The short-lived marriage of Kenny Chesney and Renée Zellweger

The marriage was annulled after only four months.


Hollywood is the place where the magic happens. Besides all those glorious million-dollar worth productions, it is also known for the love stories of many celebrities who hope to find the right one in a colleague or a co-star. However, what is typical for most Hollywood marriages is that they don’t usually last, and the one between the Bridget Jones’ Diary star Renée Zellweger and country singer Kenny Chesney is an example of that.

From the very start, the public believed that this couple was a bit unlike. Renée was reaching for the stars at the time, while Kenny already had a number of famous songs under his belt, so they were both famous in their own right.

What they had in common was that they were both from Texas, but that wasn’t reason enough for their union to succeed.

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The two were reported to have first met during NBC’s broadcast “Concert of Hope,” a tsunami aid telethon in January 2005. Apparently, Kenny learned that Renée was trying to “pass him a note.”

“When the broadcast wrapped, [Chesney] went over [to Zellweger] and said, ‘I hear you are trying to pass me a note — don’t let the principal find out,’” a friend of Rene’s told People.

Before this meeting, Renée was dating other people. She was shortly engaged to actor Jim Carrey and dated musician Jack White, lead singer of The White Stripes.

At the time, Kenny already had 20 albums and more than 40 top 10 singles on the US Billboard Hot Country, while Renée charmed the world with her roles in Jerry Maguire and the iconic Bridget Jones Diary.

Jim Carrey & Renee Zellweger at the Mann Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California
(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Once Renée and Kenny announced they were dating, the news took the magazines by storm. Few weeks later, they revealed they tied the knot during a private ceremony at St. John at Kenny’s place in the gated community of Peter Bay.

“It’s a quick, surprise wedding, kind of a shocker for all of us here in Hollywood who did not see it coming,” Mark Steins of Entertainment Tonight wrote at the time.

What came as a bigger shock was that just four months after saying I do, Renée asked her marriage to be annulled. Neither of them wanted to speak of the reasons which led to the decision at the time, but over the years, they both opened up and tried to make things more clear.


Apparently, Rene listed “fraud” as the reason for her marriage to be annulled, and that caused quite a stir because people started speculating that Kenny could be gay. The actress the felt the urge to comment on those speculations, saying, “the miscommunication of the objective of their marriage at the start is the only reason for this annulment.”

Further, she was reported to have told Celebrity Nine, “That made me sad. 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.”

Some believed the problem started at their honeymoon. “Well, we did our honeymoon in Little Rock at a show. I had to go back on the road, so we went to Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Dallas and San Antonio. And then I flew here. So it was not that great of a honeymoon,” the musician reported back in the day.

During an appearance at Oprah, Kenny tried to explain what really happened between him and his now ex-wife. He said his life was sort of packed in a box, and Renée somehow didn’t fit in that box.

”I panicked. It was out of the box. Oh my God, but it’s tough. It really is tough, and she’s a sweet soul, no doubt about it, but I just wasn’t ready…. This is the first time I’ve actually talked about it, but that’s what happened.”

This, however, didn’t put a stop to the rumors, so in 2009, Kenny had an interview with Playboy, as reported by CMT News, and went further on to explain, “That is the most unbelievable thing in the world … What guy who loves girls wouldn’t be angry about that sh—? I didn’t sign up for that. I think people need to live their lives the way they want to, but I’m pretty confident in the fact that I love girls. (laughs) I’ve got a long line of girls who could testify that I am not gay.”


Although this celeb marriage was short-lived, it managed to cause controversy. We believe both Renée and Kenny are glad this period of their lives is behind them as they both continued be great at what they do when it comes to their professional lives.