The marriage of actor Doug Hutchison, 51, and aspiring singer Courtney Stodden, 16, set the Internet ablaze a few weeks ago, with most of the comments online starting with “What the …?” and getting more vitriolic from there.
The couple has taken to the airwaves to defend their controversial union, which has the full blessing of Stodden’s parents and, Stodden and Hutchison say, is built on real love.
Hutchison — who’s four years older than Stodden’s father — tells “Good Morning America” that they first met when Courtney inquired about acting classes he was teaching. They began an e-mail correspondence — which he says she turned toward the romantic — and at first he didn’t know she’s 35 years his junior.
When he did find out, “You can imagine, my world turned upside down,” Hutchison says. Both say there was nothing untoward (or potentially illegal) in their e-mails. “I’m telling you, it was a really beautiful and unique way to get to know someone, because we didn’t have the distraction of the physical,” he says.
Stodden calls Hutchison “my soulmate,” and they say they’re doing their best to ignore all the harsh comments online. “If [people] need to feel that way, that’s theirs to hold, not ours,” Hutchison says.
And, oh yeah, several producers have approached them to do a reality show. The full “GMA” segment is below, and judging by George Stephanopoulos’ reaction at the end of the piece, people remain skeptical.