Former U.S. women’s soccer star Ashlyn Harris denied cheating on Ali Kreiger in a social media post on Saturday amid swirling rumors about the fallout of their relationship.
Harris and Kreiger filed for divorce in September after four years of marriage, Page Six reported in October. People reported that Harris is dating Sophia Bush after the actress split from her husband, Grant Hughes. Harris noted that the words and harsh criticism greatly affected her.
“Several weeks ago, a process that had been ongoing privately for some time became public,” she began her statement on Instagram. “Ending a relationship after almost 13 years of friendship, teammate-ship, marriage and co-parenting (many of them good years) is a decision that was not made lightly. We agreed to center out children, continue therapy, separate and to move forward with out live. Two happy families are always better than one unhappy one. This process is never easy, but we were making our way through.”
Harris explained a leak made the news of her divorce with Kreiger public, and the result has been a “brutal” wave of negativity against her over rumors that she cheated on her former teammate.
“At the advice of our agents, representation and friends, we planned to keep this information private until after her final season. A leak (a betrayal of our deepest confidence) made that impossible,” she wrote. “The online hate that has happened since has been one of the most personally devastating experiences of my life.
“Now, I know that it is best practice in the world of online gossip ‘not to feed the beast. Don’t respond. Don’t let them see you sweat.’ Just hide away until the tabloids and internet trolls decide to feast on someone else. For weeks, I have tried to take this advice. I have tried to let the fire burn out and what I’ve experienced has devastated my mental health. This has been brutal.”
Harris said that trolls online picked her apart in every other aspect of her life, including how she is as a parent, as well as encouraging her to commit suicide.
She then made clear she did not cheat on her ex-wife, and the two worked through the summer to try getting through the separation and later the divorce.
“People have run with a narrative that’s unbearably painful. Not all marriages last forever. Ours did not. For many reasons. And while I understand that false narratives about why might feel juicier or make a better headline, they are simply not true. Let me be clear: I did not step out on my marriage. I was always faithful in my marriage, if not always totally happy. Like in many partnerships, there was work and therapy and processing done. None of this happened on a whim. We spent the entire summer working to tackle the separation and divorce septs outlined for us by our therapists, lawyers and our shared agency.
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“By finally choosing my own health and happiness, I know I’ve chosen a better future for my kids. What’s made this complex and difficult experience harder than I could have imagined is to have had an entire community turn on me while I’ve been moving through this. I’ve spent my whole career trying to build an inclusive space where people can show up as themselves and where they know they will be safe. That legacy has mattered more than anything I ever did on the pitch. Right now, it feels like the entire community has poured gasoline on me and lit the matches. So many of you, including people who stand publicly as anti-bullying advocates, have cheered on like bloodsport. As though a family in transition is on opposing teams. Like a divorce is a battle one person stands to win. I want to be clear that pushing someone to the edge? That isn’t a win. No one ‘wins’ here.
“My priority is, as it always has been, my kids. My priority is being a good co-parent to them with Ali. Despite this current darkness, there have been years of love between us. And our kids are the best part of it all. They deserve two healthy and happy parents, and that’s what matters most. We are all in pain. I share all of this to remind people that bullying anyone about a personal decision, especially when that bullying is rooted in lies, really hurts. I’m hoping that instead of continuing this cruelty you can remember the simple truth that I’m a human being, a mom, and a good person just trying my best. I’d appreciate if you could take a breath and treat men and my family with some humanity.”
Harris and Krieger met in 2010 at a USWNT training camp and formed a fast friendship, which eventually turned into a relationship. They got engaged in March 2019 and married nine months later. Sydney Leroux served as the officiant at the wedding, and Megan Rapinoe served as Harris’ maid of honor.
The two won both the 2015 and 2019 Women’s World Cup titles together and played professionally with each other since 2013 on four different teams, including a Swedish club.
In 2020, the two admitted it was “tricky” being married as teammates.
“We don’t get really good time together. We have to make time even though we see each other all the time. It’s tricky,” Harris said to Allure at the time, adding that they hardly even room together when playing.”
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