In 2011, a 16-year-old Courtney Stodden married 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison
In a new interview with BuzzFeed, Stodden, 24, reflects on the pair’s controversial nuptials in 2011. Stodden, then an aspiring country singer, was just 16 years old when she married The Green Mile actor, who was 51 at the time.
“I knew it was controversial. I knew it would be hard to get people to accept it. But I had no reason to be prepared for what happened,” she says, referencing the onslaught of tabloid attention they received.
Stodden and Hutchison separated and reconciled multiple times throughout their relationship. In 2016, after nearly six years of marriage, the two called it quits, seemingly for good — months after Stodden suffered a miscarriage with the couple’s first child, a situation that she has said “deeply” affected the marriage.
Now, as their divorce is being finalized, the exes are still regularly in touch, and Stodden tells BuzzFeed that Hutchison was her “everything.”
“There were other guys way richer than him,” she says. “I just fell in love with him. He was everything. He was everything.”
Stodden says Hutchison will always be a part of her — and that she feels responsible for him losing his family and career because of their union: “I take responsibility for it. I don’t want to continue hurting people along the way. I’ve hurt him a lot.”
“I know that I love him so much, and I think he’s also ingrained in me because I was 16,” she says. “He has his thumbprint all over my spirit, and that part is hard for me to grow out of. He’s in my identity. If he wasn’t the person he is, I would say absolutely he took advantage of me. But the situation was so unique, right or wrong.”
Stodden, who is working on a pop album and released a single, “Daddy Issues,” last year, says her relationship with Hutchison is tied to her relationship with her father, Alex Stodden. Though he walked her down the aisle in 2011, she says they’re no longer in touch.
“I felt like I needed a father figure in my life. It stems a lot from that relationship,” she says. “It’s obvious, though. You can google me and figure it out.”
Stodden also touches on her and Hutchison’s infamous ABC News interview after their wedding, cringing at her on-camera attempts at seduction.
“I was like, okay, if I’m nervous, I’m gonna just do something crazy,” she says. “It just happened. It was so crazy. [A] horny, panic response. When you’re nervous, just get horny.”
Stodden is now dating her manager Chris Sheng, 39, saying she “jumped from Doug to him” and admitting the two “fight over Doug.”
And while she’s not sure where their relationship is headed, Stodden says she’s “so ready to not live for men anymore.”
“That’s primarily what’s held me captive, is finding that approval from my father and men,” she says.
Speaking to PEOPLE in 2017, Stodden said while getting married at 16 “affected” her in many ways, she was focused on the future.
“I don’t really like having regrets,” she said. “I don’t really want to live that way and harp on something that I feel like I shouldn’t have done.”
Of their divorce proceedings, she said she was “trying to take things slow because I love him and it’s really hard on him.”
“It’s extremely sensitive,” she added.