Courtney Stodden doesn’t want to be recognized as Hollywood’s most famous teen bride anymore.
The 24-year-old originally stirred headlines in 2011 at age 16 when the then-aspiring singer tied the knot with “Green Mile” actor Doug Hutchison, who was 51 at the time. The couple separated and reconciled multiple times but finally called it quits, seemingly for good, in 2016, after nearly six years of marriage.
These days, Stodden claims she’s eager to move on and pursue a music career. Most recently, Stodden attended the special exhibition dedicated to her idol, titled “Marilyn Monroe: 17 Years in the Making” at Beverly Hills’ Edward Lowell Gallery, in which Andrew Weiss, reportedly the owner of one of the largest collections of original, signed photos of the late movie icon, held a sale on what would have been Monroe’s 93rd birthday.
Stodden spoke to Fox News about her love for Monroe, her controversial marriage to Hutchison, now 59, as well as how she feels about her parents.
Fox News: What is it about Marilyn Monroe that speaks to you?
Courtney Stodden: I think the main reason is that she had this crazy, explosive life. And the woman behind the celebrity, the persona, was so different. She was very honorable and intelligent. She was more than just a pretty face. And yet she had so much courage to face Hollywood. I feel like a lot of people still don’t know that about her. So I choose to focus on not really the pictures on Hollywood Boulevard, but more-so the person she was. I just admire her and her strength. She had a really crazy, hard, beautiful life.
Fox News: You recently released a YouTube video saying you’re in a better place. What is life like today?
Stodden: Even though I am still going through this divorce with Doug, it’s almost finished. That entire process just ripped my soul out. And his too. We still have a lot of love for each other. He’s been there for me and really wanting to help further my dreams, which is to get my album off the ground. That’s really my goal now. My inspiration is music. And I think that I am in a better position right now because I’m able to express my depression and express myself through music. I feel that’s really what I was born to do.
Fox News: When did you realize you needed help for depression?
Stodden: I finally realized I had this relationship with depression in 2016. Doug and I lived out in Palm Springs for a year. We needed to get out of Hollywood. So we rented a house out there for a year. And I think it was the first time that I had enough space without the cameras, without distractions to just meditate out there. But I just started feeling really sad. Like, really, really awful.
I was drinking a lot. I just realized I was so depressed. I realized that out there in Palm Springs living with Doug for a year. I think it’s important for people to realize that they need time for themselves and try to sit in stillness. I think that’s what I really needed to do — listen to myself… Mental health has such a stigma. I was afraid to come out and say I struggled with depression because of that stigma. But I want to try and be a woman of strength. I want to come out and talk about my depression and not worry about the scrutiny of the media or other people.
Fox News: What is your relationship like with Doug Hutchison today?
Stodden: It’s confusing *laughs*. We both really love each other. We still talk. I mean, we just talked today. We never wanted this divorce. It’s never something that we both wanted. But we realized the unconventionalness of our marriage. We both are taking responsibility in that, especially him. He’s taking responsibility for marrying me at such a young age. He and I agreed on this divorce. We’ll see what happens in the future. We’re both trying to get through this the best we can in the most loving way possible.
Fox News: Can we expect another reconciliation?
Stodden: We’re definitely getting a divorce. It probably should be finished within the next two months or something like that. We’re not fighting over anything. The reason why it’s taking so long is that I was filling it out incorrectly. This is my first divorce so I was filling out the paperwork all wrong for two years. But he doesn’t want to fill out the paperwork himself *laughs*. But yeah, the divorce is happening. We just don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.
Fox News: How do you feel about the teen bride label?
Stodden: You know, I’m transforming out of the teen bride label. I can’t stand labels except if they’re designer, of course, *laughs*. I’m really excited to just be known as a singer/songwriter now. I’m not a teen anymore. I’m turning 25 this summer.
Fox News: How did you cope with all the bullying after you married at such a young age?
Stodden: Being bullied by a large population of human beings was really difficult for me to live through that. I think I’ve kind of numb myself in ways. Because it is a lot to digest. And not only that, I was having a lot of family issues. My parents fell apart in their marriage. My mom and I were having issues. Now my dad and I aren’t speaking. It’s been a lot… My life mirrors Marilyn Monroe in many ways. That’s part of the reason why I dyed my hair brown. I needed a break from the blonde. And I don’t want to end up like her in the way that unfortunately she ended up.
Fox News: How come you’re no longer speaking to your dad?
Stodden: I believe he has a lot of deep-rooted resentment towards my decisions in life. It started with me as a little girl wanting to model. I don’t think he really liked that. Then I got married, and Doug is two years older than him. I think he felt replaced. And after I got married to Doug, my mom divorced my dad. And then my dad proceeded to throw away all of my childhood tapes and memories — he took everything to the dump and just threw them away. And I’m his only child. That speaks volumes, the way he feels about his daughter. Now, eight years later since the marriage, he’s told me to never contact him again and to have a good life. That’s very hurtful and doesn’t help with depression.
Fox News: How are things with your mom?
Stodden: We’re actually healing our relationship right now. She actually came over to my home and told me she was sorry for ever hurting me in my life and she will spend forever making up for it. That meant the world to me. We haven’t really discussed a lot of the [divorce proceedings], but she’s not surprised.
Fox News: Do you have any regrets marrying at a young age?
Stodden: Regrets are funny, aren’t they? I don’t know. If Doug was a different human being, like if he was what everybody painted him to be back in the day, then I would say yes, I regret marrying this man. But he’s absolutely not what everybody painted him to be. He’s not perfect, but he’s a beautiful man. I gained an amazing soulmate in my life through him. So, no. I don’t regret it. He’s been there for me more now than my own father has.
Fox News: What can audiences expect from your music?
Stodden: I have a new album coming out. It’s called “Courtney RX.” I’m going to be going by that musical artist name now. I’m dropping around 4-8 bubblegum pop songs that I’m so excited about. The song “Don’t Put it On Me,” which received about 8 million hits when I was 16 on YouTube overnight, I’m redoing it and putting that on the album, along with a few other songs. One is called “Freak Alert,” which is going to be the freak anthem of the summer *laughs* and another called “I Want You.” I’m also redoing a Queen song called “Love of My Life” in my own style.
I feel like I have an amazing and incredible talent that I haven’t really been able to exercise as much as I would like. I don’t just want to speak up about mental illness and the things that I’m passionate about. I also love music. And I have a lot to share. And I think people will get to know me a little bit more through this album.
Fox News: How do you want people to see you today?
Stodden: I want them to see me as a human being, a woman growing, learning and following her dreams.
Former Heaven’s Gate follower says he tried to pull girlfriend out of cult before shocking mass suicide in doc
After 18 years, Frank Lyford trusted his gut and left the Heaven’s Gate cult — along with the woman he loved.
The former follower recalled his terrifying ordeal in the upcoming episode of “People Magazine Investigates: Cults,” which is airing on Investigation Discovery (ID) on June 17.
The show, which recently kicked off its second season, explores how ordinary people “who, lured by promises of eternal life, get caught up in a terrifying web of abuse, deception and manipulation.” It features reporters who’ve covered these harrowing cases, as well as former members.
“It was this deep, gut-felt misgiving of remaining in the group, remaining in the cult,” said the now-65-year-old in the documentary, as reported by People magazine Friday. “I couldn’t express it at the time and I didn’t know what my life would look like — what it’d be like adjusting to life outside of the group — I just knew I couldn’t remain in the cult anymore.”
History.com reported the cult was led by Marshall Applewhite, a former music professor who was recruited by one of his nurses, Bonnie Lu Nettles, after surviving a near-death experience in 1972. The pair then persuaded a group of 20 people from Oregon to abandon their possessions and move to Colorado where they promised an extraterrestrial spacecraft would take them to the “Kingdom of Heaven.”
The outlet shared that both Nettles and Applewhite insisted human bodies were “merely containers” that could be disregarded for a higher physical existence. Membership diminished after the spacecraft never arrived and Nettles died in 1985. The group resurfaced in the ‘90s as Applewhite started recruiting new members. After the 1995 discovery of the comet Hale-Bopp, members believed that an alien spacecraft was on its way to earth.
Lyford and Erika Ernst had been dating for two years when the couple came across Applewhite and Nettles during a 1975 Oregon camping trip. They soon sold their belongings. Lyford defected in 1993.
Lyford soon found himself in his parents’ Canadian home. And two days later, he received a call from “the love of my life.”
According to People, Ernst pleaded Lyford to return and he asked her to leave. The 40-year-old never did.
Ernst, along with 37 other followers, died by suicide over three days in 1997. Their bodies were discovered inside a Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. compound after someone called police with an anonymous tip. The deceased ranged from ages 26 to 72. People magazine previously reported the members left video diaries explaining their reasons for the mass suicide.
History.com reported that the mass suicide occurred around the same time Hale-Bopp reached its closest distance to Earth. Applewhite, who was among the dead, convinced the group they needed to “free their mortal souls in order to board a spaceship that was trailing behind the Hale-Bopp comet” heading towards a distant planet called “The Next Level.”
The bodies were found dressed in black suits with matching Nike sneakers and plastic bags over their heads. All had willfully ingested apple sauce laced with barbiturates, which was also washed down with vodka. Each had their IDs in their pockets.
“I knew it was the same group I was a part of, so it was a very emotional time for me, from the standpoint of feeling the loss of all my friends who I had been with for 18 years,” admitted Lyford.
Lyford said he wished he’d pushed Ernst harder to leave.
“If I were back on that call with her right now, I would be more emphatic about her leaving,” he explained. “We all have a connection to the divine within us, we all have that radio transmitter built in — we don’t need anyone to translate that for us. That was the big mistake that we all made, in my mind – it was believing we needed someone else to tell us what our best path should be.”
“People Magazine Investigates: Cults” airs June 17 at 9 p.m. on ID.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper remembers mom Gloria Vanderbilt as visitor from ‘distant star’
(Reuters) – CNN anchor Anderson Cooper remembered his mother, designer and society grand dame Gloria Vanderbilt, as a woman who endured a string of heartbreaks but still remained deeply in love with love.
Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
“I always felt it was my job to protect her. She was the strongest person I ever met but she wasn’t tough,” Cooper said in a seven-minute video youtu.be/cfbRneB9wcA obituary on CNN.
“I always thought of her as visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distant star that had burned out long ago.”
Vanderbilt, who died on Monday at age 95, had been famous her entire life, starting with a legal battle in which her aunt took custody from her mother when “Little Gloria” was a child. She would go on to endure four marriages, three divorces, the death of a husband and the suicide of a son.
Cooper’s obituary featured clips of young Gloria and told how she grew up in France, unaware that she was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. Portions also were taken from an HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.”
When Cooper questioned why she first married a 32-year-old Hollywood figure, Vanderbilt told him, “Sweetheart, I was only 17.”
His mother “trusted too freely, too completely” but always pressed on, Cooper said, and always believed that the next true love was just around the corner.
“She was always in love – in love with men or with friends or books and art, in love with her children and her grandchildren and then her great-greatchildren,” Cooper said. “Love is what she believed in more than anything.”
Cooper said his mother learned earlier this month that she had advanced and spreading stomach cancer. Her response was to cite a 1950 hit song by Peggy Lee with the lyrics “show me the way to get out of this world because that’s where everything is.”
The CNN report included a video Cooper shot in a hospital after the diagnosis as he and his mother broke into laughing fits over a joke. Cooper said that was when he realized they had the same giggle. He said he still giggles every time he watches that video.
Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan Thomas
Jennifer Aniston had one requirement for Adam Sandler kissing scenes in ‘Murder Mystery’
“I did have him learn to oil the beard up a little bit,” the actress said in a joint interview this week. “Conditioned.”
Sandler said kissing his longtime friend on camera wasn’t all that awkward, except when his wife Jackie and children were on set and encouraging him a little too much.
“The only awkward part is hearing my wife on the side going, ’Harder! Harder! Kiss her harder! Deeper!” he joked. “They (Jackie and the kids) watched the kissing. They love it. They love Aniston, and they want her to have good things and they say, ‘Give her something nice.’”
“That was awkward,” Aniston agreed.
“Murder Mystery” follows a longtime married couple who get framed for murder while they’re unlikely guests on a billionaire’s yacht in Europe. The movie premiered on Netflix on Friday.
Fox News caught up with the stars last week and asked them who they would pin a murder on if given the chance.
Sandler, 52, was quick to answer: Rob Schneider.
“It would be fun to hurt him. It would be fun to see him behind bars. And I would visit him every 10-15 years and say, ‘I’m sorry I did this to you,’” Sandler told us.
“Oh yeah, you’d have to have some fun with Rob,” Aniston, 50, said.
When asked what Schneider ever did to deserve the blame in the hypothetical whodunit, Sandler simply said, “Nothing! That’s the beauty of this joke.”
Schneider wasted no time responding to Sandler’s admission, issuing a warning to his former “Saturday Night Live” co-star in a comment to Fox News on Friday.
“I know all of Adam’s secrets for 30 years and that’s why he’d like nothing more than [to] lock me away for a crime he’d like to commit: taking away Kevin James’ Happy Meal!” Schneider teased.
Fox News’ Julius Young and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
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- Trump rips New York Times over Kavanaugh piece, calls for resignation of anyone involved in ‘SMEAR story’
- With New Mexico rally, Trump seeks to flip state won by Clinton in 2016
- California adds Iowa to ‘travel ban’ over refusal to fund gender transitions
- Senior U.S. Democrat focused on Trump impeachment, not Kavanaugh
- Manhattan DA subpoenas Trump tax returns