Kelly Clarkson Says She Did Not Handle Her Divorce “Gracefully”
Ahead of the release of her new album “Chemistry” on June 23, Kelly Clarkson is opening up about her 2020 split from husband Brandon Blackstock. Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock that summer, and their divorce was ultimately finalized in 2022. In a new interview, Clarkson admits that she doesn’t think she handled the split all that well.
“I don’t know how people get through anything like that because I’m not going to say I did it gracefully. Behind closed doors by myself, it was not,” Clarkson said on the June 21 episode of “The Zane Lowe Show.” “Just to be brutally honest, I did not handle it well. I had many sessions with just my friends [where] I couldn’t even speak. I was crying so hard, even before separating.”
She continued, “There were just a lot of now unhealthy habits you recognize or habits that you recognize that you didn’t see before. Hindsight is a lot easier.”
Clarkson also told the Today Show on June 22 that she did “have a little text exchange” with Blackstock about the new album. “I don’t even remember why or how it happened, but I was like, ‘Hey, I didn’t just diminish us down to one (thing),'” she explained. “You know what I’m saying? It’s all in there, the ride. The beauty is in there, as well. Now, there’s a lot of pain, but that’s what happens, for all of us.”
Clarkson and Blackstock share custody of their two kids, River, 9, and Remy, 7. Earlier this June, she opened up about how she thinks the divorce made her a “far better mother.” “Because I think when you’re honest with yourself, you’re able to be honest with others,” Clarkson told the “We Can Do Things” podcast, per Good Morning America. “But sometimes you don’t know that you’re necessarily lying to yourself.” She also said that her kids have a “separate relationship” with their dad, which has nothing to do with her. Her kids, she added, are “just really adamant about keeping that dream alive” that she and Blackstock might reunite, but Clarkson said they never spend any time together, so it’s unlikely.
Clarkson and Blackstock were married nearly seven years before they separated in June 2020. The couple wed in 2013. Clarkson previously opened up about their separation in a December 2020 episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” “I’m obviously going through one right now. It’s horrible. There are so many hard parts. The hardest for me is the kids. That’s the hardest for me,” Kelly candidly revealed on her show. Ahead, here’s a timeline of their split.
- Clarkson files for divorce. On June 4, 2020, Clarkson filed for divorce Blackstock, a music manager, after almost seven years of marriage. In court documents obtained by People, Clarkson cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their split and listed their separation date as “TBD.”
- Clarkson says she didn’t see the split coming. During the season two premiere of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in September 2020, Clarkson opened up about her divorce. “I’m so glad I can still connect with all of you in my studio because, as you probably know, 2020 has brought a lot of change also to my personal life. Definitely didn’t see anything coming that came,” she said, per Entertainment Tonight. “What I’m dealing with is hard because it involves more than just my heart, it involves a lot of little hearts. We have four kids,” she said, referencing their two kids and Blackstock’s children from a previous marriage, Savannah and Seth. “Divorce is never easy. We’re both from divorced families, so we know the best thing here is to protect our children and their little hearts.” She assured her audience that she was OK, but she preferred to keep details private for the sake of their children.
- Clarkson is awarded primary physical custody of River Rose and Remington Alexander. “The Court finds that under the circumstances present in this case, the interest in providing stability and continuity for the minor children weighs in favor of Petitioner having primary custody,” court documents stated, per People, referring to Clarkson, with the doc adding that “the level of conflict between the parents has increased,” because “the parties have a difficult time co-parenting due to issues of trust between them.”
- Blackstock seeks spousal and child support. According to People, in November 2020, the music manager filed documents seeking $436,000 in monthly spousal and child support. “Brandon’s been equally unreasonable in his requests for child and spousal support, as well as attorney fees. Kelly’s offered to pay for all the kids’ expenses, but Brandon seems to think he is entitled to and needs $301,000 in spousal support and $135,000 in child support per month,” a source told the publication. “Additionally, he’s already asked for $2 million for attorney fees when he’s the one driving up the cost of the divorce with seven attorneys just representing him alone.”
- Clarkson gets candid about her divorce once again. During a December 2020 episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” the host discussed her divorce with author Glennon Doyle and guest Alicia Keys. “I’m obviously going through one right now,” she said, referencing the split. “It’s horrible. There are so many hard parts. The hardest for me is the kids. That’s the hardest for me.”
- Clarkson claims Blackstock defrauded her out of millions of dollars. In December 2020, Us Weekly reported that Kelly filed legal documents with the California Labor Commission that fall, claiming that Blackstock and his father Narvel Blackstock’s Starstruck Management company defrauded her by charging her outlandish fees during the 13 years she was with the company. She alleged that their agreement was a “fraudulent and subterfuge device” that allowed her managers to perform “illegal services” as agents, which they were never licensed as in California. Clarkson was seeking payment for all the fees she gave the company over the years. Us Weekly reported this June that the case is set to be decided this fall.
- Clarkson is declared legally single. Clarkson filed in summer of 2021 to be declared legally single though the divorce was ongoing, and her request was granted that August, per People.
- Clarkson gives Blackstock five percent of her Montana Ranch. Clarkson initially was able to keep her Montana ranch when a court agreed it fell within the prenuptial agreement, but Blackstock argued it was a marital home. In January 2022, Clarkson agreed to give him just five percent of it according to People.
- Clarkson and Blackstock’s divorce is finalized. Clarkson and Blackstock’s divorce was finalized in March 2022, per court documents obtained by The Blast. Clarkson had to pay Blackstock a one-time payment of $1.3 million and she began paying child support that February. They share joint legal custody of the kids, but Clarkson has primary physical custody.