Dating for 17 year olds
According to Stodden, the couple enrolled in therapy in order to resolve issues that arose in their marriage from their age difference. Jenn Berman, the Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist who worked with the couple during their appearance on the show, stressed that she does not believe that Hutchison is, or was, seeking out young people, saying, "He's not a predator. He was teaching a class, she wanted to be an actress, it was an acting class...
He's not someone, who if Courtney left him, would be trolling the Internet or high schools for underage girls. And that’s how it started." Though Berman was eventually surprised by the dynamic between the two, she commented on her initial hesitations about working with the couple, saying, "I believe it was the wrong decision to let a 16-year-old marry a man in his 50s. [at first] I said to my producer, ‘I think this guy is a pedophile...
Her parents, citing Stodden’s "devout Christianity", allowed her to make her own decision. It was also reported that Stodden's father was four years younger than his son-in-law Hutchison.
According to Hutchison, as a result of his marriage to Stodden, his agent quit, his family disowned him and he received death threats.
Hutchison, who did not realize that she was a teenager, began a courtship with her over the Internet that lasted between four and six months, during which they fell in love before having met in person.
While overall youth unemployment has fallen slightly – by 0.8 per cent on last year – the figures suggest the 16-18 age group is being neglected when it comes to careers advice and training opportunities, experts have warned.
“This is why we have called upon the next government to put improving social mobility and education at the heart of their agenda.