Courtney Stodden is officially back on the market -- though she never really had the chance to be on it. Stodden made headlines in May 2011 when she was just 16 years old and wed actor Doug Hutchison, who was 51 at the time. Now, the controversial couple confirms reports that they have decided to end their marriage.
"After two and a half years of marriage, Courtney and Doug have decided to become legally separated," Stodden, 19, and Hutchison, 53, said in a statement to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, Nov. 5. "Courtney was married at a young age. Now, at nineteen, she's interested in exploring life as an unmarried single young adult -- with the freedom to explore her independence."
Stodden's desire to live her life and date other people apparently hasn't caused any bad blood between her and the Green Mile actor. "Doug supports Courtney 100 per cent," the statement continued. "The two will share custody of their precious pup, Dourtney, remain living in the same house [for now] in separate bedrooms, and Doug will be co-managing Courtney's career."
The estranged spouses added: "We love each other very much, want for each other's happiness, and will continue being the best of friends for life."
A source previously told Us Weekly that Stodden's recent appearance on Celebrity Big Brother in the U.K. gave her a taste of what it would be like to be single. "After Courtney experienced being in Celebrity Big Brother in the U.K. she realized that there is this whole world out there to explore," the source explained. "She was so reliant on Doug up until doing the show, but after going so far away, she realized she could survive by herself."
Stodden met Hutchison after signing up for his acting workshop online. Her parents gave parental consent for Stodden to marry the much-older actor. "I was a virgin," Stodden shared in an interview with ABC's Good Morning America in 2011. "I knew that if I kept that, I would be blessed with a beautiful gift. And God did! He blessed me with my soulmate."
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Courtney Stodden, 19, Doug Hutchison, 53, Confirm Legal Separation: She "Married at a Young Age"