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Chelsea Handler Opens Up About ‘Painful’ Jo Koy Split: ‘You Can’t Change a Person Intrinsically’

Putting herself first. Chelsea Handler is opening up about her split from Jo Koy days after confirming their breakup.

Related: Chelsea Handler and Jo Koy's Relationship Timeline

“It’s nice to bend for people. It’s nice to learn how to compromise. It’s nice to learn how to demonstrate my love publicly. I believe Jo needed that,” Handler, 47, said during a Wednesday, July 20, appearance on the “We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle” podcast. “I was so inspired by us, but Jo didn’t crack me open. My psychiatrist cracked me open, and then I was open, and then I was able to bend for somebody. But you can’t change somebody intrinsically.”

Chelsea Handler You Cant Change Person Intrinsically Amid Jo Koy Split
Chelsea Handler and Jo Koy at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3, 2022. Matt Baron/Shutterstock

She added: “I feel, you know, optimistic about the future now. I’ve changed so much and my love was so big that it just blew me open. And as painful as the ending of something like that is, I’m so well-versed in therapy and understanding that every door shutting is a new beginning and I do believe it.”

The former Chelsea Lately host and the Easter Sunday star, 51, dated for nearly one year before calling it quits. While speaking with podcast host Glennon Doyle, Handler alleged that her now-ex was unable to compromise.

Related: Celebrity Splits of 2022: Stars Who Broke Up This Year

“I’m proud of myself because I didn’t let myself cross that line,” the Life Will Be the Death of Me author said, noting that she and Koy had reached a crossroads in their relationship. “I understand the wanting to avoid that, the avoidance of wanting to look in with that and I think I’m at a place in my life that I have to be with somebody who is where I’m at with that.”

Handler confirmed the twosome’s split on Monday, July 18, sharing a video that they initially planned to release on their first anniversary. Instead, the footage was accompanied by a lengthy breakup statement.

“It is with a heavy heart to announce that we have decided together that it is best for us to take a break from our relationship right now,” she wrote on Monday. “I know many of you were invested in our love, and I wanted to express to you how much that meant to both of us. How much it still means. And how much I now believe in love for each of us.”

Handler, who began dating the Washington native in September 2021, added a sweet message to her former partner, writing, “You blew my creativity open, my lust for working hard again, being on the road again, and you reminded me who I was and always have been, and my feet have never been more firmly planted on the ground. … This is not an ending but another beginning. It is a comfort to know that I am still in love and love this man the way the sun loves the moon and the moon loves the sun.”

Related: Celebrities' Most Empowering Quotes About Being Single

The New Jersey native admitted on Wednesday that the pair had quietly split one month before announcing the news. In the end, Handler wanted to put herself first.

“That’s not to say anything about Jo Koy,” she added during the podcast interview. “I love him, and he’s on his own path. If I have to choose one person, I have to choose myself. … No one cheated or anything like that. It just didn’t work out.”

She concluded: “I did everything I could to make it work, but it didn’t work out. I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that this is a different me. This is the first time that I’ve ended a relationship where I’ve felt like an adult.”

Koy, for his part, addressed the duo’s split via Instagram on Tuesday, July 19, assuring fans that he still remains in Handler’s corner. “Just want everyone to know that Chelsea and I will always remain great friends and will always have love for one another,” he captioned a throwback snap with his ex. “I’m her biggest fan and I can’t wait for you all to see what she has in store for the future. Keep killing it, Chelsea!”

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