(Reuters) - Country music singer Jason Aldean has filed for divorce from his wife and high-school sweetheart Jessica Ussery, seven months after photographers caught the singer kissing a former “American Idol” contestant at a Los Angeles bar.
Aldean, who became one of country music’s biggest stars with his 2011 album “My Kinda Party,” cited irreconcilable differences for the divorce in court documents filed late on Friday in Williamson County, Tennessee.
”This is a really tough time for my entire family,“ Aldean said in a statement on Monday. ”Jessica and I have been together since we were teenagers. We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs over the years as we grew up together as a couple.
“She will always be important to me because she is the mother of my children, and I know that we will both always make our daughters our number one priority,” he added in the statement.
The singer, whose real name is Jason Williams, publicly apologized last year for “acting inappropriately” when the photos showing him and reality show contestant Brittany Kerr were published.
Both Aldean and Kerr were subjected to vitriol from fans on social media platforms at the time and issued formal apologies to their families and friends.
Aldean, 36, and Ussery, 33, married in 2001 and have two children, ages 10 and 5.
Rumors that the couple had split picked up earlier this month when Aldean attended the annual Academy of Country Music awards, where he won Male Vocalist of the Year award, without Ussery.
Reporting by Eric Kelsey, editing by Jill Serjeant; Editing by David Brunnstrom