Courtney Stodden says working with a therapist is helping them process alleged grooming: 'I see it for what it is'
Model Courtney Stodden is opening up about the cathartic experiencing of writing their upcoming memoir.
Stodden, 27, who uses they/them pronouns, spoke to Fox News about their controversial marriage with 51-year-old actor Dough Hutchison in 2011, saying the writing process has “shined a light” on the alleged “grooming” they experienced by Hutchison.
Stodden was only 16 at the time of marrying Hutchison, ultimately filing for divorce in 2018, seeing it finalized two years later.
"I'm working with a therapist right now to kind of process it all, too, as I'm writing it out and reliving it again,” Stodden said of penning the memoir. “And it's freeing. It's definitely given me a better outlook on it. I see it for what it is.”
"It has shined a light on the grooming and what happened to me and what actually happens to a lot of other children in the USA, as well," they said, adding that the situation “made me fearless.”
“My experience has made me so strong,” Stodden said. "If it didn't happen, I feel like my whole outlook on life would be so different. Experiences that are traumatizing can either break us or we can utilize them to shape us into a stronger individual. And that's really one of the main reasons why I'm speaking out, is because I want past victims and survivors to really tap into that part of themselves. We are so strong.”
Stodden's past marriage and what she's referred to as "grooming" has long been covered.
Last month, the model appeared on the Call Her Daddy podcast, recalling their experience with The Green Mile actor and explaining that they initially met over email, and that Hutchison was able to convince their parents they should get married just one week after meeting in person.
“My mom has gotten a lot of hate, and I understand why,” they said. “If I ever have a baby and I’m raising that baby, from my own experiences, I would never sign my kid off, ever, to an adult man, who is 34 years older. There is just no way that would happen. But I think she thought she was doing something that was going to make me happy. Truly, I really do believe that. In retrospect, she knows it was the wrong decision.”
Stodden further explained that Hutchison reached out to them under the guise of teaching about acting. However, his intention with starting a relationship was really to “get a free pass to molest a child," they said.
Still, Stodden explained that at the time they believed they were truly in love with the actor, despite not knowing what marriage meant.
“I think that’s the ultimate power a groomer has over a child,” Stodden said. "That emotional abuse and control … I feel like I didn't even have control over my own body, my own finances ... I was just so controlled."
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