one of the things we did have in common was that we are Christians. We talked about that a lot in our initial email exchanges. I was raised Catholic. I fell out of my faith for a very long time. And then when we married … we went to church together … We became very close with the pastor and his wife. Those were some of the most wonderful memories I have of being married to Courtney - our Sundays. That was our ritual. (Eventually,) we fell out … When I left Hollywood in September 2017 and came back to Detroit where I grew up, I came back to my faith. I needed to get out of Hollywood because it was kicking my a**. I was there for almost 30 years. I can't believe I endured it for that long.
Hollywood is one of the most challenging places to hold onto your character, your faith. But I left because I felt I had nothing left. My marriage was over. My career was over. I was broke. There was nothing keeping me in Hollywood. When I arrived in Detroit … I reunited with my father who I had been estranged with for years. I discovered what an amazing man he is and he got to know me, too. And through my father, because he is a man of faith, I started going to his church. And I got back into my faith. I started to work out again. I faced my alcohol abuse head-on. It wasn't easy and it didn't come quickly, but I faced it. I lost my faith in Hollywood, so it was very refreshing to embrace it again in the past three and a half years now. And it did wake me up. I have a relationship with God now. I don't think it ever ended, I just ignored it for a while. I'm with family again. I'm teaching and writing. There's a lot of light in my life now.
This article originally appeared in Fox News and was reproduced with permission.