Kelsea Ballerini hinted strongly at the marital troubles leading to her divorce in the new EP Rolling Up the Welcome Mat, but now she’s talking specifics. In the new episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, Ballerini opened up to host Alex Cooper about the factors that led to her split from singer-songwriter Morgan Evans in 2022.
Ballerini and Evans married in 2017 after a whirlwind relationship and cohabitation. But after tying the knot, she said she realized later that she didn’t think she really wanted to be married.
“I did, in that moment, but fundamentally, I think from the trauma I had as a kid, I didn’t,” Ballerini said, citing her parents’ divorce. “I think I told myself that I did. And I take full responsibility of that narrative.”
Things between Ballerini and Evans were complicated by the fact that they were both performers at very different points in their careers. Ballerini, who was closing in on superstardom with a growing list of hits and a hectic touring schedule, said she often felt like she was the one shouldering more of the partnership — in terms of time and money — to make the relationship work.
“I got to a place where if I was like, ‘If I wasn’t killing myself to figure out how this overlaps and how this works,’ as I’m busy, we just wouldn’t exist,” she said.
The divorce filing happened in August 2022 and was finalized by October 2022. That same year, Evans released the song “Over for You” about how he felt blindsided by her decision to end the marriage — but Ballerini isn’t buying it.
“Who you marry is not who you divorce,” she says. “As he’s putting out a song about being blindsided, he’s taking half the house that he didn’t pay for.”
Still, she said she accepts her share of the blame for things not working out.
“I was not perfect, he was not perfect, it was not perfect,” she says. “And so, there were definitely moments that I look back on where I’m like, ‘Oh, I should’ve done that different,’ or, ‘I could’ve showed up here. I could’ve taken the flight this time.’”
Evans tweeted a response yesterday, asking people not direct hate toward Ballerini while still defending his side of the story. “It’s really sad for me to see this person, who I spend so much of my life with, and loved with all my heart, saying things that aren’t reality and that leave out what really happened. If this is what she needs to heal, I hope it helps.”
Ballerini, meanwhile, has moved on and is currently dating Outer Banks star, Chase Stokes. She’s currently in Europe playing a series of live dates before returning to North America for a few headlining shows, followed by supporting appearances with Kenny Chesney’s tour.
From Rolling Stone US