Kelsea Ballerini and Morgan Evans are both sharing their sides of what seems to be a very messy divorce.
Last week, Kelsea appeared as a guest on the Call Her Daddy podcast, dishing about the nature of their breakup and how things have unfolded for her since their split. Meanwhile, Morgan dropped the third episode of his five-part docuseries that’s been published to his YouTube channel, Over For You. It shares the same name as the song he wrote about the couple’s divorce.
The song, released in October, two months after Kelsea filed for divorce, chronicles his split from her. And the docuseries follows Morgan as he returns to the stage with a song he and his team say is his "most personal" hit ever. The lyrics suggest he was blindsided by Kelsea’s decision to file for divorce. He says he wrote it within days of packing up and leaving the home they lived in together, and that though it was difficult for him to share it, hearing his fans relate to his heartbreak has been rewarding. The docuseries also features some interesting commentary from Morgan’s parents, who say he was “destroyed” after his split from Kelsea.
“Everything’s blowing up, destroyed in his life,” Morgan’s dad John said about their divorce, before adding “I think he needed to come home and feel like he’s a special person and everyone loves him.”
But according to Kelsea, the song and docuseries don’t accurately capture what led to the end of their marriage, and she says she was “livid” when he released the song.
“As he’s putting out a song about being blindsided, he’s taking half the house that he didn’t pay for,” she said during her conversation with Alex Cooper. “How was I married to this person for this long and had no idea that that bit of character was tucked within that human being?”
But it’s hard to tell who’s being honest here. Allegedly, Kelsea had been unfaithful to Morgan. It’s rumoured that back in 2019, she cheated on him with Drew Taggart from The Chainsmokers – the same guys who admitted to engaging in threesomes together, sometimes with fans. The outlet says she came clean to Morgan about the hookup in 2021, and filed for divorce a year later.
If the extra-marital hookup is true, then my heart bleeds for Morgan. But with both parties releasing songs and docuseries sharing their sides of the story, it all seems so extreme and so convoluted.
Morgan’s dad’s point about needing to go home and feel loved is absolutely natural. He’s from Australia. He moved to America and no longer had a romantic connection to keep him there. But when you dig a little deeper, their remarks seem to suggest he’s the only one going through a split here.
If the commentary from his parents is any indication, he was primed to be the type of husband Kelsea says he was – totally self-involved and out of touch with what his partner was experiencing. And while their devotion to him is admirable, it’s dangerous. We’ve seen what happens to men coddled in private and public spheres. They learn their entitlement in their homes. In hearing their remarks, you ask yourself whether his parents are genuinely blinded by the love they have for their son or whether they’re in on the efforts to capitalize off of this divorce and boost his career as much as possible in the process.
And to Kelsea’s point about not knowing this part of his character was in there, it’s a tough thing to learn all of someone in just nine months. Also – he’s taking half the house he didn’t pay for because it was in the prenup. So there’s that.
It’s no secret she’s got more followers, more hits and more fame than Morgan. From a business perspective, he’s doing all the right things. But from a human one, what he – and she, for that matter - are doing is very cringey, but totally on brand for how splits can unfold in Hollywood where there’s a rat race to tell your side of the story first. And loudest.
Whether infidelity is the root cause or not, there can be a very gendered response to a breakup or divorce. I’ve written about Nia Long’s high-profile split from Ime Udoka. Not once throughout the entire ordeal did she sit and look for sympathy. She packed up her sh-t and went on her way and is at the top of her game in spite of what she’s been through. It’s not to say that it wasn’t difficult or painful for her, but she took it in stride – as most women in and out of Hollywood often have no choice but to do.
While its nice to see Morgan leaning into his pain and using it as inspiration to make music and to connect with his fans, it seems to be in the name of evoking himpathy, which we’ve covered extensively on the site. Himpathy turns women into villains.
Drew Taggart hookup or not, hearing Kelsea’s revelations about the pair enduring couples therapy for years, despite only being married for five, spending many nights sleeping on the couch, and also having initial hesitations about wanting to get married in the first place, all seem to challenge the idea that he was blindsided.
"I had a pretty good grasp on my grieving journey until that song came out and I was livid. I think that maybe there's a world that he was blindsided. I did not blindside him. Two things can be true at once, and I think like if he truly was blindsided, then where was he?" she asked during the podcast.
Being married and divorced at 29 may be a tough pill to swallow for her. But it seems to have given Morgan the inspiration he needed to enter into a new phase in his career. And it seems to have given Kelsea the clarity she needed to find new love – with Outer Banks star Chase Stokes. And while the pair have confirmed their relationship, the idea of marriage is not even remotely on Kelsea’s radar.
“I love the idea of partnership. I’m a relationship bitch. But I don’t know that I believe in the legality of it all anymore,” she told Alex Cooper. “And I think if you want to be with someone, it should be a daily choice.”