It hasn’t been easy for Courtney Stodden to write her upcoming memoir.
Stodden, 27, recently spoke to Fox News Digital about rehashing their controversial marriage and other life events while writing their currently untitled book.
Stodden, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them pronouns, was 16 years old when they married Doug Hutchison in 2011. He was 51 years old at the time. In 2018, Stodden filed for divorce. The divorce was finalized two years later.
“A lot of different chapters in my life have been challenging to live through once and then to kind of go back and relive it again in order to tell the story is extra challenging, but it also gives me a better insight,” Stodden told Fox News Digital.
COURTNEY STODDEN TALKS ENGAGEMENT, CYBERBULLYING, MUSIC, AND MORE: ‘I’M A BADA– SURVIVOR’
“I’m working with a therapist right now to kind of process it all too as I’m writing it out and reliving it again. And it’s freeing. It’s definitely given me a better outlook on it. I see it for what it is ,” they noted.
For Stodden, the writing process has “shined a light” on the alleged “grooming” they experienced, they said.
“It has shined a light on the grooming and what happened to me and what actually happens to a lot of other children in the USA as well,” Stodden shared.
A rep for Hutchison did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Going through marriage at a young age helped Stodden become “so strong.”
“I am a really empathetic, sensitive person, and I have always been,” Stodden told Fox News Digital. “But my experience has made me so strong.”
“If it didn’t happen, I feel like my whole outlook on life would be so different. Experiences that are traumatizing can either break us or we can utilize them to shape us into a stronger individual. And that’s really one of the main reasons why I’m speaking out is because I want past victims and survivors to really tap into that part of themselves.
“It’s just really made me very fearless.”
As Stodden has moved on in life, they’ve also moved on in love. They got engaged to Chris Sheng in May 2021.
“I said yes … OH and the ring made me gag it’s so beautiful,” Stodden captioned a video of their engagement ring on Instagram.
Sheng confirmed the engagement in his own post on social media.
“On Friday, May 28 I proposed to the love of my life and they said Yes,” he wrote at the time.
“I feel so blessed and fortunate,” Sheng added. “We have both grown so much since we first met, and the fact that we have both been able to grow into better, stronger, more secure individuals while still being in a relationship together makes me have faith that this partnership will last a lifetime.
“For the first time we’re both experiencing unconditional love. The truest kind of love. The kind where we may not always like each other but will ALWAYS love each other. I promise to always be your rock, support, and shoulder to lean on – no matter what. I got you. Ily,” he concluded.
The two are still engaged, but Stodden wants to take their time when it comes to another marriage.
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“I think that’s the key for me is to take my time and not to rush anything,” Stodden told Fox News Digital. “The next time I walk down the aisle, I want to just feel like I’m completely prepared. I wasn’t prepared the first time, and there’s a lot of trauma surrounding the idea of marriage for me.”
Stodden says this time will be different because they will “be an adult.”
“My brain will be developed, and I’ll be able to make my own decision completely and fully transparently to myself,” Stodden said.
Stodden has also been a victim of online bullying. They publicly called out Chrissy Teigen for cyberbullying in 2021. Teigen had announced she was leaving Twitter due to the negativity; Stodden accused the model of bullying them online for years.
Although Teigen has never directly apologized for the cyberbullying, Stodden told Fox News Digital they aren’t waiting around for one.
“I haven’t heard from her. I don’t need an apology,” Stodden said.
“I’m not sitting around waiting for an apology from all of the past people that treated me like s–t. It’s not what I need. And it’s taught me to tap more into my own strength.”
Stodden’s memoir isn’t the only project the model has been working on. They also plan to be more involved with animal rights activism.
Stodden became a vegetarian around age 16 and explained that they struggled with eating meat from a young age, sharing that they would “just cry” when they would go fishing with their parents.
“I think from a really young age, I just had this really full heart when it came to other living creatures,” they explained.