Kelsea Ballerini is finally opening up how she and Outer Banks star Chase Stokes met. On Wednesday’s (Feb. 22) episode of the Call Her Daddy podcast, the “Love Me Like You Mean It” singer spoke candidly about the actor and shared the relatable technique she used to strike up a conversation with him.
“I was ready to open back up,” Ballerini told host Alex Cooper. “I just felt, why not? I’ve never really dated; I don’t know how it works. I’m like, ‘Let’s just put ourselves out there — let’s just vibe.’ And it’s been fun.”
She continued, “I’ve never seen his show, but I just knew of him, and I just swan dove right on in. … His handle is ‘@hichasestokes,’ and I said, ‘Hi, Chase Stokes.’ ”
While Ballerini did not confirm if she and Stokes are dating, she did state that she is “having fun” with him. The country star added that she is approaching dating with a brand new perspective in light of her divorce from her husband of five years, Morgan Evans.
In the interview, the 29-year-old revealed that she does not consider how her ex may be reacting to her moving on so quickly “because I’m not married to him anymore and I don’t need to care about his feelings anymore.”
The three-time Grammy nominee did take a moment to clarify. “I mean that with all the respect in the world, but his journey is not mine anymore,” she said of Evans. “I hope he is protected from whatever he needs to be protected from seeing — I hope he has people in his life that help him do that — [but] that is not my job.”
Ballerini further opened up about the divorce proceedings, and said that their split came down to splitting their home or paying alimony. “‘Can you articulate to me that I have a choice right now, to [either] give up half of a house that I bought and he contributed [to], but not equal … or stay, legally, in this marriage and have public alimony hearings indefinitely?’ And they’re like, ‘That’s correct,'” she recalled. “I was like, ‘Give him the house. I want out.'”
Evans responded to Ballerini’s comments on Call Her Daddy in a statement posted to his Instagram. “It’s really sad for me to see this person, who I spent so much of my life with and love with all my heart saying things that aren’t reality and that leave out what really happened. She knows I’m not the type of guy to speak on those things publicly. If this is what she needs to heal, I hope it helps,” he wrote. “All I ask is if that you’re on my pages, please don’t be mean. Don’t be mean to Kelsea, don’t be mean to each other. Life’s too short.”
Ballerini and Evans married in December 2017, and finalized their divorce in November 2022.
Listen to Ballerini’s Call Her Daddy episode in full below.