Courtney Stodden says being mocked by Anderson Cooper ‘night after night’ as a teenager was like he was ‘bullying a child’

Anderson Cooper Courtney Stodden
  • Courtney Stodden told Insider they felt bullied by Anderson Cooper’s jokes about them.

  • In 2011, when they were 16, they married actor Doug Hutchison, who was 51.

  • Cooper made numerous references to Stodden during a segment on his CNN news show.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former model and reality TV star Courtney Stodden told Insider that jokes at their expense made by CNN host Anderson Cooper in 2011 were like “bullying a child.”

“Being mocked by Anderson Cooper night after night on CNN’s ‘Ridiculist’ only furthered the mockery that was made of a child trapped inside an abusive situation,” Stodden said. “The effects of adults bullying a child lasts longer than a decade. Sexual abuse scars don’t just go away.”

The sporadically-run “Ridiculist” segment featured on the news show “Anderson Cooper 360°” on CNN, with Cooper reading and reacting to lighthearted or amusing stories.

Stodden found fame in 2011 when at 16 years old they married actor Doug Hutchison, who was 51. In April 2021, Stodden came out as non-binary and uses “they” and “them” pronouns.

Stodden was a frequent topic of conversation on “The Ridiculist,” and was mentioned on at least three episodes. In one clip, Cooper commented on the story that Stodden, who was 17 at the time, and Hutchison got kicked out of a pumpkin patch over Stodden’s outfit.

“She had no other choice but to walk her festive stripper boots right out of there and show off her pumpkins on the side of the road,” Cooper said.

Cooper laughed at Stodden in the segment, and asked why they were so “beguiling yet elusive.”

“What is your Halloween costume going to be this year?” he asked alongside a video of Stodden. “Will it perhaps be, I don’t know, something provocative? And most importantly, what the hell are you doing with your face? I have to know.”

Cooper then imitated Stodden’s facial expressions, saying it looked like they were trying “to eat” their own face. “It’s like a silent, desperate cry for help,” he said while laughing.

In another clip, from when Stodden was 16, Cooper mocked their accent.

Stodden told The Daily Beast in May this year that they later “developed a Xanax and alcohol dependency” but were sober during media interviews, adding they were “drunk on fear and being taken advantage of.”

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Stodden told Insider they are speaking up about how they were perceived as a teenager because they are only just starting to realize what happened to them.

“If by sharing my story can help move the needle on awareness of abuse, bullying, and grooming, I’ll continue to speak,” they said.

Stodden referred to Hutchison as a “groomer” and “predator” in the interview with The Daily Beast, saying they were too young to have consented to the relationship. Hutchison has not responded to the allegations of grooming, but told Fox News in February 2020 that he took “full responsibility” for the relationship.

Stodden also accused Chrissy Teigen of bullying, saying she told Stodden to take their own life in 2011. Teigen apologized in a Medium post, saying she was a “troll” back then.

Stodden criticized YouTuber Trisha Paytas on Tuesday, posting an old video where Paytas is imitating them on Instagram. In the video from over a decade ago, Paytas, a controversial YouTuber, jokes about seducing men with a “prepubescent body.” Stodden accompanied the video with a caption criticizing Paytas.

Stodden told Insider that when they see something that “unfairly lent itself to a victim’s pain,” such as Paytas’ video, they will always speak up.

“I’ll speak up for little Courtney and all humans who cannot yet protect themselves,” they said.

Insider has reached out to representatives of Cooper and CNN for comment.

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