"Plenty of public figures get divorced," says Alison Herman. "Not as many have a former spouse who’s wearing a microphone pack when they get the news via text. And yes, Chrishell did learn of Hartley’s divorce filing via text." Herman notes that "what follows is a fascinating mix of raw emotion and deliberate response. Stause’s shock and devastation come off as far more genuine than the show’s other ginned-up interpersonal conflicts," adding: "But by blindsiding his then-wife, Stause would surely argue, Hartley set the tone himself. To an outside observer, the mid-production timing is odd: Couldn’t he have waited a few months to make himself look better—or, more cynically, until Stause didn’t have an entire production’s worth of resources to shape her own narrative? But in the absence of an explanation, we get a firsthand look at the fallout."