EXCLUSIVE: “’ll Be OK”—Kenny Chesney

The four-month marriage between country superstar Kenny Chesney and actress Renee Zellweger is over, Chesney's publicist Holly Gleason has confirmed to The Associated Press.

Just four days after the announcement of the end of his marriage to Renée Zellweger, Kenny Chesney sat down with Country Weekly at his home outside Nashville on Monday, September 19, to talk about his new music--and the changes in his life. Here are some excerpts.

Tuesday 9/20

"I'm all right. I'm good. There have been better times, but I'll be OK.

"I hit everything so hard this year. I had the biggest tour I've ever done, I had a record to finish that was real important to me, and, of course, I had something new in my personal life and I was trying to do that, too. It really ended up being too much. At some point, I just got exhausted. I'd go from the road to the studio and back to the road, and it was that cycle all summer.

"I need a break real bad, and I'm going to go away for a couple of week--I'll be fine. I'm tired right now, but by next year, I'll be excited to get back to it. And it'll be about the music again, not about the sideshow."

For more from this exclusive interview with Kenny Chesney, see the October 24 issue of Country Weekly, on sale October 10.

Monday 9/19

On Sunday, Sept. 18, the New York Post speculated that the annulment between Kenny Chesney and Renée Zellweger should be "easy and painless." In their gossip column, "Page Six," the paper said, "Our sources say Chesney--who is worth more than 10 times what Zellweger is and pulled down $60 million last year--had his lawyers draw up a prenup that made it clear 'each party walks away with what they came into the marriage with. There never was or will be any spousal support,' a pal said. The couple's pals were always doubtful the two would last--but knew the marriage was over in August when Zellweger opted to hang out at her houses in Pomfret, Conn., and in East Hampton, where she favored the Blue Parrot on weekends, rather than visit her hubby on tour. "It is amicable," a pal said. "We all knew it was a romantic impulse to get married and that it would never work."

Friday 9/16

In response to continuing rumors, Renée and Kenny provide the following additional statement:

The miscommunication of the objective of their marriage at the start is the only reason for this annulment. Renée and Kenny value and respect each other and are saddened that their different objectives prevent the success of this marriage. They are disappointed that the legal term "annulment-fraud" has been publically misunderstood and exaggerated.

Zellweger's and Chesney's first statements:

Publicist Nanci Ryder has issued the following statement from Renée Zellweger, the first statement since the breakup was announced on Sept. 15: "Contradictory to my intentions to maintain the integrity of our privacy by not commenting on the specifics of our decision, it seems necessary to clarify that the term 'fraud' as listed in the documentation is simply legal language and not a reflection of Kenny's character. I would personally be very grateful for your support in refraining from drawing derogatory, hurtful, sensationalized or untrue conclusions and greatly appreciate your understanding that we hope to experience this transition as privately as possible."

The statement appears in response to reports regarding the use of the word "fraud" in the legal papers filed to end the relationship.

Through his publicist Holly Gleason, Kenny Chesney issued the following statement: "This is an incredibly sad time... I just hope everyone can respect the privacy that I know Renée has already asked for."

Thursday 9/15

The four-month marriage between country superstar Kenny Chesney and actress Renée Zellweger is over, Chesney's publicist Holly Gleason has confirmed to The Associated Press. Gleason would not confirm reports that Kenny has retreated to his hometown of Luttrell, Tenn. to be with family and friends.

People magazine broke the story earlier Sept. 15 on its website. The couple, who married May 9 in an intimate sunset ceremony on St. John in the Virgin Islands, is, according to the magazine, having the marriage annulled.

A Nashville insider told Country Weekly that it was Zellweger who filed for annulment of the marriage. E! Online also reported that Zellweger filed for the annulment in Los Angeles. A Chesney representative would not comment on who sought the annulment or where it was filed.

In court papers, Zellweger listed "fraud" as the reason for the break-up, but did not elaborate. In U.S. law, an annulment is a decree that a marriage was invalid from its outset. Anyone seeking an annulment on the grounds of "fraud" must prove that their partner misrepresented some matter that was vital to the marriage. This may include the concealment of a fact such as an existing spouse, permanent impotence or a criminal history.

However, Zellweger's lawyer and her spokeswoman Nanci Ryder declined to give any details regarding the "fraud" claim in this case. In her court submission, Zellweger also demanded that the court rule out the possibility of spousal financial support for Chesney.

Chesney, 37, and Zellweger, 36, made splashy headlines when they began a relationship earlier this year. They met last Jan. 15 at NBC's Concert of Hope tsunami relief benefit, where Chesney performed and Zellweger took telephone calls for donations.

There were few hints that their whirlwind courtship had turned serious. But on April 29, Zellweger surprised Chesney by bringing him a margarita on stage at his Jacksonville, Fla., concert, and kissing him on the cheek. It was the first public display of romance between the two. The following week, they stunned the worlds of both Hollywood and Nashville when they announced their marriage. Since that time, they had kept a low profile, making few public appearances together.

Just three days ago, London paper The Daily Mail speculated that their marriage was in trouble. At the September 8 British premiere of her film, Cinderella Man, Renée arrived unescorted, and The Daily Mail asked a few questions about her marriage. When asked if her marriage was in trouble, Renée responded, "I'm happily married, but I don't talk about it because I want to keep my precious things precious." The paper remarked, "as a single girl, Renée Zellweger was used to braving the red carpet on her own. Now that she is a newlywed, nothing has changed...there was no sign of her husband. While co-star Russell Crowe had brought along his wife Danielle and baby son, Miss Zellweger had to put on her usual solo show."

When Renée was asked where her new husband was, the Mail said, "She faltered before saying, 'He is just finishing work.'" Then the paper added that Kenny's tour ended two weeks ago, and Renée has been alone in Europe the whole time. Kenny does have a concert commitment--to appear at this year's "Farm Aid" in Tinley Park, Ill. on Sunday, September 18.

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