Country star Jason Aldean has filed for divorce from his high school sweetheart and wife of 12 years, Jessica Ussery.
Aldean cited irreconcilable differences in divorce papers filed April 26 in a Williamson County, Tenn., court and obtained by ABC News.
In a statement to ABC News today, Aldean said, “This is a really tough time for my entire family. 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 #1 priority.
“I’ve learned that everyone always rushes to judgement when they hear news like this,” Aldean added. “That’s really hard because no one knows anything about our relationship but us. I understand that because of my job, I have to go through a lot of this in the public eye, but for my girls’ sake I really wish people would give us some level of privacy and at the very least be respectful of them.”
Aldean, 36, and Ussery are parents to daughters Keeley, 10, and Kendyl, 5.
News of the divorce comes after Aldean was photographed getting cozy with “American Idol” contestant Brittany Kerr last fall. At the time, Aldean issued a public apology, saying “I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar.”