Jason Aldean has filed for divorce, kicking last week's news of separation from his wife up a notch.
"This is a really tough time for my entire family," the country singer told Us Weekly in a statement about the divorce, noting that he and Jessica Ussery had been together since they were teenagers — he's 36 now — and had had ups and downs along the way. They would have been married 12 years in August.
"I've learned that everyone always rushes to judgement when they hear news like this," he told the mag. "That's really hard because no one knows anything about our relationship but us. I understand that because of my job, I have to go through a lot of this in the public eye, but for my girls' sake I really wish people would give us some level of privacy and at the very least be respectful of them."
That rush to judgment most likely involves the smooching scandal from last October, in which Aldean "acted inappropriately at a bar" -- his words -- with Brittany Kerr, an "American Idol" contestant-turned-NBA cheerleader.
Kerr, who had to shut down her Twitter page after being called nasty names, said at the time she didn't know Aldean was married, though he was seen wearing his wedding ring in pictures taken as he left the bar.
The divorce filing came Friday in Tennessee, the same day word of the couple's separation hit the news, according to TMZ. "Irreconcilable differences" were cited as the reason for the split.
On Friday, Aldean's rep was coy with a response to People and other outlets, saying, "I can confirm that Jason and his wife are having problems, but there is nothing more to share with the press at this time."
The couple has two children, 10-year-old Keely and 5-year-old Kendyl. Aldean was born Jason Aldine Williams, and the divorce document was filed under the names Jason Williams and Jessica Ussery Williams.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times