Justin Hartley’s silence: Why won’t he talk about the divorce from his wife?
We all know the drama over Justin Hartley’s divorce from Selling Sunset star Chrishell Stause. If you aren’t familiar, here’s the abridged version. During the filming of Selling Sunset season 3, Stause received a text from Hartley confirming he filed for a divorce forty-five minutes before TMZ released the story.
Since then, there have been so many questions surrounding the divorce. First, Hartley listed the date of separation in July when he & Stause were seen together at a Golden Globes event in November. Then, there is Hartley’s fast rebound with Sofia Pernas, leading to accusations of an affair. And lastly, why did he tell Stause through a text?
Season 3 of Selling Sunset became all about Stause’s divorce. The popular Netflix reality show gave her a platform to air her side of the story. While Stause has no problem being vocal about her side, Harley has remained silent and refused to answer questions about the divorce.
According to Stause, she was blindsided by the divorce and left with no answers. There lies Hartley’s problem, according to brand & reputation management expert Eric Schiffer. Before the divorce, Hartley had a nice-guy representation due to his character on the feel-good, cry-porn show – This Is Us. The choices Hartley made about the divorce were detrimental to his image.
Schiffer noted Hartley would face brutal backlash in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. The best hope for Hartley is to wait out the storm. If Hartley were to address the divorce, he would definitely be asked about his decision to text Stause.
In an interview with Screen Rant, Schiffer commented, “[Hartley] would rather have his face dragged across asphalt than sit with a journalist right now because he has to rationalize why he would exit his relationship through a text message.”
Schiffer compared a potential interview for Hartley to Prince Andrew’s interview over his Jeffrey Epstein controversy – a complete train wreck for Prince Andrew. The other problem for Hartley is that playing the waiting game provides no immediate relief.
According to Schiffer, “[Stause] has become an even bigger global star than him. And therefore, the attention is not going to go away. She has a hotter show. His choices and how he conducted himself were stupid.”
Not only is Stause on Selling Sunset, but she also joined the cast of this season’s Dancing with the Stars. Stause & Selling Sunset have passed Hartley & This Is Us in popularity. Hartley is like the nerdy kid in school, dumping the cheer captain over text. No matter what the reason is, he’ll never be the good guy in this situation.
Because of Stause’s rising popularity, waiting for the story to get out of the public eye will take longer than expected, and public perception is not on Hartley’s side. Schiffer noted, “[Hartley] is an example of out of touch celebrity elitism that the public finds disgusting. Time isn’t going to save him – it will only harden his brand.”
Hartley is on an NBC show, which comes with a different set of standards & expectations. So Schiffer expects there is more to the story.
The last thing Hartley needs right now is a drawn-out divorce hearing. Hartley’s best option is to come to an agreement with Stause and use that as his statement, and the sooner, the better.
Schiffer recommends just owning up to his behavior and taking responsibility for his actions. Schiffer continued that Hartley must, “at some point, own that behavior and show remorse. He has this enormous ego where he thinks he is above it all and is scared to face the media because of the missiles that are going to come in every side and can’t defend.”
An answer will come out eventually. Whether it’s on Hartley’s terms or through a divorce hearing is up to him at this point. But right now, waiting is only hurting his image.