The couple split suddenly last fall — and Selling Sunset cameras were there to capture the aftermath for the Netflix reality series

By Jeff Nelson
August 08, 2020 10:00 AM
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Chrishell Stause; Justin Hartley
| Credit: Matt Baron/Shutterstock; Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers of season three of Selling Sunset.

Last November, Justin Hartley shocked fans — and wife Chrishell Stause — when he filed for divorce.

Nine months later, Stause is sharing her side of the story on the Netflix series Selling Sunset, whose camera crews were on hand to document the aftermath of the shocking split. Season three of the celebrity real estate reality show dropped on Friday.

Midway through the eight-episode season, the divorce bombshell drops seemingly out of nowhere, and Stause, 39, is left to deal with her heartbreak over This Is Us star Hartley, 43, with the help of her sister Shonda, and coworkers Mary Fitzgerald and Amanza Smith.

Since Hartley filed for divorce last year, Stause has largely remained mum on the matter — until now. Below, everything she said about their breakup on Selling Sunset.

Chrishell Stause on Selling Sunset season 3.
| Credit: Netflix

Stause was "blindsided" — and found out he filed for divorce over text.

After Stause's divorce is introduced on the show via office gossip in a dramatic cliffhanger, the next episode picks up with her coworker and friend Fitzgerald comforting the former soap star in her hotel room.

"I’m just kind of in shock with it all. I’m trying to keep it together, but it’s just a lot all at once 'cause everybody in the whole world knows like at the same time that I knew. Have you ever been knocked over by a wave and you don’t know which way to swim to get up?” Stause says through tears, before adding in a confessional clip: "I don’t think anyone ever gets married thinking that they’ll get a divorce. I’m definitely a hopeless romantic, and I feel stupid even saying that out loud."

In the episode prior, all seemed well: Stause hosted a fundraiser, where she was auctioning off “coffee with Justin Hartley," proudly telling a potential bidder, "this is my husband, by the way." Fitzgerald, who was at the event, asked what happened.

“We were totally fine that day. I mean, I thought we were totally fine," Stause said.

Credit: John Shearer/Getty

"We had a fight that morning over the phone. I never saw him since. We didn’t talk things through. Before we had a chance to figure anything out, he’d filed," she said. "I found out because he texted me…that we were filed. Forty-five minutes later, the world knew."

As Fitzgerald put it: "He just blindsided you."

Stause couldn't believe the split happened: "I f—ing want answers!"

In her discussion with Fitzgerald, Stause said she understands the public's fascination with the news.

"Because of the crazy way in which this went down, people want answers, and I f—ing want answers," she said. "I know people are saying, like, we were only married two years — but it’s like, we were together for six years.

She added, "I talked to him right after because I thought that must be a joke — but that was kind of the end of the communication. What am I supposed to say? What do you say after that?"

Chrishell Stause Hartley and Justin Hartley
| Credit: JC Olivera/WireImage

When she found out Hartley filed for divorce, Stause packed a bag and moved into a hotel.

"When I found out, I was minutes before leaving the house for work, so I immediately just grabbed a few things, and I just got out of there as fast as I could," Stause explained. "I don’t think I really knew where I was going or what I was gonna do, but I just had to leave."

"Now I have to find a place to live; now I have to scramble and figure this out," she said.

Credit: Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Stause wanted to make things work.

"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 go out looking for greener grass; sometimes you have to water the grass that you have," she said. "And that’s what marriage is. Sometimes it can be hard. I don’t think it should be more hard than easy, at all, but that’s why I’m so confused, because I didn’t feel like that balance was off. I just feel stupid."

Hartley's This Is Us success seemingly affected their marriage.

When Stause moves into her new house, her friend Amanza Smith visits her to commiserate.

After acting on soap operas, Hartley's star significantly rose when NBC's This Is Us premiered in 2016.

"I think a lot has changed in the six years that we were together and the two years we were married," Stause admitted.

"It’s not normal to meet somebody and then they become wildly famous or they become wildly rich or all these things," Stause says, hinting that his fame had a negative impact on their relationship. "I don’t, at the end of the day, think that those things matter. I can understand, god forbid your feelings obviously changed for me at some point, but I just feel like that’s how you would treat the garbage that you throw out."

Credit: Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

She didn't get to say goodbye to her step-daughter.

“I love her so much, and I had to write a letter to her," Stause tells Smith of Isabella, Hartley's 16-year-old daughter.

Stause changed her plans to be with Hartley.

"I know it is lame and cliché to say everything happens for a reason, but it does make me think of things, that I depended on him for," she told Smith. "I had a plan, but then I met him, and I love him so much, so I changed my plan for him. So it just makes me think that maybe there is a bigger plan for me."

Stause thinks Hartley was done with the marriage and didn't want to work on it.

After the breakup news, Stause went home to St. Louis to stay with her sister Shonda and the pair reflected on the day of their split.

"When I got home that night, everything was fine. But we got into an argument. When I look back on it, part of me thinks he had made a decision, and I wasn’t given a say in this," Stause told her sister.

"Part of my can’t wrap my brain around the fact that he would make such a hasty decision without sitting me down and talking to me. But then the other part of me…he had made a decision, that he didn’t want to talk about it. It has to be two people that want to be married; you can’t just have one person. And I just feel like it was just me, fighting for something that was a lost cause because he didn’t care enough to even sit me down and tell me," she said.

Credit: Dan Macmedan/Wireimage

Despite everything, Stause is trying to stay positive and move forward.

"I just kind of feel like I’m putting one foot in front of the other and just trying to keep moving to the right place…and hopefully, I’ll wake up from this nightmare," she told her sister in one conversation.

As season three comes to an end, Stause returned to L.A. to attend costar Christine Quinn's wedding, where she got into a fight with coworker Davina Potratz, who is skeptical of the split and said "there's two sides to every story.

“Getting confronted by my coworkers is frustrating, but you know what, maybe Davina’s right: You know, there are two sides to every story, and maybe it’s time I start writing a new one," Stause said.

Selling Sunset is streaming now on Netflix.