Courtney was Krista and Alex's little girl. But they could see her mature looks, which by age 12 had earned her a modeling contract and, at 15, a crown in a local Donald Trump Miss Universe pageant. By the age of 16, Courtney said, she was so bullied by other girls because of her looks that her mother had to pull her out of school and start home schooling.
Beneath the beauty, her parents said, is a deeply Christian girl. So they put their faith in her choice to be with a man more than twice her age.
"So [Krista] said, 'I can feel my daughter's love for you. I can feel it inside of my heart,'" Hutchison said.
"Uh-huh," Courtney affirmed, "inside of her soul."
Hutchison continued, quoting Krista: "'And I can feel your love for her. So rest assured: Me and Alex, we have absolutely no problem with you two falling in love.'"
With parental consent, no sexual emails and no physical contact, Hutchison wasn't breaking any statutory-rape laws. But he didn't think marriage was an option, he said.
"It was Krista who said, 'You know, you guys could get married if you want. There are ways to do that. There are certain states,'" Hutchison said.
In fact, 39 states allow 16-year-olds to marry as long as they have documented parental consent and a birth certificate.
Doug flew up to see Courtney for the first time. Then he got down on one knee and proposed.
They flew to Las Vegas to marry in a chapel just off the Strip. Alex Stodden, four years younger than his soon-to-be son-in-law, walked his daughter down the aisle to give her away. Hutchison's brother was a witness.
"I was a virgin," said Courtney. "I knew that if I kept that, I would really be blessed with a beautiful gift. And God did. He blessed me with my soulmate. So I'm really thankful for that."
Courtney could be sure of this, she said, because she was very mature for her age. "I'm an old soul. And Doug can back me up on this."
"Yeah, I always joke with Courtney that one of the reasons we worked is 'cause she's 16 going on 36, and I'm 51 going on 21," Hutchison said.
"I'm a pervert, Courtney is a whore…. Courtney's parents are the worst parents in the world -- pimps selling their daughter," Doug said, summarizing the criticism. "If [people] need to feel this way … it's OK. I've been called worse than a pedophile in my life."
Courtney and Doug laughed off the widespread view that her voluptuous body is fake.
"It's real," she said.
"It's rill, head to toe…. R-I-double L."
"Courtney's plastic surgeon was God," Doug quipped.
"Thank you, Jesus," Courtney said.
Her lack of plastic surgery was verified to "Good Morning America" by two separate plastic surgeons.
What the public thinks about them and their 35-year age gap is one thing. But what really hurts Doug and Courtney, they said, is when the judgment hits closer to home. Courtney's parents have received death threats, Doug's agent and manager dropped him, his brother has cut ties and his mother wants nothing to do with them.