“I was in shock, because I felt like he was exposing me. I just couldn’t even wrap my head around it,” Stefani admitted of the moment Shelton broke the news, backstage. She said, “I didn’t want anyone to know what was going on with me… I had this huge weight on me and nobody but my parents and obviously everybody involved knew.”
Slowly, Stefani, 46, began to open up to Shelton about her own marriage’s dissolution. “It was during that time, he came up to my chair… I never saw him look so upset. So then I was like, ‘I gotta talk to you.’ ”
Shelton, 40, confided in Stefani as she clued him in to what happened with Gavin Rossdale – leading to a friendship.
“Which was just unbelievable that God would put us in a position to have each other at that moment, in the same exact moment,” she said Wednesday, noting that she “wasn’t trying to start a relationship” – it just happened.
Similarly, Shelton previously told Rolling Stone, “it took awhile, because it’s chaos. But just over time, seeing each other a lot at work, it just kind of developed into that.”
During the Stern sit-down, Stefani also talked about her early romance with No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal, and how she first met Rossdale at KROQ’s annual Almost Acoustic Christmas concert soon after her and Kanal’s 1994 breakup.
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“When I met him and looked up at him, I was like, ‘Whoa.’ It was different,” she said. She added, joking, “Somehow he got my phone number, and that was that. He stalked me, I think. I was only 26, and I only had the one relationship. I still lived at home when I met Gavin.”
Their long relationship produced three children – Kingston, 10, Zuma, 7, and Apollo, 2 – and, ultimately heartache.
Breaking into tears, Stefani said, “I think, for me, I feel like I always wondered: why did I get so unlucky in love? I have so much love in me.”
Things, however, seem to have turned around. Most of all, Stefani said of Shelton, “It was an incredible gift to be able to have a friend.”