Kenny Chesney recently opened up about his brief marriage to Renee Zellweger, and he admitted that the media attention surrounding their breakup stole his appreciation for fame.
Chesney and Zellweger said “I do” after only five months of dating in 2005. And four months later, they annulled their relationship. Neither of them ever shared details about the split, nor did they stoop to bad-mouthing the other to the press.
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However, the media got its hand on the annulment paperwork, which showed that Zellweger cited “fraud” as the reason. Because of that, tabloids went crazy with accusations and rumors that took aim at Kenny Chesney.
During a talk at the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville on March 14, Chesney admitted the situation was devastating for him, and it made him rein in his superstar status in the hopes of regaining his privacy.
“That changed a lot,” he admitted, per Billboard. “What is interesting is we were playing stadiums already. And after that … I didn’t have social anxiety before that, [but] then you add our success and then you add that to your life and you have a little bit of social anxiety.”
Kenny Chesney Says People Have to be ‘Crazy’ to Want to be a ‘Celebrity Today’
Chesney went on to add that he’s at least grateful that the unnecessary scandal broke before social media took over.
“Dealing with the way the world is today and how social everything is, and how information is transferred — yeah, you’d have to be crazy to want to be a celebrity today,” he added.
When asked if he enjoys being a celebrity, he said “not really.” But he writing and recording music seems to keep him going.
“I enjoy certain things about it,” he noted. “… I shy away from the celebrity thing. And I say no to a lot of things that come my way that a lot of people might say yes to. It’s too celebrity-oriented in nature. I would rather be creating.”
While he remained stayed quiet about the actual breakup during the recent interview, he did clear the air during a talk with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes in 2007.
The Grammy winner admitted that there was really no actual fraud in the marriage, at least not in the literal sense. The two only decided to check that boy because they thought it was the “least harmful” of the choices.
“The only fraud that was committed was me thinking that I knew what it was going to be like, that I really understood what it was like to be married,” he said. “And I really didn’t.”