Celebrity Courtney Stodden came out as non-binary Tuesday night, and announced their new pronouns on social media. Posting on Instagram and Twitter, Stodden began by writing, “They/them/theirs. I don’t Identify as she or her. I’ve never felt like I ever fit in anywhere.”
Reached via a direct message on Twitter Tuesday night, Stodden said, “I’m excited to begin to truly start expressing myself without worry of others’ judgments or opinions. I’ve lived too long hiding from who I really am. I’m so excited for everyone to see my true self creatively and spiritually.”
Stodden, 26, became famous — or infamous — in 2011 at 16 when they married the then 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison, who had appeared in the film “The Green Mile” and on the TV show “Lost.” Their age discrepancy (and attention-seeking for it) immediately drew the tabloid spotlight, and the couple seemed to revel in the attention. Because the age of consent in California is 18, Stodden’s mother had given them parental consent so the two could marry.
“We’re aware that our vast age difference is extremely controversial,” the couple’s spokesperson told E! News after their June 2011 wedding. “But we’re very much in love and want to get the message out there that true love can be ageless.” There was something unsavory — perhaps even alarming — about Stodden’s mother’s public declarations about Courtney, telling RadarOnline, “Courtney was a virgin” when they married Hutchison.
Stodden, who had been in beauty pageants and was making efforts to launch a singing career, would go on to appear on the reality shows “Couples Therapy” in 2012 (with Hutchison), the British version of “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2013 and Lifetime’s “The Mother/Daughter Experiment” in 2016 — on that last show, Stodden’s mother confessed she’d had an inappropriately close relationship with Hutchison, which she claimed had not been sexual.
Hutchison and Stodden split up and reconciled, and eventually divorced last year. On the day the divorce became final in March 2020, Stodden wrote a long post on Instagram, that said in part, “I look back at this picture and feel absolutely taken advantage of.”
In recent years, Stodden has become outspoken about the nature of their celebrity. Earlier this year, they compared their mistreatment in the media to Britney Spears. And in a 2019 BuzzFeed News profile of Stodden by Scaachi Koul, Stodden was frank about the circumstances of their marriage to Hutchison.
“If I was now, looking back on this, I would be concerned! Where’s her mom, where’s her dad, and who is this guy?” Stodden said. “It’s fucking crazy!”
Over Twitter DM Tuesday night, Stodden added, “Last month I filmed a music video for my upcoming single ‘Ple@sure’ and it was so important for me to take control back from the men I’ve lived under. It’s a role reversal of sorts and hope everyone feels empowered to be whoever the hell they want to be!”