We wondered when one of these two was going to say something!
If you haven’t heard, the weird timing of Sophia Bush‘s divorce seemingly got an explanation last month. It felt too sudden after saccharine social media posts not to be something. The surprising story that came out in People magazine was a source claiming the One Tree Hill alum was now dating soccer star Ashlyn Harris. That may have given us a potential answer to a lot of questions, but it also raised a lot more. See, Ashlyn has been married to her USWNT teammate Ali Krieger for years! It turns out they were quietly divorcing, too. So then there were timing questions…
And quickly after all this became public, Ali strongly hinted Ashlyn had cheated! The defender hasn’t kept talking about her “Beyoncé Lemonade era”… but she hasn’t backtracked on it either. And after that, sources came out with tales of Ali finding evidence of the cheating, leading directly to the breakup over the summer. It’s gotten messy.
Neither Sophia nor Ashlyn commented — they haven’t even confirmed the reported relationship!
Related: The Cannes Video Of Sophia & Ashlyn That Had Everyone Talking
Now, however, the goalkeeper has broken her silence. On Saturday she posted a lengthy statement on her Instagram addressing the divorce, the leaks, the cheating rumors, and the backlash she’s gotten. She began by formally confirming the breakup, writing:
“Several weeks ago, a process that had been ongoing privately for some time became public. Ending a relationship after almost 13 years of friendship, teammate-ship, marriage and coparenting (many of them good years) is a decision that was not made lightly. We agreed to center our children, continue therapy, separate, and to move forward with our lives. Two happy families are always better than one unhappy one. This process is never easy, but we were making our way through.”
She then explained this was all meant to stay out of the headlines — but someone the couple knows LEAKED the info!
“At the advice of our agents, representation and friends, we planned to keep this information private until her final season. A leak (a betrayal of our deepest confidence) made that impossible.”
Hmm. Is she talking about the “source” who told People about the relationship? Not totally clear.
In any case, she’s going after the press coverage, saying:
“The online hate that has happened since has been one of the most personally devastating experiences of my life. Now, I know that it is best practice in the world of online gossip ‘not to feed the beast. Don’t respond. Don’t let them see you sweat.’ Just hide away until the tabloids and internet trolls decide to feast on someone else. For weeks, I have tried to let the fire burn out and what I’ve experienced has devastated my mental health. This has been brutal.”
We don’t know what she’s faced from internet trolls. But it sounds awful. She says she’s been inundated with some really egregious comments! She wrote:
“Words matter. The cheering on abuse, the people clamoring to encourage me to commit suicide, and the cruel words spoken about my children and who I am as a mother? Those words matter. Someday my kids are going to be able to read the hate that strangers on the internet wrote, all because those strangers had an unsolicited opinion on my health and happiness? What are we doing here?”
OK, anyone who is cheering abuse or self-harm, that’s deplorable. “Cruel words” about Ashlyn’s children?! Completely effing disgusting. We are so sorry Ashlyn is seeing that kind of abuse.
Her comments sections are limited, so we haven’t seen any examples of what she’s talking about. But we have seen several IG users blasting her and Sophia for the alleged cheating, especially in posts with Sophia in them, like this one.
“Sophia I’m disappointed gurl”
“I did use to think , “awe poor Sophia Bush,” after that Chad guy allegedly cheated on her. To turn around and be the OTHER woman in a situation years later is disgusting and pathetic.”
“How disrespectful and disappointing. @alikrieger deserves so much better. #teamali”
“Let’s see how long you two last together I wouldn’t give you 6 months till you move on and leave her high and dry . The excitement will soon end when it’s out in the open”
That sort of thing isn’t hate speech, obviously, but even comments like that take their toll. Following celebrity updates or not, no one should go to a person’s profile and bully them. Just look at how it affected Rachel Leviss. And Ashlyn seemingly blames the press for it all:
“People have run with a narrative that’s unbearably painful. Not all marriages last forever. Ours did not. For many reasons. And while I understand that the false narratives about why might feel juicier or make a better headline, they are simply not true.”
She then fully denied any cheating:
“Let me be clear: I did not step out of my marriage. I was always faithful in my marriage, if not always totally happy.”
That’s a pretty definitive denial. She continued:
“Like in many partnerships, there was work and therapy and processing done. None of this happened on a whim. We spent the entire summer working to tackle the separation and divorce steps outlined for us by our therapists, lawyers, and our shared agency. By finally choosing my own health and happiness, I know I’ve chosen a better future for my kids.”
Ashlyn then turned her sights on her own fans — blasting her community for turning on her:
“What has made this complex and difficult experience harder than I could have imagined is to have had an entire community turn on me while I’ve been moving through this. I’ve spent my whole career trying to build an inclusive space where people can show up as themselves and where they know they will be safe. That legacy has mattered to me more than anything I ever did on the pitch. Right now, it feels like the entire community has poured gasoline on me and lit the matches.”
She continued lashing out, writing:
“So many of you, including people who stand publicly as anti-bullying advocates, have cheered this on like bloodsport. As though a family in transition is on opposing teams. Like a divorce is a battle one person stands to win. I want to be clear that pushing someone to the edge? This isn’t a win. No one ‘wins’ here.”
There are a lot of #TeamAli comments out there. So we understand what she means about it feeling like people are cheering on “bloodsport.” But it must also be said, if Ali posts about her own experience, trying to move on — and invokes Queen Bey by saying she’s in her “Lemonade era” — isn’t it understandable for fans to send their love?
Ali implied cheating. And fans heard it. They put the pieces together. They commented with the information they had. Unfortunately, that’s social media, right? We do hope for Ashlyn’s sake anyone crossing a line here is dissuaded by the post. Again, we absolutely decry any “bullying” comments, any violent rhetoric, anything about self-harm, anything that comments on children. It’s horrifying anyone would even need to say that. Ick.
Ashlyn finished by once again bringing up her children, saying:
“My priority is, as it always has been, my kids. My priority is being a good co-parent to them with Ali. Despite this current darkness, there have been years of love between us. And our kids are the best part of it all. They deserve two healthy and happy parents, and that’s what matters most. We are all in pain.”
Finally, she once again blasted the “bullying” she’s receiving:
“I share all of this to remind people that bullying anyone about a personal decision, especially when that bullying is rooted in lies, really hurts.”
That’s an interesting statement. The “bullying is rooted in lies.” It seems like she is referring to the comments about cheating, as well as the hate speech. All of it wrapped up together as “bullying.” It must really be getting to her.
“I’m hoping that instead of continuing this cruelty you can remember the simple truth that I’m a human being, a mom, and a good person just trying my best. I’d appreciate if you could take a breath and treat me and my family with some humanity.”
Read her full statement (below):
It sounds like she’s been sent some awful stuff. NOT COOL. We wish folks who use the anonymity of the internet to send truly hateful messages would think again.
As for Ali Krieger’s current feelings, we don’t know. Wrapped up in Ashlyn’s messaging about mental health and bullying, this is also a denial statement. All of this stuff about the decisions they came to together, the difficulty, all of that… We can’t help but notice this isn’t a joint statement. So far this has not been cosigned by Ali. As of this writing she hasn’t shared it, she hasn’t liked it. Sophia Bush liked it. So we wonder, does Ali agree?
What do YOU think of this statement, Perezcious readers? Do you feel for Ashlyn here, with all the online abuse she says she’s facing? Do you believe she didn’t cheat on Ali? Let us know in our comments section (below)!
[Image via FayesVision/MEGA/WENN.]