Courtney Stodden might be meat for the tabloids—but she doesn’t eat the stuff herself. The 18-year-old Tacoma-born chanteuse, who famously married actor Doug Hutchison two years ago, when he was 51, has been through raging controversy, Couples Therapy—the show, that is—and a lingering aversion to dead animals. In July, she emerged in a faux-lettuce bikini at a PETA veggie-dog giveaway, where she extolled the joys of letting the critters live so they can roam God’s great, green planet in peace.
Hi, Courtney. You looked great in your bikini salad.
Thank you. PETA designed it and I was honored to wear it. It fit perfectly. I never knew lettuce could fit me so well! [laughs]
Are you vegetarian or vegan?
I am vegetarian. I was vegan for about four months, but I couldn’t resist cheese. I love cheese.
Me too! Cheese and macaroni! Are you vegetarian mainly for health or other reasons?
I think for it all. Since I was a little girl, I never felt right eating animals before. I’ve always known what the animals have went through. They’ve been abused. They’re giving up their lives to satisfy somebody’s appetite. I also do it for the health benefits. If you’re a meat eater, you’re at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and stroke. It’s better to be a vegetarian, and I feel better.
Well, you’re so old and need to be on a strict diet, right?
I’m so old and I have to watch what I eat! [Laughs] Actually, it’s good to start young, and what better way than going vegetarian?
I have to admit I don’t watch all the reality shows. In fact, I don’t watch any reality shows. You’re famous for marrying an older guy?
I did, yes. I married an older man when I was 16. It’s been two and a half years now.
Is that even legal?
Apparently. We’re not in jail. [Laughs]
But when he’s 75, you’ll be 40.
I’ve done all the math. When I am his age, 53, he will be…
84. That’s almost like Hugh Hefner.
So you’ll both be old, and it won’t matter anymore. [She laughs] Well, you do have a good sense of humor about all this.
So do you.
How did Doug get through the period when people were ostracizing him and practically calling him “Jerry Lee Lewis”?
I married a really strong man and he’s a firm believer in “As long as I’m happy, nobody can poke holes in that.” I am too. If you’re happy and in love and you’re not doing anything wrong or illegal or hurting anybody else, nobody can poke holes in that. People can have their opinions.
“Poking holes” sounds a little dirty to me.
Nice joke there!
Top of the line stuff, right? What kind of a singer do you want to be?
I don’t want to say I want to be a singer. I feel like I am a singer. I like to sing pop music and dance club music. I’m currently in the recording studio, getting ready to release a song.
Will you use autotune like everybody else?
This song won’t consist of that much autotune. My past songs have had some autotune in them. I have a good voice.
Has all the publicity about your relationship been a distraction or a stepping stone?
I look at it as a stepping stone, but in the same sense it’s been a kind of distraction because people like to focus in on that. I look at it as a blessing where God is setting things up in a certain way to where I fit where I want to be.
God must be very busy. Do you ever look at a photo of an old celeb with a young lover and think, “What’s wrong with these people?” Don’t we all?
Yeah, I think that’s just in our nature. It’s our nature to say they’re a gold digger or “How can they possibly love each other?” but I’ve learned from my marriage that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I’m not using my husband for money. There are way richer men out there that I can be using for money! I trust him and love him.
Speaking of controversial relationships, how do you feel about gay marriage?
I believe that people should live their lives the way they want, and if that consists of man-and-man or woman-and-woman, if they love their partner and want to be with them, I think that’s beautiful. Love is love.
And you’re religious?
I am a Christian girl. It may come as a surprise to some people that I support gay marriage. I believe wholeheartedly in “Do not judge others.” Let people live their lives and be happy. That’s what the bible teaches—love one another.
Maybe I’ll have to give the good book another chance.
Open it up! Take a peek!
Not tonight. I’m busy.
[Laughs] Can I ask you a question? Do you eat meat?
Yes. And I was even in a PETA campaign myself!
Well, PETA and I will convert you. You will be with me in a lettuce bikini at the next veggie dog giveaway!
You do like older men.