Kelly Clarkson Addresses Divorce From Brandon Blackstock During Talk Show Return

Kelly Clarkson is speaking out after filing for divorce from her husband Brandon Blackstock. Returning to the studio Monday for her talk show, the American Idol alum addressed her split from her husband of seven years.

Noting that she is typically open about her personal life, Clarkson, according to PEOPLE, admitted that "but in this case I will talk a little bit here and there about how it affects me personally, but probably won’t go too far into it because I'm a mama bear and my kids come first." She admitted that "what I'm dealing with is hard — it involves more than just my heart, it involves a lot of little hearts." Despite the hardship, Clarkson told her virtual audience that she is doing okay and that while she "probably won’t speak about it too much but you definitely will hear it musically," as she channels her emotions into songs.

Clarkson's statement marked the first time she has publicly commented since her June 4 divorce filing in Los Angeles. Entertainment Tonight was the first to report the news on June 11 that Clarkson had officially filed for separation, citing "irreconcilable differences." Clarkson and Blackstock first met in 2006 and reunited in 2012 after Blackstock's first divorce from Melissa Ashworth. According to a source, in recent months, the couple had been facing a "challenging situation." Although they had been hoping that quarantining in Montana amid the coronavirus pandemic would "help them work things out in their marriage," it only made things "worse."

Downtime in Clarkson's career, also a result of the pandemic, "gave her the time she needed to think about her life and her marriage," eventually making her realize that "she just needed to follow her heart and finally realized divorce was her only option." Clarkson began the divorce process a few weeks before the official filing, the source alleged.

In her filing, Clarkson listed the date of separation as "TBD" and asked for joint legal and physical custody of their children, 5-year-old daughter River Rose and 4-year-old son Remington Alexander. She also asked the court to enforce the prenuptial agreement she and Blackstock signed just before their wedding in 2013 and requested to have her last name legally changed back to Clarkson. The split of their property and assets will be decided later, according to court documents.

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The divorce had notably come as a major shock to fans, as Clarkson had frequently gushed about their relationship, telling Redbook in 2015 that Blackstock was not her "other half," but that rather, "He's a whole, and I'm a whole." The divorce also came just weeks after Blackstock made a brief appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show to wish her a happy birthday.

Blackstock, 43, is the son of Clarkson's former manager and Reba McEntire's ex-husband Narvel Blackstock. Along with sharing River and Remmington with Clarkson, he is also father to Seth and daughter Savannah, 18, from a previous marriage.