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Renee Zellweger Opens Up About Rumors Ex-Husband Kenny Chesney Is Gay: ‘That Made Me Sad’

Renée Zellweger spoke candidly about her split from ex-husband Kenny Chesney in a new interview with The Advocate published on Thursday, September 8. Four months after Zellweger married the country star in May 2005, she filed for an annulment, citing “fraud” as the reason for their split. The move resulted in speculation that Chesney was gay. 

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Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney
Renee Zellweger and Kenny Chesney Karwai Tang/WireImage; Ari Perilstein/Getty Images

When ask by The Advocate about the rumors, The Bridget Jones’s Baby actress, 47, admitted they made her upset.

“I forgot about that. It’s a pretty big thing to forget, isn’t it? That made me sad,” she told the outlet. “It made me sad that somehow people were using that as a way to be cruel and calling someone gay as a pejorative, which has fateful consequences. Of course, there’s the bigger-picture problem of why anyone had to make up a story at all.”

After filing for the annulment in September 2005, Zellweger issued a statement clarifying that the term “fraud” was “simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny’s character.”

“I’d said all I needed to say on that subject,” she told The Advocate when asked if she felt she needed to defend Chesney at the time. “I’m an old-fashioned gal who doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to hang out your laundry on the lawn. I feel you devalue yourself as a human being when you share very personal things with a bajillion strangers who are making fun of you. I just don’t see that there’s any dignity in that. But sometimes it is difficult to just let something be what it is, especially when it’s unnecessary ugliness. Once you’ve said your piece, shouldn’t that be enough? And why is the ugliness that’s perpetuated in the media so attractive to people?”

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At the time, the exes had also issued a joint statement, attributing their split to a “miscommunication of the objective of their marriage.”

Chesney, 48, has also since defended himself.

“It’s not true. Period. Maybe I should have come out and said, ‘No, I’m not [gay],’ but I didn’t want to draw any more attention to it,” the musician told Anderson Cooper during an interview on 60 Minutes in February 2007. “I didn’t have to prove to anybody that I wasn’t [gay]. I didn’t feel like I really did.”

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Related: PHOTOS: Hollywood's Ugliest Divorces

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