Among disputes over multimillion-dollar listings and favoritism at The Oppenheim Group, the most dramatic storyline to emerge from Selling Sunset season 3 is the surprise divorce between agent Chrishell Stause and husband Justin Hartley of This Is Us fame. About halfway through the season, news that Hartley has filed for divorce from Stause after two years of marriage ripples through the office.
Although he never appeared on previous seasons of Selling Sunset, Hartley's decision to split from Stause shocked the fellow agents, including Mary Fitzgerald, Christine Quinn, Davina Potraz, Heather Rae Young, and Maya Vander. It also apparently "blindsided" Stause, partly due to the fact that Hartley reportedly texted her that the marriage was over. And it definitely confused this viewer, as Stause was auctioning off "coffee with Justin Hartley," at a charity fundraiser mere hours before news broke.
If you find yourself similarly preoccupied with the behind-the-scenes drama between Stause and Hartley, relive every twist and turn below.
Stause and Hartley met on the soap opera circuit. She was a regular on Days of Our Lives and he was starring on The Young and the Restless. They married in October after four years together. “They don’t make them any better than Justin, and I could not be more thrilled to officially be Mrs. Hartley!” Stause told People, granting the outlet exclusive photos of the big day.
5 years ago today I became the happiest girl in the House of Blues! Exactly one year ago from today was easily the best day of my life! I love you an impossible amount. Thank you for being you @justinhartley. 📽: @raynefilms ❤️
A post shared by Chrishell (@chrishell.stause) on Oct 28, 2018 at 11:35am PDT
It was the second marriage for Hartley, who was married to his Passions co-star Lindsay Korman for eight years and with whom he shares 16-year-old daughter Isabella. Stause was previously engaged to Matthew Morrison (Glee) from 2006 to 2007. On a previous episode of Selling Sunset, Hartley voiced her regrets over that relationship. "I didn't know who I was at 25, and I didn't know what I wanted because actually, if I ended up with the person I was with when I was 25, I would want to kill myself," Stause said, laughing. She added, "And yeah you can Google that. You were a dick! Sorry…" (Google we did, and Stause was dating Morrison at age 25.)
Shortly after their second wedding anniversary, Hartley filed for divorce from Stause, citing irreconcilable differences, Entertainment Tonight confirmed. Strangely enough, he listed their date of separation as July 8. But the couple had several public outings together after that date, with Stause posting a photo of the pair at The Hollywood Reporter Golden Globes party the week before his filing. Two weeks after that July date of separation, Hartley also shared a sweet birthday post for Stause, writing, "Let’s all wish this young gem of a human a very happy birthday! To many more years of love and laughs!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY @chrishellhartley !!!!!!! !!!!!!!"
(She has yet to delete any photos of Hartley from her Instagram, although he's wiped signs of their relationship from his feed.)
Amazing time with this group last night at the @hollywoodreporter @moetchandon Golden Globe party! It’s a crime that instagram made me crop in because @laurenelizabethash legs need to be in these pics-she was on fire last night! 🔥 @sullivangrams will spice up any photo booth! 🙌🏽 And swipe to see me & @justinhartley awkward prom photo! HA 😆🤣😆🤣💗 #GoldenGlobes #HFPA #hollywoodreporter #ThisIsUs #Superstore #DAYS #SellingSunset #moetchandon Dress is @jonathansimkhai 🙌🏽
A post shared by Chrishell (@chrishell.stause) on Nov 15, 2019 at 9:24am PST
A source told ET, "People close to Justin and Chrishell are completely shocked by Justin filing for divorce. The couple has always been incredible, with no signs of things being on the rocks. Friends are speculating this was an impulse on Justin's side due to something that happened, and are hopeful the couple can work things out."
As fans on Selling Sunset see it play out, Stause hosts a charity fundraiser the night before news about the divorce breaks. At the event, she auctions off a signed This Is Us script and "coffee with Justin Hartley," with Stause proudly telling an attendee, "this is my husband, by the way." Stause told co-star Fitzgerald that she learned of Hartley's filing via text. "I found out because he texted me that we were filed. Forty-five minutes later, the world knew," she said, referencing the TMZ reporting that broke news of the split. "If that's really what you wanted, there are better ways to go about it," she told Fitzgerald. Stause tearfully added, "It's hard, it takes a toll on your self-worth where you just feel the anger, 'How could you do it this way?' And then the sadness, like, 'I love him so much. This was my best friend. Who do I talk to now?' It's just such a roller coaster."
Later in the season, Stause admitted the couple had experienced turbulence, but she was committed to working through it. "Sometimes it can be hard, I mean I don't think it should more hard than easy at all, but that's why I'm so confused…I didn't feel like that balance was off," she said. "When I think of marriage, I think of, you know, you work on things with people if they're not perfect—no one is, you work on it. You talk about it. You don't throw it out…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."
As for Hartley's sudden filing, Stause said, "I know people are saying we were only married two years, but it’s like, we were together for six years. In a fight, that’s his go-to, you know? Like, 'I’m out, I’m out.' I hate that kind of impulsive stuff, but I always just thought, you know, that’s just an issue that we work through it."
Stause's first social media post following his filing was a cryptic quote. “It’s hard to watch people change right in front of you. But it’s even harder remembering who they used to be,” the post read, suggesting Hartley's newfound fame was partly to blame.
A post shared by Chrishell (@chrishell.stause) on Dec 2, 2019 at 9:15am PST
A month after the news broke, Stause's co-star Heather Rae Young and her now-fiancé Tarek El Moussa spoke to Us Weekly about the surprise divorce. “It‘s really hard to hear that, especially someone who is a good friend of mine,” Young told the outlet. “And, you know, Justin and her were a great couple…It’s sad.” Young went on to say that while she and Stause hadn't spoken much since, she would be supportive of her friend. “I’m mainly just giving her space. Tarek and I sent her flowers wishing her well, and I told her I’m here for her," Young said. "If she just needs me to come over and spend girl time together, I’ll bring some wine, I’ll bring some cheese."
Young's comments to the press, combined with Davina Potraz's unwillingness to take Stause's side in the divorce, leads Stause to leave Christine Quinn's wedding early in the Selling Sunset season 3 finale.
Six months after filing for divorce from Stause, TMZ published photos of Hartley kissing former Young and the Restless star Sofia Pernas. Pernas is familiar with both Hartley and Stause, as she co-starred alongside the couple on Young and the Restless in 2016. A source confirmed to Us Weekly that Hartley had indeed moved on. A February post from him suggests he and Pernas adopted a new dog together prior to news of their relationship breaking.
A post shared by Justin Hartley (@justinhartley) on Feb 15, 2020 at 11:00am PST
July 13, 2020
In the month prior to Selling Sunset season 3 premiering, Stause's co-star Quinn spoke to Page Six about Hartley and Stause's divorce. "We all just thought maybe they were having communication problems for a while," Quinn told the outlet. "We heard that they were in therapy, so obviously there were some issues going on with them." She also spoke about why Selling Sunset viewers never saw Hartley on the hit Netflix show. "I think…the understanding that they had is that he [Justin] wanted to be totally private in regards to Selling Sunset, which she [Chrishell] respected," Quinn recalled. "So, we’re never going to see him on the show, and we’re never going to see her talk about him, and I really don’t think there’s ever any resolve unfortunately."
Stause, who has feuded with Quinn before, refuted her co-star's account of the divorce on Twitter. She tweeted, "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 added, "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. She has absolutely zero knowledge of the marriage we had."
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. She has absolutely zero knowledge of the marriage we had.
— Chrishell (@Chrishell7) July 13, 2020
August 3, 2020
Days before Selling Sunset season 4 premiered, the Daily Mail misidentified a photo of Hartley's first ex-wife, Lindsay Korman-Hartley, as Stause. The outlet reported that she was to replace Kelly Monaco on General Hospital, prompting Stause to tweet, "Wrong ex wife," per Us Weekly.
August 7, 2020
Season 3 of Selling Sunset, which details Hartley and Stause's divorce, dropped on Netflix. Prior to its release, Stause told Us Weekly that she's nervous about re-living the past publicly. "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," she told the outlet. "We’re real people. This was a traumatizing time in my life and it’s going to be hard for me to watch it myself."
Don’t they say if you are about to be in front of a bunch of people and are dealing with extreme anxiety... to picture everyone naked? Ok well that’s what I am doing. Just so you know 😓 #SellingSunset drops tonight at midnight PST/3EST Everywhere Friday #Netflix #Jesustakethewheel #heartbeatinmyneck #pleasebegentle #momwishyouwerehere #newbegginings 📸: @simplybeautiful.photography
A post shared by Chrishell (@chrishell.stause) on Aug 6, 2020 at 2:12pm PDT
Stause told Entertainment Tonight, “I obviously really, truly love him, and it’s unfortunate the way that everything happened and the timing of everything. I still had a month to plot shooting the show when this all went down. Hopefully, we can get to a place where, one day, we will look back at this and laugh. I don’t know, hopefully. It’s very unfortunate and relationships are hard.”
As for how Hartley felt about his relationship being in season 3? "Justin has not watched the episodes but has been alerted to what is said," a source told Us Weekly. "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."
The same day season 3 hit Netflix, Stause reportedly liked a few tweets suggesting Hartley had cheated on her. One such tweet, from a since-deleted account, read: "@justinhartley filmed a movie in Canada at the same time his new gf @SofiaPernas was filming the summer before they split. The timing seems like he probably cheated on @Chrishell7 and took a coward’s way out to avoid spousal support and gaslight her," via Us Weekly.
August 9, 2020
Two days later, Pernas and Hartley appeared to make their relationship Instagram official. She posted a photo on her Instagram Stories of a man, assumed to be Hartley, holding a cigar and drink with the caption, “Easy like Sunday mornin.’” Hartley shared a photo of himself the same day poolside with his dog captioned, “Paisley like Sunday mornin.’”
August 12, 2020
A source told E! News that rumors Hartley cheated on Stause were "100 percent false." The insider added, "Chrishell knew they were having problems in their marriage. They were fighting for months before Justin filed, but she didn't think he would actually end their marriage. They always brushed their problems under the rug." The source said Stause "speculates a lot about what truly happened between them."
That same day, Hartley's first ex-wife Lindsay appeared to defend her husband on Instagram. She wrote, in part, "Today, I appreciate my ex-husband Justin for not only being [an] exemplification of a solid man but for being my dear friend and devoted father to our daughter," she wrote in part. "Simply put; for being family. We derive our own opinion of people by experiencing life and time together, and we do our best to hold dear the ones that maintain consistent kindness, love and generosity."
A post shared by Lindsay Korman-Hartley (@lindsaynhartley) on Aug 11, 2020 at 3:52pm PDT
Stause seemingly addressed the post on her Instagram Stories, writing an inspirational quote. "Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown without telling the world it was crooked,” the quote read. She added, “Women who build each other up are my tribe."
Sources told Us Weekly that Hartley's circle is glad Stause is no longer involved. “Justin’s friends are glad that Chrishell is no longer in his life and that he can move on,” a source told the outlet. “He is doing well right now, and while it’s been disappointing that he is being dragged into storylines on reality TV, he knew that he should expect this.” The insider added, “Justin is a great, stand-up guy, and he wants to move on with his life in a classy way.”
August 13, 2020
The following day, another source told Us Weekly that Stause was regularly "very jealous of lots of women Justin interacted with, even if it was people he solely had strict working relationships with."
These days, Stause is still single, but said on the RealiTea With Derek Z podcast that her dream man is none other than Brad Pitt. "And we know he’s single, so there you go. It’s so cliché, but it’s a cliché for a reason," she told the host. Entertainment Tonight also reported that Stause's maiden name had been legally restored.
On August 17, she shared photos of herself and co-stars Young, Fitzgerald, and Amanza Smith with the caption, "Carpe Diem!! Celebrating good news we can’t tell you about 🤐😳🙌🏽🥰💗🥳🥳." Many have wondered if she's teased season 4 of Selling Sunset and a whole new chapter of drama.
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