Before Justin Hartley was starring on CBS’ new show Tracker — which premieres after Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday — and even before he shot to fame on This Is Us, he married fellow soap opera star Chrishell Stause. It’s safe to say a lot has changed for those two since they tied the knot in 2016, having split up in a divorce that Stause publicized on her reality show, Selling Sunset, in 2020.
But before the drama began, Stause and Hartley were officially introduced in October 2013 by one of Strauss’s Days of Our Lives casemates — and sparks flew. She told PEOPLE, “The next day, I texted my friend: ‘I found him.'” Hartley felt the same way. “I drove her home and called the next day,” he said. “We haven’t been apart since. I knew right away [and] was like, ‘Oh boy, here we go.'”
Flash forward a few years after many red carpets and other public appearances together, Hartley popped the question in July 2016. Soon after that, This Is Us premiered on NBC in September 2016, setting Hartley on a path to stardom. Stause was on her own way to stardom as a soap star, but it would be a few more years until she reached her peak fame level on Selling Sunset.
The two married in October 2017 in an outdoor ceremony in Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. Stause told PEOPLE the nuptials “exceeded anything I could have ever imagined.” Hartley’s daughter Isabella, from his previous marriage to Lindsay Korman, served as both the flower girl and ring bearer for the ceremony.
It’s unclear where exactly things started to go south for Hartley and Stause, but in November 2019, Hartley filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. He listed their date of separation as July 8, 2019 — something that surprised fans as the couple had been seen loved-up on each other at several events, including the Emmys in September and a Golden Globes party a week before the filing.
Six months later in May 2020, Hartley was photographed kissing his former Young and the Restless co-star Sofia Pernas. A source told PEOPLE at the time that they had been dating for “a few weeks.”
In July, Stause filed to restore her maiden name and accused her Selling Sunset co-star Christine Quinn of telling Page Six details about the divorce. At that point, Selling Sunset had aired its first two seasons on Netflix, having debuted in March 2019, and Quinn and Stause were well into their frenemy storyline.
With the premiere of Season 3 of Selling Sunset in August 2020, fans saw Stause’s reaction to Hartley’s divorce filing. She said on the show she was totally blindsided and claimed she only found out about it when Hartley texted her the news.
“I’m just kind of in shock with it all,” she said midway through the season. “I’m trying to keep it together, but it’s just a lot all at once ’cause everybody in the whole world knows, like at the same time that I knew. Have you ever been knocked over by a wave and you don’t know which way to swim to get up?”
She later said in a conversation with coworker Mary Fitzgerald, “Because of the crazy way in which this went down, people want answers, and I f—ing want answers. I know people are saying, like, we were only married two years – but it’s like, we were together for six years.”
“I think a lot has changed in the six years that we were together and the two years we were married,” she said. “It’s not normal to meet somebody and then they become wildly famous or they become wildly rich or all these things.”
Soon after that, Hartley and Pernas went public on Instagram. In September, Stause opened up about being heartbroken by how quickly Hartley moved on. “I feel like anybody would be heartbroken to see how quickly or easily you are replaced; of course that’s going to sting,” she said at the time.
The divorce was eventually finalized in February 2021. In March, Hartley and Pernas tied the knot. On Selling Sunset, Stause reacted to the marriage: “My ex-husband Justin is remarried to someone I know from back in the day, pretty well, and a lot of things made sense after finding that out,” she said. “I wish them the best. You know, I think that it actually, if anything, it felt good to know that. It felt like a little bit of closure.”
Stause started dating her Selling Sunset co-star Jason Oppenheim in July 2021, but they broke up in December of that year over their differing opinions on having children. In May 2022, Stause confirmed rumors that she was dating Australian musician G Flip, and the couple got married in May 2023.
While a lot of things have changed for the two TV stars over the years, Hartley and Stause remain committed to their careers through it all. Hartley currently stars on the new CBS series Tracker as Colter Shaw, a mysterious lone-wolf survivalist who roams the country as a reward seeker, based on the novel The Never Game. The series premiere will air after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 11 on CBS and Paramount+. (Click here for a Paramount + free trial to stream Tracker.)