NEW YORK (February 15, 2007) — Kenny Chesney explains why the word “fraud” was used on the document filed by Renee Zellweger to annul their marriage and denies the gay rumors it sparked, in an interview to air Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
“It’s not true. Period. Maybe I should have come out and said, `No, I’m not (gay),’ but I didn’t want to draw any more attention to it,” the 38-year-old country singer says. “… I didn’t have to prove to anybody that I wasn’t (gay). I didn’t feel like I really did.”
Zellweger and Chesney were married on the Caribbean island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands in May 2005. It was the first marriage for both. Four months later, Zellweger listed “fraud” as the reason she was seeking an annulment.
An annulment is a judicial declaration that a marriage never legally existed.
In California, an annulment may be granted when either party in the marriage is under 18, of unsound mind, bound to a previous marriage or if the consent to marry was obtained by fraud or force.
The Oscar-winning actress later issued a statement saying the term “fraud” was “simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny’s character.”
“We thought the least harmful (stated reason) was fraud because it (is) kind of broad … doesn’t specify,” Chesney says. “And boy … we were wrong.”
“The only fraud that was committed was me thinking that I knew what it was like … that I really understood what it was like to be married, and I really didn’t,” he says.
Chesney, who is set to go on tour this summer, says he has no regrets.
“Not at all. Not one bit,” he says. “Even though I’d sit here and say I wish we’d gotten divorced instead of all that annulment stuff, and saved me a lot of public humiliation … I still don’t have any regrets. I loved her, you know? And it was real.”
Zellweger, 37, won an Oscar for 2003’s “Cold Mountain.”