Feature

Kenny Chesney’s big mistake

Chesney isn't proud of the way he treated Renée Zellweger. He still thinks about her every day.

Kenny Chesney still hasn’t gotten over Renée Zellweger, says Rob Tannenbaum in Playboy. The country singer met the movie star in January 2005, fell for her hard, and married her in May. And in September, they announced plans for an annulment. “Don’t believe it hasn’t left scars,” says Chesney. “Nothing positive at all in my life came from it, I can tell you that.”

At 40, he now realizes what went wrong. “I didn’t have any clue as to what true marriage meant. I was so used to committing to one thing—music—and then I had to totally commit to a second thing, marriage. I didn’t know how. It was a scary moment for me.” It got scarier when the helicopters showed up. “I had never really had any kind of attention from the paparazzi. It went from zero to the complete other end of the spectrum. I’d go to a concert and there would be helicopters circling, trying to get a picture of me and her together. I thought it would be like that all the time. I just totally panicked.” And so, he says, “I did the only thing I knew to do: I ran. I pushed her away, in every way possible—to the point where I just didn’t want to be married to her anymore. It’s that simple.”

Chesney isn’t particularly proud of his behavior. “I still struggle with it. Was it the right thing to do or not? I still think about her every day. Every day I wonder if she’s okay. I mean, you don’t just fall out of love with somebody.”

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