Renée Zellweger has reflected on rumours that her ex-husband was gay after they split up, saying it was “sad” that people tried to use it against him in a negative way.

The 47-year-old Bridge Jones star talked about the rumours that her ex-husband Kenny Chesney was gay, saying she doesn’t normally address such speculation but that she had to say something because it was “ugliness”.

Zellweger said “fraud” was the reason she separated from the singer back in 2005, but at the time, due to filings for annulment by the actor, many speculated that Chesney was gay.

She says: “I forgot about that,” Zellweger admitted.

“It’s a pretty big thing to forget, isn’t it? That made me sad. It made me sad that somehow people were using that as a way to be cruel and calling someone gay as a pejorative, which has fateful consequences. Of course, there’s the bigger-picture problem of why anyone had to make up a story at all.”

“I’d said all I needed to say on that subject,” she continued.

“I’m an old-fashioned gal who doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to hang out your laundry on the lawn. I feel you devalue yourself as a human being when you share very personal things with a bajillion strangers who are making fun of you. I just don’t see that there’s any dignity in that.”
“But sometimes it is difficult to just let something be what it is, especially when it’s unnecessary ugliness,” she continued.

“Once you’ve said your piece, shouldn’t that be enough? And why is the ugliness that’s perpetuated in the media so attractive to people?”

Going on, Zellweger says she is able to laugh about the absurdity of the rumours, and the fact that many of her friends are gay, but that tabloids have tried to romantically link her to gay male friends.

“The majority of my closest friends are gay, and I have my pearl. I went to Miami for New Year’s Eve some years back with him and his boyfriend, and we got paparazzied on the beach,” she explained. “We had a very Bridget Jones moment – he had no desire to be photographed in his trunks, so he told me, ‘You need to get out of here and go for a run right now!’ Some tabloid ran the photos and wrote, ‘Has Renée finally found her pearl?’ I was like, ‘Aww, he’s my pearl!’ He’s family to me. We dated for a minute, actually.”

Chesney has himself denied the rumours, in 2007 telling Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes: “It’s not true. Period.”

“Maybe I should have come out and said, ‘No, I’m not [gay],’ but I didn’t want to draw any more attention to it,” he said at the time. “I didn’t have to prove to anybody that I wasn’t [gay]. I didn’t feel like I really did.”

Zellweger earlier this week opened up about having a real-life Bridget Jones moment – after a female friend confessed her love for her.