In 2011, the public was shocked when Green Mile star Doug Hutchinson announced he married 16-year-old Courtney Stodden in Las Vegas.
While elopement is a popular choice for couples in the 21st century, huge controversy surrounded the pair since Hutchinson, then 50, was 34 years older than his new bride, who was technically still a child.
Hutchinson first met Stodden when she enrolled as a student in his acting class. Sparks flew and they quickly wed, despite the disapproval from his family and his peers. His agent quit shortly after the couple’s announcement, he received death threats, and former fans branded him as a “pedophile.”
Even though it seemed like everyone had disowned the actor, Stodden’s mother, Krista Keller, was delighted for the pair, and gave her permission for her daughter to get married – a decision she said she would later regret.
“I do take full responsibility, however because I am the one that did sign the paper for her to marry this man,” she said. “If I had to do it all over again I cannot tell you if I would be signing that paper.”
During their marriage, the couple received counselling with Dr. Jenn Berman during their appearance on VH1’s of Couples Therapy.
“I believe it was the wrong decision to let a 16-year-old marry a man in his 50s. It’s uncomfortable to see…” Berman said. “I don’t condone it, but I do see that this is a married couple that is genuinely married and they have marital issues that needed to be worked on.”
“I came in saying, ‘She’s a victim, he’s a predator.’ What I found out was that she has a lot more power in this relationship and he is far more powerless than I expected,” she added. “His family has completely disowned him… He unfortunately has nothing besides her.”
After two-and-a-half years, Hutchinson and Stodden would announce their separation, due to her desire to “screw” other guys.
“In that single spree, it wasn’t necessarily to be mature and find myself and stuff like that. I just wanted to go out and screw to be completely honest, because I had never had that opportunity,” she said. “I went from my parents to Doug. I didn’t go to prom or go on dates with other guys.”
They eventually got back together in August 2014, even planned to renew their wedding vows.
But their happiness wouldn’t last.