Secret Marriage, UGLY DIVORCE
Jonathan Scott’s marriage lasted two years — but his bitter split dragged on for twice that long
Property Brothers star Jonathan Scott says he found out his marriage was in trouble by scrolling through Facebook. In 2009, as the contractor and TV personality looked at photos and posts on the social media site, he noticed that his wife of two years “had scrubbed me from her Facebook page,” he recalled in It Takes Two: Our Story, the memoir he co-wrote with his twin, Drew. “[She changed] her relationship status from married to blank.”
Things got a lot worse. So much, in fact, that Jonathan has rarely talked about his marriage, and many fans of his hit HGTV show, Property Brothers, have no clue he was married. But the 6-foot-5 hunky real estate pro was indeed wed from 2007 until 2013 to former airline crew scheduler Kelsy Ully, whose name has never been revealed until now. In Touch has exclusively obtained their divorce papers, which show just how ugly the breakup became. The split and divorce lasted longer than the marriage. At the center of their four-year battle (they separated in 2009): a legal document drawn up by Jonathan’s mother that in court papers Kelsy claimed she signed under “duress and harassment.” That document covered the sale of the couple’s “matrimonial home” in Canada, which sold after Kelsy signed on the dotted line and that house fetched equity that was “approximately $191,316, more than specified in the Contract,” she said in court papers. Jonathan, she claimed, demanded that she sign the agreement and even threatened her. While she fought to have the agreement tossed out of court, Jonathan, 39, insisted the document was fair and legal. The whole ordeal was traumatic. “The pain ended up outlasting the marriage,” he wrote in his book. “The split isn’t something I dwell on anymore, but for one too-long, too-dark period of my life, that’s practically all I did. It shook me right to my core.”
Kelsy paints Jonathan as cold and ruthless when they reached the breaking point. According to court documents, Kelsy, 33, alleged that Jonathan, who was pursuing a career as an illusionist at the time, forced her out of the house they had rented in Las Vegas after moving from their native Canada. “[He] told me that he didn’t want me living in our home in Las Vegas anymore and that I need to leave,” Kelsy testified during a deposition for her divorce. “[He] continued to reside in our home.” Jonathan described a different, more amicable picture in It Takes Two: “She moved out,” he wrote, “and we fi led for divorce.”
But Kelsy claims she sacrificed to help make his career. In her 2012 counterclaim to illustrate why she deserved spousal support, Kelsy argued that as Jonathan’s wife she “discontinued her education and worked at minimum-wage jobs to support the Plaintiff in the pursuit of his career.” Her job at the
time: a cocktail waitress at a hotel, “where the booze flows like water and the tips are high,” Jonathan wrote in It Takes Two. He didn’t like Kelsy’s 9-to-5 job — or rather, midnight to whenever. “My wife was out every night, coming home later and later. She had a whole subset of friends now that I barely knew, and I was rarely invited to join them. Work seemed to be putting more and more distance between us.”
On the same day the couple separated, Jonathan presented Kelsy with the Separation, Divorce, and Property Contract, which became a core of their ugly battle. It was drawn up by his mother, Joanne, an assistant in a Canadian law office, according to Kelsy’s court filings. The document stated that Jonathan would have ownership of a home they owned in Calgary, and Kelsy would waive her right to spousal support and any claim to Jonathan’s businesses. Kelsy signed the paperwork in August 2010. But soon after, she sought to have the agreement struck for several reasons: In court papers, she claimed she later learned that her American lawyer “had no knowledge” of Canadian law; she reasoned that she and Jonathan lived in Las Vegas, so their agreement shouldn’t have been drafted in Canada; and — most shockingly — she claimed to be under “duress” and subjected to “harassment” from Jonathan. “I was threatened,” she said of why she signed the contract. “He had showed up at my home repeatedly — numerous times, phone calls to myself, my family, and my friends about getting the documents signed. And I wanted to get it signed so that I didn’t have to deal with him showing up at my house, at my work, calling my friends and family.” Kelsy also claimed in court papers that Jonathan told her if she didn’t sign the agreement, she “would remain in bankruptcy for the rest of my life.” (See document on previous page.)
Kelsy and Jonathan were in deep debt during their marriage. Court documents show that Jonathan owed creditors $692,187.21, including a $412,244.83 mortgage and a $68,006.19 loan from his parents (see breakdown, above). Kelsy had a $23,831.48 car loan on her Mercedes SLK
‘‘ The marriage was in ruins before our second anniversary” — JONATHAN
and a $14,000 personal loan. In It Takes Two, Jonathan copped to living beyond his means during happier days in his relationship. “I’ve never been a big spender.… My ex had more discriminating taste, though, and I did like being able to indulge her,” he wrote. Designer bags, shoes and expensive vacations added up. “We were overspending, and it was starting to make me nervous.… Some couples went to the movies on the weekend; we went halfway across the country for dinner on Vancouver Island. It was a letdown if I couldn’t pull away from the job to take off somewhere.” (Jonathan later said he filed for bankruptcy before Property Brothers became a hit.)
They tried therapy to save their marriage. Kelsy said in a 2012 affidavit that she and Jonathan went to counseling twice. Jonathan claims his ex was the one who pulled the plug on their sessions. “She decided not to continue attending,” he recalled in his memoir. “Sitting in the therapist’s office alone sealed the fate of our marriage and brought me clarity about it.”
Four years later, Jonathan was finally free. In May 2013, after much contentious back-and-forth between Jonathan and Kelsy’s attorneys, a Canadian justice ruled that the Separation, Divorce and Property Contract that they both had signed was “binding, valid and enforceable.” But the judge’s ruling also referenced an “amending agreement” date May 6, 2013, which could have supplemented what Kelsy received.
For Jonathan, hindsight is 20/20. In It Takes Two, the reality star — now in a happy relationship with girlfriend Jacinta Kuznetsov, 29, a development producer at his company, Scott Brothers Entertainment — wrote that he should have known his marriage was doomed from the start when Kelsy wouldn’t compromise on their wedding plans. “She would not agree to have bagpipers play at the ceremony in honor of my family’s Scottish heritage,” he wrote. “All the men in the wedding party did wear kilts, but the Scott clan still felt wounded by the bagpipe ban, and I regretted not holding my ground about something so important to me. I guess that was a yellow traffic light I blew right through.” ◼
Jonathan claimed Kelsy insisted they marry on 7/7/07 because she thought the date was good luck.