“It is with immense sadness, Stephen & I have decided to end our relationship as a couple. We have been working hard for a long time — both as a married couple & as individuals & have come to the conclusion to remain separate,” the 41-year-old former Bachelorette began in a statement on Thursday, January 19. “We remain loving parents to our beautiful children, Addison & Austin, & will continue to raise them together with love & faith.”
Pappas concluded: “We ask you to respect our privacy during this difficult time as we navigate the new normal. We want to thank our dear friends & family for your endless support & many, many prayers during what has become the most difficult time of our lives.”
Bachelor Nation met Pappas in 2007 during Brad Womack’s first stint as the Bachelor. After he rejected both of his finalists, ABC named Pappas the lead of the fourth season of the spinoff. Pappas got engaged to Jesse Csincsak during the 2008 finale, but they split less than one year later.
The former reality star went on to meet Stagliano through his twin brother, Michael Stagliano, who appeared on season 5 of The Bachelorette (which starred Jillian Harris).
“I’m actually really thankful [Brad changed his mind], you know, I got to go on and be the Bachelorette after that. All the friends, all the opportunities that I’ve had, and then ultimately meeting Stephen and my kids,” Pappas said while reflecting on her journey during an appearance on Us Weekly’s “Here for the Right Reasons” podcast in 2020. “It all clearly was in the plan for me, you know, so I don’t know that I’m stoked to relive that but I guess hindsight is 20/20.”
Pappas and Stephen wed in October 2011 and welcomed two kids. Addison, now 8, was born in February 2014 and Austin, now 6, was born in March 2016.
The spouses were previously open about going to therapy during their marriage, with Pappas telling Us in 2018: “We think you’re crazy if you don’t go to therapy. We are all a product of our environment and how we were raised and none of us are perfect.”
During the same interview, Pappas joked, “I’m sure Stephen would wish that we had sex on a regular basis. … But we try.”