The Other McCain

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EXCLUSIVE: Hollywood Teen Bride’s Mom Blames Jealousy, ‘Insecurities’ for Criticism of Courtney and Doug Hutchison

Posted on | July 20, 2011 | 101 Comments

Courtney Stodden and her husband Doug Hutchison are being criticized because of jealousy, the mother of the teenage singer/actress said Wednesday in an exclusive interview.

“I mean, a girl that every man would love to have, and she’s a woman that every woman would like to be, and women know this, and they try to discredit her,” Krista Stodden told me in a phone interview, describing the negative reaction to her 16-year-old daughter marrying 51-year-old Hutchison. “And so what is out there in the media is just their insecurities, just flying all over the place.”

What Mrs. Stodden called a “media circus” has enveloped the couple since they disclosed their June wedding in Nevada, where 16-year-olds can marry legally with parental permission. The bride’s mother — who at 51, is the same age as her new son-in-law – said the couple are “so wonderful together,” and defended the marriage as “biblical” and “a blessing.”

Doug Hutchison, an actor best known for his performance in the Oscar-winning movie “The Green Mile” and in the TV series “Lost,” wasn’t the first older man ever to take an interest in Courtney, her mother said.

“She had a bunch of men all over the world trying to contact her through the computer. We’re talking rich, rich men. Even police officers were really wanting to get together with her,” Mrs. Stodden said of Courtney, the youngest of her three daughters. “She was getting messages all the time . . . Professional cage fighters, even [members of a major-league baseball team], a couple of guys from the [team]. Professional baseball players — they wanted to come out and see her, and I said no.”

Courtney Stodden took an early interest in show business, her mother said: “She’d say to me, ‘I’m going to move to California. I’m going to live in Hollywood. I just have this feeling. That’s where I belong.’ “

At age 14, Courtney drew attention online with a series of musical videos, including one lip-syncing Christina Aguilera’s “Candyman” and another dancing to a Michael Jackson song. She also competed in a statewide beauty contest, representing her hometown, Ocean Shores, Wash.

But Courtney’s striking looks, as well her family’s relative affluence, made her an object of envy in the town of fewer than 4,000 residents. “[I]n grade school, she was one of the most popular girls. . . . But what happened was, when she entered sixth grade, she started showing a beauty above the rest . . . . and they couldn’t handle her,” Mrs. Stodden said. “They were jealous.”

Courtney made a video about cyber-bullying in which she described being called a “slut” and other names online, even though as she said, she was a Christian and a virgin. And her mother said Wednesday that Courtney — who attended Christian schools and almost never missed church on Sundays – had shunned the types of activities that many of her teenage peers engaged in.

“She does not fall under peer pressure, and I think this is what made a lot of girls really, really angry, that Courtney would not participate in her small town in the drugs, the dating, going around with a bunch of boys and drinking,” said Mrs. Stodden.

Much of that pattern has been replicated in the criticism of Courtney’s marriage. “She was a virgin when she got married. . . . She’s the most honest girl you’ll ever meet, and the people who are turning around and calling her all these rotten names are girls that have been sleeping around, who have disgusting lives,” said Mrs. Stodden, who laughed at some of the mischaracterizations that have appeared in the media.

An early story about Courtney’s wedding to Hutchison said Courtney aspired to be a country singer, which is not true, her mother said. “The first people that reported on her, they did a great job, but for some reason they said ‘country singer; and people wouldn’t let go of it. . . . [Courtney said:] ‘My God, mom, I don’t even listen to country music. Not anything against it, but it’s just, I’m a pop artist.’ . . . It took so long to get that straightened out.”

Some online comments have labeled the Stodden family “trailer trash,” but in fact they are comfortably middle class. Mrs. Stodden owns a hair salon in Ocean Shores, while her husband Alex has his own real-estate development business. And while some have sought to portray Krista as a “stage mother” who pushed Courtney into show business, Mrs. Stodden pointed out that neither of her two older daughters — both now married, one working in a bank and the other in a doctor’s office – showed any inclination toward the entertainment industry.

 “I am just guilty of one thing, and it’s a good thing, being a very supportive mother,” she said. “If my daughters tell me they want to do something, then I’m going to help them do whatever their goals are. Courtney was the only daughter, from a very young age, that wanted to be in front of the camera. She loved to perform.”

Mrs. Stodden said her daughter and son-in-law are now fielding numerous offers from reality-TV producers interested in the couple’s story. Courtney and Doug appeared together tonight in an exclusive interview on E! television network. During the interview, Courtney described her husband as a “tiger.”

Mrs. Stodden said she sought out an interview with me after seeing a post I wrote last week when, remarking on two facts Courtney Stodden wrote on her Facebook page, I said: “Courtney describes herself as a Christian and a Republican. She’s on our side, whether we like it or not.”

When I compared her daughter’s treatment to how the media have demonized former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Mrs. Stodden said: “I love her. She’s a great person.”

– Robert Stacy McCain

* * * * *
EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

Robert Stacy McCain: Yes, ma’am — how are you?

Krista Stodden:  I’m so glad you called me. . . . I have been reading so many articles, all over the world, and yours stuck out to me. . . . You get it. I even read it to Doug and to Courtney. And I just wanted to thank you personally . . . because you were able to get another piece to this and really pinpoint what my daughter is about. So I wanted to thank you for that.

RSM: Well, there’s no need to thank me. As a matter of fact, I very much thank you for reaching out to me. . . . This story brings up issues about the so-called ‘Culture War’ that I think readers might find interesting.

KS: Exactly. . . . It’s worldwide. My daughter has gotten so much press. . . . What I got out of your article was, OK, my daughter is a Christian girl. She was a virgin when she got married. . . . She’s the most honest girl you’ll ever meet, and the people who are turning around and calling her all these rotten names are girls that have been sleeping around, who have disgusting lives, and you kind of pinpointed that [Courtney] is a breed of her own. She is conservative, she’s Republican, she’s a Christian. She may not look like what you think that a Republican, typical Christian girl looks like, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have something substantial, or that she can’t reach out and help other people.

She actually saved a life, from her cyberbullying [message]. This girl was going to jump out a window and kill herself, and she was getting ready, literally, to unlock the window and jump out. She was a college girl that had been bullied. And she heard her computer [make a noise], so she turned around, she got on her computer, she saw all this stuff on my daughter and wrote to my daughter and said, “You saved my life. You inspired me. If you can deal with it, I can deal with it.” . . .

My daughter can change and she can help people and, as you said, “Whether we like it or not, she is on our side.” And I loved that . . . Doug said, “I get it. I really like the spin that this guy has put on it.” So I wanted to thank you for that.  . . . It just meant so much to me, because you do get it. Can you tell me more about what you were trying to put into the article? . . .

RSM:  Well, let me put it to you this way: I’m a father of six. We home-schooled our kids most of the way through. I’m 51 years old, OK?

KS: I’m 51 — I’m your age, the same age.

RSM: OK, and . . . I have seen the pressures on young people nowadays. . . . In 1999, a very conservative leader [Paul Weyrich] in the wake of the Clinton scandal, wrote an article and said, “We’ve lost the Culture War.” Otherwise [Weyrich argued] Clinton would have been hounded out of office within days of the [Monica Lewinsky affair] becoming confirmed. And that really struck me at the time. . . . And it’s obvious that whatever we’ve been doing — that is people who are in favor of “traditional family values” . . . people who are in favor of marriage and morality and Christianity — tradition — have been doing something wrong. Whatever we’ve been doing, it’s not working.  . . . Now, a 16-year-old marrying a 51-year-old may not seem like a step in the right direction, but how many girls go into show business and end up sleeping with their agents, their directors, their producers, whatever? And it’s just never made public. . . . Nothing is ever said about what they’re doing . . . and then here you have a girl who, at least in terms of morality and law as traditionally understood, she has done the right thing. And she’s getting slammed for it! . . . It’s one thing if people want to criticize Doug. I can understand that. It’s one thing if people want to criticize y’all, you know, the parents. I can understand that. But it was strange to me how many of the people were slamming Courtney. That just struck me as unjust.

KS: It is unjust and, you know what, a lot of it is because they’re jealous. She’s drop-dead gorgeous — with makeup, without makeup, coming out of the shower — if you were to see her [in person], she is strikingly beautiful. She can’t even walk into a Wal-Mart without being able to hear a pin drop, whether she’s in jeans or whatever. And women, too. I mean, my God, can’t believe the jealousy issues that women have with other women. It comes to a height where they’re bullying beautiful girls in school where they’re coming home and killing themselves . . . and I don’t know if we’re ever going to be able to turn that around. . . .

[George Stephanopoulos of ABC News] even participated in cyberbullying after [Courtney and Hutchison was interviewed on] “Good Morning America.” . . . He said . . when she said she was a good Christian girl, they all busted out laughing. . . . In his position, he was like a schoolboy on a schoolyard, trying to egg it on more. . . . We’re doing something wrong. We don’t really realize it. . . . We’ve been in this situation for a long time where good is bad and bad is good. They’ve turned it around, even in Hollywood now. . . . Oprah had a lot to do with this, so you don’t have to be a Barbie doll to be on TV, which is nice. But we’ve turned it around, where you get a girl like Courtney, a conservative Christian girl that still wants to be feminine — and yes, she has a sexy vibe to her. It comes from within. Marilyn Monroe had it. Hollywood hasn’t seen somebody like this for many, many years. The girl’s absolutely nice. . . . It’s coming from within, this sexuality that God really gave women. And she broke no biblical standards by marrying a 51-year-old man, because she was a virgin, she has good morals. . . .

She does not fall under peer pressure, and I think this is what made a lot of girls really, really angry, that Courtney would not participate in her small town in the drugs, the dating, going around with a bunch of boys and drinking. She had nothing to do with it, and yet she is being ridiculed. . . .

RSM: Yeah, I see what you’re saying. Something I wrote on that post was that it was not really until after I watched that cyberbullying video that I got a concept that Courtney has been kind of a loner. She’s been kind of an oddball and . . . you would normally think that a pretty girl would be popular and have lots of friends and everything like that. But it seems like to me that her early ambition toward show business had sort of set her apart, and if you combine that with, like you said, she didn’t get into the peer pressure — the dating, the boys, the drinking, the drugs — I think that in ways a lot of people probably don’t understand . . . she’s kind of a geek, kind of an oddball, a loner.

KS: No, see what happened is, in grade school, she was one of the most popular girls. . . . But what happened was, when she entered sixth grade, she started showing a beauty above the rest . . . . and they couldn’t handle her. . . . She had to become somebody that could not let a people into her life. They were jealous . . . My daughter has not lacked in the nicer, finer things of life. They were stealing things out of her bedroom. They were coming over just to get what they could get.  . . . We were concerned. . . . So it was more out of self-preservation and us protecting her that we had to start monitoring who was even around her. . . .

RSM: You said she hadn’t lacked in some of the finer things in life. I saw that some of the people . . . were calling y’all “trailer trash,” and I hadn’t gotten any idea of that.

KS: No . . . we have a beautiful home on the water.  I drive a Jaguar, my husband drives a sports cars, my daughter has a sports car. . . My husband owns his own company. He travels all over the world. They purchase homes and work with real-estate investors. And I own my own hair salon. I’m a hairdresser. There’s no trailer trash about it. I’ve been accused of being a spoiled rich girl. . . . And you know, they got it out there that [Courtney] was a country singer at first, so it’s really, really funny how that can happen. I have two older daughters. [Courtney is] my baby. I’m a grandmother, and my one daughter works for a doctor, my other daughter works in a bank. They’re beautiful girls. They all look like models. They went through Christian academy, private schools. . . . So all over town, [Courtney is] known as a spoiled little rich girl that has everything she wants. . . .

RSM: The picture I’m getting is of a prosperous family, well-known in their community . . so this idea — and this is another thing that people have been throwing up — that you sold your child into slavery. Y’know, that y’all are pimps. . . . I mean, that’s so completely unsubstantiated.

KS: Yeah, it is, because you know I have two older daughters — I mean, this “stage mom” thing is out the window, because I have two older girls that decided to go off in different directions. . . . Those girls never ever wanted to do this type of work. I am just guilty of one thing, and it’s a good thing, being a very supportive mother. If my daughters tell me they want to do something, then I’m going to help them do whatever their goals are. Courtney was the only daughter, from a very young age, that wanted to be in front of the camera. She loved to perform. She had her own production company and she had a fan base at that time. . . .

We’re a family that’s worked very hard . . . In fact, I never lived in a trailer [laughs]. We have two homes and then I have now a little condo apartment next door to my daughter in Hollywood. We’re being courted by reality-TV people and they want me also involved in that, too, so I don’t they’d want a trailer-trash woman to appear on — we’re talking some big networks, OK? . . .

We’ve really taken good care of [Courtney]. She’s never missed a Sunday, basically, of church. . . .  It’s amazing how the media can kind of put a feeling out there that’s not so. . . .

RSM: What church do you attend?

KS:  Ocean Shores Baptist Church . . . we’ve attended there for 12 years, and no one has really interviewed our pastor. I don’t even know if he’d talk to anybody. But you know, it would be interesting for someone to connect with him. He’d probably say, “No comment.” But I’ve worked for hospice with my hair salon. I’ve donated a lot of my time to help people with cancer. . . . We are people that reach out to the community. Courtney has reached out to the community, and she’s went around and spoke at high schools about skin cancer awareness, because I had melanoma skin cancer and she wants teens to stay out of the tanning booth. . . .

RSM: One of the things that automatically occurs to me . . . and I think to a lot of people when they see, OK, she’s 16, she’s in love, he’s 51, he’s in love — you kind of think, “Well, OK, what’s the situation going to be in 10, 20, 30 years?” Do you have concerns in that direction?

KS: No, because I look at the story of John Derek and Bo Derek, and they had a very successful marriage, and she was actually younger than Courtney when she got together with John Derek. . . . We look at life day-to-day. There’s no promise of tomorrow. . . . We are not guaranteed tomorrow, and I did raise my kids to think out of the box. They’re not going to follow what other people do, because that’s not necessarily the correct way of living, and I want them to have minds of their own.

And you know what? My daughter did not want to say, “OK, this man’s 51. I’m in love with him, but I can’t be with him. I have to go out there and find somebody else that I love, and I have to ignore these strong feelings that I have for this man that’s wonderful, perfectly good for me, it’s just that our ages are so much farther apart.” And she knew, in her own mind, that she is not guaranteed tomorrow and that she wants to enjoy life as it is from day-to-day, and you know, Doug feels the same way. They’re on the same page with this, all the way.

You know, myself, if I think of a 16-year-old girl and a 51-year-old man together, I think I would start thinking, like, “Oh my God. I can’t even fathom that.” But until you actually see it — it’s very unusual, that’s why it’s so controversial. My other daughters, they all have husbands their same ages, and if people would have told me this two years ago, I would have said, “Oh, my God — I can’t even wrap my mind around that.” But it happened. It’s working for them, and they look great together. When you see them walking down the street, you would never know there is much of an age difference. People can’t believe it when they see them. . . . And there personalities are so wonderful together.

We’ve had boys — other boys — to the house and stuff, her own age and, oh my God, I wouldn’t leave her alone in the room with them for 10 minutes. You couldn’t trust them. They were teasing the cat. [Courtney would say:] “Mom, take this kid home. I feel like I’m babysitting them.” It just didn’t work out and this [Courtney and Doug] just worked. And so, you know what, there are exceptions to the rule. I mean, I am not encouraging young girls to be with older guys just to be with them, but this is a love story and it happened, and they are very much in love and they should be together. And it’s biblical — I feel it is biblical.

She did not sleep with him before they were married. She wouldn’t have that happen. She did not want that. And what an exciting wedding night! I mean, that’s how God wanted it, you know? I mean we all should have been so blessed to have a wedding night like that.

RSM:  Let me ask — you said something about her singing. Was it a mistake that people called her a country singer?

KS: Yes, from the get-go. The first people that reported on her, they did a great job, but for some reason they said “country singer” and people wouldn’t let go of it. . . . [Courtney said:] “My God, mom, I don’t even listen to country music. Not anything against it, but it’s just, I’m a pop artist.” . . . It took so long to get that straightened out. . . .

[In Ocean Beach] people had the biggest issues about the high[-heeled] shoes she was wearing, and that’s when it all started. . . .

RSM: Let me ask about the peer pressure thing. Do you think there is a message — because I saw her as, one of the reasons she wanted to marry Doug and move to Hollywood was that she wanted to get away from that place where people didn’t understand her, were judging her, were condemning her — do you think . . was the hostility she received locally a factor in her wanting to get out of that?

KS: Well, you know what? She never looked like she belonged in Ocean Shores. . . . If you look at the vicinity where that is, I mean, the meth problem is so bad, and the drug issue and the alcohol issue is so bad. And you know, sometimes when people get into drugs and alcohol, they don’t take care of themselves physically and they’re not caring about their hygiene and that type of thing. Courtney did not look like she belonged there. She always knew, in her soul . . . She’d say to me, “I’m going to move to California. I’m going to live in Hollywood. I just have this feeling. That’s where I belong.” So it was almost like God was working in her way before she met Doug. . . .

She had a bunch of men all over the world trying to contact her through the computer. We’re talking rich, rich men. Even police officers were really wanting to get together with her. She was getting messages all the time . . . Professional cage fighters, even [members of a major-league baseball team], a couple of guys from the [team]. Professional baseball players — they wanted to come out and see her, and I said no. I mean, one called her and then Courtney asked me, she said, “He wants to come and see Ocean Shores.” . . . We never pursued any of it. We weren’t thinking on those terms. . . When [Courtney and Doug]  fell in love, of course, that was one of the blessings that came along with it, that she was able to  get out of that area where she didn’t belong. . . .

God has given that girl some blessings beyond belief. I mean, God has been so good to her. . . .

RSM: I have seen some articles — one of them in Salon.com, particularly, I don’t know if you’ve seen it . . . I have seen some articles where they try to do this psychological analysis, and try to — I mean, it’s really creepy the kind of things they’re trying to project especially onto Doug, but also onto Courtney — is that a complete misconception? I mean, does that seem unfair to you?

KS: Yes, I think that women, especially, are trying to make her less desirable for men, and I think men that can’t have her are trying to even it up in their minds, in an unfortunate place. I mean, a girl that every man would love to have, and she’s a woman that every woman would like to be, and women know this, and they try to discredit her. And so what is out there in the media is just their insecurities, just flying all over the place. They need to hide behind the computer and do what they do best. I’ve even had people write mean things to her, and two hours later, [they write again:] “You know what? I feel really guilty about this. I wrote this about you, but I am jealous of you.” It hasn’t happened very often, but she’s had some messages like that. . . .

Yesterday, through the mail, she got a letter, and it said, “Gold-digger — you just married him for money. You are such a slut.” And they sent it to Doug’s P.O. box. What I’m saying to you is that there are so many jealousies out there. But there are a lot of people [supporting the couple]. A lot of men are writing saying, “People are so jealous of you, Courtney, because you’re beautiful and you’re what every man wants.” Women are writing her and saying, “Courtney, I know who you are, you have a good heart, so keep your head up high.”

She’s a good Christian girl. Sure, she’s not running around dressed as a nun. She’d look good in a potato sack, OK? She’s just a beautiful, beautiful girl.

RSM: Well, I really appreciate you taking time to talk to me, because . . . my first reaction to the story. as usual when I’m dealing with celebrity news, was sort of to make a joke of it and stuff like that. But then people started attacking and I started seeing more and more stuff, and I said, “There’s a story here.” . . . I have seen what happens when the media mob just gets onto some angle. . . . We’ve seen Sarah Palin demonized . . .

KS: I love her. She’s a great person.

RSM: You see how when the media gets one story in their mind . . . and people will start reading that stuff and get the idea that the person they see in the media — you know, this cartoon stereotype — is the whole person.

KS: You are so intuitive. . . . You get it. . . . I’m so impressed with you.

RSM: Well, thank you, ma’am. It’s my job. . . .

KS: I am their P.R. person. I am Courtney’s manager again. I’ve taken that rein back because Doug is so busy right now with all the offers he’s getting, so I’m their consultant and I’m their makeup artist for all the shows they do. . . . I wear a lot of hats. . . .

RSM:  I don’t do “gotcha” stories, and obviously I’m not looking to burn you. Can I consider this conversation, for the most part, on the record?

KS: Yes, you can, because you know what? We’re coming from truth. We have nothing to hide.

PREVIOUSLY:


UPDATE: Linked at Maggie’s Notebook and by Dan Collins at the Conservatory and headlined by John Nolte at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood — thanks!





UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers! I’ll cheerfully endure the Professor’s jibe at this “important news,” because no influential Republican in Congress seems willing to heed my advice on how to negotiate (or not) with Obama, whereas at least some Hollywood celebrity types appear to appreciate my work as a neutral objective professional journalist. Thus given the choice between blogging about arrogant Washington politicians (who ignore me) and blogging about scandalized Hollywood starlets (who evidently pay attention), can you blame me for choosing the latter?

UPDATE III: Linked by Donald Douglas at American Power — thanks!

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Comments

  • Finrod Felagund

    At first, I was skeptical of this story like many people have been.

    But now, reading this?  If they can make their relationship work, then God bless them, and more power to them.