When talking about Courtney Stodden, the 17-year-old child bride who married 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison, the question that repeatedly arises is, "where are her parents?"
Courtney's parents, Krista Keller and Alex Stodden, are very much a part of their daughter's life, and had to give their consent for their underage daughter to get married in the first place.
The Daily Beast wanted to talk to Courtney Stodden but an interview with the bleach blond teen would set them back $10,000, so they settled for speaking with the woman that gave her life and is also currently her manager.
Courtney's mother Krista, 51, has been trying to run damage control -- halfheartedly attempting to convincing the press and public that Doug and Courtney's union is wholesome and loving, all while exploiting the creepshow that is their marriage for publicity, reality TV deals and television appearances on talk shows.
Courtney and Doug met online through a mutual friend and began to correspond about the entertainment business before love blossomed. It's a story that sounds like the basis for an episode of "To Catch A Predator" except Courtney's mother decided to embrace the older man courting her teenage daughter.
Keller told The Daily Beast:
"It was a very beautiful, loving, nonsexual type of turn. It was very admirable on his end. Then he called me to tell me they were falling for each other. I could really tell my daughter had the kind of love when you want to marry a man or be with a man. Even though she was just 16, I knew it was going to take a pretty big man to handle her because of her sexuality and because of the attention she gets."
Keller tells the website she understands that most people don't agree with the marriage and brushes off those who question why the couple just didn't wait until Courtney turned 18.
"I don't really understand that this way of thinking," she says. "Why do parents think that kids need to have those teen years spent going out with different boys ... There is a lot of bad stuff that happens in those teen years ... My daughter is safe. I know where my daughter is."
But it's easy for us to understand that had the couple waited, an 18-year-old marrying a 50 something-year-old man is far less scandalous -- it still may not feel right, but at least she can legally sign a contract.
Last week, young photos of Courtney surfaced online that portrayed a far more youthful looking girl, but one still posing for the camera in a sultry and sexualized manner. And that's quite disturbing given that they are photos of a 12 or 13-year-old.
Keller claims she's just a mother trying to help fulfill her daughter's dreams. Helping her sign with a modeling agent at the age of 10, allowing her to finish her education at an online Christian school, and supporting ventures like the "The Courtney Stodden Show" -- a cable access talk show that ran from January 2009 to September 2010, where Courtney "conducted interviews, took up skin cancer as a cause (her mother is a survivor of melanoma), and focused on themes such as the importance of laughter."
While friends and neighbors who knew Courtney growing up say she's always been known as the little girl who wore makeup and high heels, it's her slurred speech in an interview with Dr. Drew Pinsky that airs in full Nov. 7, that has prompted rumors of drinking or drug use, something Keller flat out denies.
"People that know her personality know that's Courtney. She's just a character," she explains. "When they get to know her on the reality show, they'll realize this is her personality."
For much more, click over to The Daily Beast.