Chrishell Stause gained a whole new level of fame with Selling Sunset. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you probably at least recognize the name of the reality show. The Netflix original series follows a luxury real estate brokerage in Los Angeles, and the breakout star of the show was none other than Stause. The Kentucky native won viewers over with her charm, wit, and sweet smile, and, with the drama on the show and the drama in her real life, Stause has only continued to rise in celebrity.
But even though the Selling Sunset version of Stause is gorgeous, talented, successful, and a total boss babe, things weren’t always that easy for the actress/real estate agent/realty star. In fact, looking back over the years, the stunning transformation of Chrishell Stause proves that hard work pays off, and no matter where you start your life, you can end up on top. From her days as a kid in Kentucky all the way to her posing on the red carpet, Stause really does have it all, and she’s climbed the ladder to get there.
The story behind Chrishell Stause's name is fascinating
As well known as Chrishell Stause is after making her Selling Sunset debut, there was a time when she wasn’t famous… like at all. But even while she was working towards her dreams, people wondered whether or not there was a story behind her name, as it’s so unique. And as it turns out, the truth to her name — and her birth — is the stuff Lifetime movies are made of.
In a 2015 interview with AfterBuzz TV, Stause was asked about the story of her name, and it’s super fascinating. “It’s basically my mom was having car trouble. She was pregnant,” she explained, adding that her mom went to a Shell station that had a mechanic. It was there that Stause’s mom went into labor, and she was soon taken to the hospital via ambulance. “The man that was working there that was so lovely to her and holding her hand and um, everything … his name was Chris, and she wanted to somehow incorporate his name, and name me after him for helping her,” Stause revealed. “And so she thought Chris, and it was Shell, so it’s Chrishell.” So sweet!
Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset experienced childhood poverty
To look at Chrishell Stause in Selling Sunset or on her social media, you might believe that she has just always been the glamorous and successful person she is now. However, that’s not the case, and, as it turns out when Stause was growing up, she was far from being rich or flashy. In fact, Stause has been pretty open about the poverty she experienced in her childhood. She even revealed how hard it was for her growing up the way she did.
In an interview with Page Six, Stause revealed that her childhood was wrought with hard times. “I was homeless a few times in my life and it was really hard growing up, but now I’m super grateful about everything,” she said. “I’m still really cheap!” As strange as it might seem, the woman who has sold multi-million dollar homes on television actually grew up sometimes not even having a home for herself. To say that Stause has come a long way from being the “smelly kid” in school who didn’t have running water at home, as she’s shared (via House Beautiful), to a powerful real estate agent in Los Angeles is the understatement of the century.
Chrishell Stause has always been close to her sister
On Season 3 of Selling Sunset, Chrishell Stause’s divorce was central to the plot of the show. The news came as a total shock to Stause, who later took time off work to go be with her sister, Shonda, in St. Louis, Mo.
While Stause was with her sister and her sister’s family, she reflected on how much she looked up to them. “They have been married so long and they have this beautiful family,” she said in the episode. “I just think it’s really hard to be around because that’s what I wanted and that’s what I am realizing I don’t have, but it helps me be inspired to know that it might be out there.”
Notably, Stause’s sister made an appearance in the series premiere of Selling Sunset, and the two reminisced about their painful childhood, bonding moment over how far they’ve both come in life. Between Shonda’s appearances on the show and Stause’s many social media posts, it’s clear the actress remains super close to her sister.
Chrishell Stause got her big break after heading to Hollywood
Growing up the way Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset did, it’s not entirely surprising that she would want to make it on her own. And make it she did. But back before she was walking red carpets and being hounded by paparazzi, Stause was just a young actress trying to break into the industry, and she actually did so not that long after college.
According to Soap Central, Stause attended Murray State University, and she got her Bachelor’s degree in theater. Before long, Stause snagged her first big role in Hollywood on the soap opera All My Children, on which she starred as Amanda Dillon from 2005 to 2011. That’s a pretty impressive first role, especially considering the fact that since Stause grew up in poverty, she didn’t really have any connections in Hollywood, and she had to make it on her own. After her time on All My Children, Stause also landed a role on Day of Our Lives as Jordan Ridgeway, which she played starting in 2013. Clearly, Stause knew how to rock the soap opera world, and she was pretty darn good at it.
Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset dated this Glee star
Believe it or not, but Chrishell Stause actually had a life before Selling Sunset took off and she became a bonafide celebrity. In fact, Stause even dated a major celebrity before meeting her eventual husband — another star! — and the relationship wasn’t exactly uneventful.
In fact, in Season 1 of Selling Sunset, Stause reflected on this past relationship she was in during her 20s. “I didn’t know what I wanted because actually if I ended up with the person I was with when I was 25, I would want to kill myself,” she joked, before adding, “Yeah, you can Google that!” Stause even added a disclaimer to the man she was referencing: “You were a d**k! Sorry!”
So just who was that Google-able man? Actor Matthew Morrison. According to The Sun, Stause and the Glee star were engaged in 2007, but they soon broke things off. “I didn’t do it for the right reasons,” Morrison told Britain’s Cosmopolitan of the proposal and subsequent split. “We’d been going out for a year or so and I felt under pressure from society.” Clearly, Stause doesn’t have fond memories of her time with Morrison, so it’s probably a good thing that the pair ended their relationship.
When Chrishell Stause met Justin Hartley, she fell hard
Clearly, Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset has dealt with more than her fair share of heartbreak and hard times. But when she met Justin Hartley, one of several celebrities who surprisingly got their start on soap operas, all of that melted away and she fell hard and fast. In fact, after their first night out together in 2013, they both felt like they had found “the one.”
Because they felt a strong connection and bond, they weren’t ashamed to move their relationship along quickly. After they were set up on a date, both Stause and Hartley thought it went well. Really well. “The next day I texted my friend: ‘I found him,'” Stause told People of her early feelings toward Hartley. And she wasn’t alone in thinking this was love at first sight. “We met up at a concert and talked all night,” Hartley added to the magazine. “I drove her home and called the next day. We haven’t been apart since. I knew right away [and] was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go.'”
Despite everything else that would eventually go down between Stause and Hartley, they both fell hard for each other — that’s for sure.
Chrishell Stause and Justin Hartley's wedding was stunning
In 2017, four years after their first real date, Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset married This Is Us star Justin Hartley in a wedding fit for royalty. As People reported, their wedding was especially stunning, with an outdoor ceremony, a star-studded guest list, and Stause in a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier wedding gown. But aesthetics aside, the wedding was a really special day for Stause.
She told People, “They don’t make them any better than Justin, and I could not be more thrilled to officially be Mrs. Hartley!” Obviously, their wedding day was important to them. Not only did they look so happy, but they appeared to be seriously in love. “The wedding exceeded anything I could have ever imagined,” Stause added. Their wedding was also pretty meaningful for more than the obvious reasons. According to People, the pair’s wedding date was exactly four years since they first met and fell for each other. If that doesn’t sound like a fairytale romance, then what does?
Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset got her real estate license to shake things up
Even though Chrishell Stause has been successful in her own right throughout her career, there was one dream she wanted to chase that had nothing to do with acting. Obviously, as seen on Selling Sunset, Stause is also a high-end real estate agent, but, before that, she was a soap opera actor who just really wanted to pursue something different.
In an interview with Parade, Stause explained that she put a lot of thought into getting her real estate license. “Well, actually, it was during my break on Days of Our Lives,” she said while maintaining that real estate wasn’t plan B for her. “The first thing I sold, my husband and I were going to buy a house, so I thought how great to be able to slowly start a second career when I’m not working with acting, and it’s just taken off from there,” she shared. Despite her successful acting career and even husband’s thriving acting career, Stause wanted something for herself, and real estate was the perfect fit.
Before Selling Sunset premiered, Chrishell Stause was still relatively unknown
Though Chrishell Stause was a staple in the soap opera world by the time Selling Sunset premiered, she wasn’t exactly an A-list actress. Sure, she was married to Justin Hartley, who many people know as Kevin Pearson from NBC’s hit drama This Is Us, but that doesn’t mean Stause was a household name. In fact, it wasn’t until Selling Sunset premiered on Netflix that Stause’s star really began to rise.
People were so confused by Stause at first. Even though Selling Sunset claimed that Stause was a real estate agent, people didn’t understand whether or not she was a realtor before the reality show started taping. And obviously, she was. She just wasn’t famous for it. Stause even defended her real estate career by showing a 2016 Instagram post where she announced her new career path, as reported by Yahoo! Style. Selling Sunset definitely helped Stause become well known in the real estate industry, and with the success of the series, there’s no telling just how far Stause will go.
Chrishell Stause's divorce from Justin Hartley was totally unforeseen
One of the most heartbreaking moments of Chrishell Stause’s life took place on camera. On Season 3 of Selling Sunset, viewers got a front-row seat for Stause’s divorce from Justin Hartley. Though Hartley filed for divorce on Nov. 22, 2019, fans didn’t get to see Stause’s response until the reality series aired its third season.
In one episode, after the news had already broken, Stause revealed the details of the split, and it was clear she was struggling to cope. Through tears, Stause shared to friend and coworker Mary Fitzgerald that she found out about Hartley filing for divorce right before news broke to the public. “I found out because he [texted] me,” she said. “Forty-five minutes later, the world knew.” But the way she learned wasn’t the only thing with which Stause took issue. “It’s hard. It takes a toll on your self-worth where you just feel the anger. ‘How could you do it this way?'” she told Fitzgerald. “And then the sadness, like, ‘I love him so much. This was my best friend. Who do I talk to now?’ It’s just such a roller coaster.” Stause’s pain was palpable in the episode, and there’s no denying the fact that most Selling Sunset fans are totally #TeamChrishell.
So, wondering what happened that led to Justin Hartley’s messy divorce? Here’s the real reason why Justin Hartley and Chrishell Stause split.
Chrishell Stause's dad sadly passed away
Chrishell Stause’s life has been marked with tragedy. From her childhood poverty to her romantic heartbreaks to the drama on Selling Sunset, life hasn’t always been kind to her. And when her dad sadly passed away, as reported by the Mirror, Stause was understandably in mourning.
In April of 2019, Stause shared the heartbreaking news that her father had tragically died on Easter. “We lost you today but it was a long terrible battle with cancer that started taking you years ago,” she wrote alongside an Instagram photo of her dad and mom smiling together. “I choose to remember you the way you were before it took it’s hold on you. You are at peace now, and ever the Catholic man at heart, I think you chose Easter for a reason.”
Stause’s words on her father’s passing were certainly beautiful, and her bereavement was clear. Stause’s first Father’s Day without her dad was hard for her, and she again took to Instagram to share an important reminder with her followers. “Not sure who needs to hear this, but call your Dad if you can,” she wrote next to a series of throwback photos with her father. Losing a parent is never easy, and Stause unfortunately knows that well.
Chrishell Stause's mother tragically passed away
As if 2020 wasn’t enough of a troublesome year, Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset also lost her mother to cancer in July 2020, as reported by Entertainment Tonight, just over a year after her dad had passed away from cancer. It was obviously heartbreaking for the successful star, and she shared her pain with the world when she took to Instagram.
Stause shared a series of photos of her mother and wrote a moving caption. “In disbelief that you are gone,” she began. “Feeling just about every emotion, but I find comfort knowing Dad is up there taking care of you and showing you the ropes like only he could. Absolutely heartbreaking watching you take your last labored breath, but there is a peace knowing you two are together again, free from the pain that plagued your time here.” Losing both parents in the span of just over a year could not have been easy for Stause, but she’s managed to cope and has clearly been living life to the fullest ever since.
Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset hopes to be a mom one day
Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset doesn’t have any biological children of her own, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want that for herself. In fact, she’s made it clear that she did want to be a mom, but when she was with her ex-husband Justin Hartley, it wasn’t a priority for the couple.
In a 2019 interview with Us Weekly, Stause explained that the timing just wasn’t right for them to have a baby. “We don’t know [when] yet,” she said. “I have a stepdaughter (Justin has a daughter), so we’ve got our hands full with high school.” Additionally, in a Season 3 episode of Selling Sunset, Stause revealed that she might have put off her dream of having children to appease her husband, whom she was still with at the time. “He is more patient than me, but I definitely would have thought that I would be a mom at this point, but I love him,” she told friend Mary Fitzgerald.
Clearly, a baby wasn’t in the cards for Stause and Hartley, but that doesn’t mean she won’t become a mom in the future.
Chrishell Stause from Selling Sunset landed a pretty cool dancing gig
Following the stellar third season of Selling Sunset, Chrishell Stause just became more and more well known. Want proof? Well, Stause was actually announced as one of the contestants on Dancing With the Stars, and it’s a pretty huge deal.
Stause showed her excitement for her Dancing With the Stars gig all over her social media. As of this writing, her Instagram bio even lists her as an “actor,” “realtor,” and “dancer..?” — yes, with a question mark. Still, Stause expressed loving her life on the show, and she described it as “a crazy whirlwind experience” in an interview with Good Morning America. Stause also said that she learned a lot early on. “I started this as someone who once walked out of a group fitness cardio dance class because I fell too behind and ended up doing the tango live in front of millions of people,” she explained. “So I am going to count that as a success!” And a success it is! Not many realtors can also claim to be a star on a huge reality competition series, but Stause isn’t your typical realtor.
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