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Renee Zellweger: Kenny Chesney gay rumors made me sad

The couple annulled their marriage in 2005 after just four months of being wed.

By Annie Martin
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Renee Zellweger: Kenny Chesney gay rumors made me sad
Renee Zellweger at the Costume Institute Benefit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 6, 2013. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Renee Zellweger says the rumors surrounding ex-husband Kenny Chesney's sexuality during their split were "unnecessary" and mean-spirited.

The 47-year-old actress addressed past reports that she and the 48-year-old county star annulled their marriage because Chesney is gay in an interview with Advocate magazine.

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"That made me sad," she said of the rumors. "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."

Zellweger and Chesney had married in May 2005 after a whirlwind romance. The couple announced plans to annul their marriage just four months later, with the actress citing "fraud" for the split.

"[I] said all I needed to say on that subject. I'm an old-fashioned gal who doesn't feel it's appropriate to hang out your laundry on the lawn," the actress said of her reluctance to address speculation at the time.

"Sometimes it is difficult to just let something be what it is, especially when it's unnecessary ugliness," she explained. "Once you've said your piece, shouldn't that be enough? And why is the ugliess that's perpetrated in the media so attractive to people?"

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Zellweger had clarified in a statement after the split that she used the term "fraud" as "legal language and not a reflection of Kenny's character." She discouraged fans from perpetuating the rumors, but declined to comment on "the specifics of [their] decision."

"I would personally be very grateful for your support in refraining from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalized or untrue conclusions and greatly appreciate your understanding that we hope to experience this transition as privately as possible," she said.

Neither Zellweger nor Chesney has married again, although the actress is presently dating musician Doyle Bramhall II. She will next star in the movie Bridget Jones's Baby, which opens in theaters Sept. 16.

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