Even though Mary Lou Retton was voted off Dancing With The Stars last night, she gained viewers’ support after she opened up about her divorce.
In her video package that aired before her final dance, she revealed that she had never told the world that she and her husband of 27 years had divorced this past February.
In a conversation with her dance partner Sasha Farber, she told how the split had been a tough time for her.
“I went through a divorce. People don’t know that. It’s the first time I’ve actually said it publicly,” she revealed. “After 27 years.”
She explained that it was all very new for her and she admitted that it was very hard to separate from her husband, Shannon Kelley, after being together for so many years. The two met in 1984 but wed in 1990.
“I felt very alone,” she told Farber. “It’s something that had really needed to happen for a long time. We still love one another, but we weren’t great together anymore.”
The couple has four daughters together — Shayla, 23, McKenna, 21, Skyla, 18, and Emma, 16 — and she explained that she was very thankful for her kids, as they love her unconditionally.
During her appearance on Dancing With The Stars, Mary Lou Retton didn’t provide any more details about why she and her husband divorced.
It’s possible that they wanted to keep the divorce out of the public eye because it was hard on the family and their kids. But who is Shannon Kelly, Retton’s ex-husband?
He’s a former American football quarterback, playing for the Texas Longhorns back in the late 1980s for four years.
Kelley graduated from Texas in 1989 with a degree in communications. He then earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where he started a life with Mary Lou Retton.
After the two got married in 1990, Kelley started to pursue a career in business. He worked as a successful partner in an investment firm and real estate developer in Houston. He later went into college coaching.
He started his coaching career as a quarterback coach at Fairmont State University, in his wife’s hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia.
He coached the Fighting Falcons during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, while also leading fundraising efforts for the athletic department. The quarterback ended up with an impressive season, earning the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year honors.
Shannon also coached at California University, working again as the director of athletic fundraising and the running backs coach. In 2012, his junior running back Lamont Smith earned all-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Western Division honors for the Vulcans.
In 2012, it was announced that he was joining the Houston Baptist University football program as the offensive assistant coach, which is where he is currently working.
Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.