They were married in 1993 and managed to have three children together, but when Sara Evans filed for divorce in 2006 it seems to have come out of nowhere and was followed by malicious accusations and one of the most vindictive divorce battles in country music history.
Sara was competing on Dancing with the Stars at the time and dropped out unexpectedly and rather sudden. When she filed for divorce from Schelske almost simultaneously, things became a little clearer. She followed this up with a public statement apologizing for disappointing her fans, but also requesting privacy during a difficult time. She simply desired to protect her children. Competing on a very popular reality TV show would not allow her to do that.
Unusually for a divorce filing, hers did not just declare irreconcilable differences as the reason for the breakdown of the marriage, but also adultery and a whole slew of other allegations that were rather hard to swallow. Why they had to be included in the filing is anyone’s guess. Clearly Sara wanted to paint herself as the victim, probably at the behest of her lawyers, and perhaps she wanted to pre-empt any requests for spousal support that Schelske might be entitled to. She was the breadwinner, after all.
Schelske for his part responded quickly with a filing of his own and then alleged that it had been Evans who had cheated on him.
Whilst Evans had accused her estranged husband of abusive behaviour, he denied it. She said that he watched a lot of pornography online and once their eldest son had surprised him. He, however, held against it saying that Evans and he both were enjoying watching ‘adult entertainment’ when their son walked in on them.
She said he kept photos of himself in the nude and with various sexual partners that were clearly not her. He said that the only nude photos of him that existed were taken by her and in turn he had taken photos of her as well.
Basically, anything she alleged he had a response to and claimed the opposite. Whilst this is a classic case of he said/she said, the curious thing here is just how public it was.
Was any of it actually true?
As far as we know today that doesn’t seem to be the case, though it was extensively rehashed and nobody seemed to have an interest to find out what the truth might be and why both of them made these allegations against each other.
Given that there were three young children involved, one might have hoped that those two were more conscious of their children’s future, happiness and the fact that they may come across all of this at some point in their future.
Surely their 13-year marriage wasn’t so bad that it warranted this abysmal behaviour toward each other. Unless, of course, it was all true, and not just what she said, but also what he said.
In the end the couple settled outside of court. Sara agreed to pay Craig $600,000 in alimony, which was to be spread across the next ten years. It’s not clear if she is still making these payments or if she opted for several larger payments instead.
Craig next sued Sara’s lawyers for defamation and after three years of litigation they settled with him outside of court and even issued a formal public apology, declaring that they apologized for all those defamatory accusations they had made, but that they had only acted in what they thought was the best interest of their client, Sara Evans, at the time.
Craig later said that the settlement was satisfactory.
He also proceeded to sue TMZ for rehashing all that stuff that everyone else had also been saying about him. That was only last year and the case was thrown out in January this year, because Craig Schelske is very much a public figure and that meant TMZ didn’t impeach his privacy. Additionally they only broke down what was published all over the Internet anyway.
One thing Craig would have to have been after was money. Whilst his defamation suit against the law firm was ongoing, he was not in a position to have much of an income, because of the stain on his name. He had hoped to return to politics once his name was cleared, but that also doesn’t appear to have happened.
Interestingly Schelske had an arrest warrant issued against him last year, because he owed Sara $330,000 in child support. How is that even possible? She pays him alimony and he pays her child-support? Or doesn’t pay child support.
Apparently Schelske filed for bankruptcy. Apart from a few chicken, DVDs and four cars he didn’t have any assets to his name. It’s not clear what happened to that arrest warrant or the outstanding child support. It was after that incident that Schelske tried to sue TMZ, clearly grasping for straws.
Sara Evans has long since married again and seems to be very happy indeed. Alas, if that will ever be true of Craig Schelske again is doubtful.