There’s another new development in the custody dispute between HGTV‘s Christina Hall and ex-husband Ant Anstead. After Anstead filed court documents on September 27, 2022, to request stricter boundaries around Hall’s inclusion of their three-year-old son in paid promotions and on her TV shows, the designer filed a blistering response in court and has shared multiple Instagram posts slamming Anstead. That now includes Hall sharing an analysis written by a “survivor advocate” who accuses Anstead of “post-separation abuse.”
Hall Re-Shares Post That Says Her Situation is ‘Like Being Taken Hostage’
Hall has been leveraging social media to fight back against Anstead’s request that the courts review their agreement around Hudson being featured in paid ads and shows. On October 2, Hall shared on Instagram that her solution will be to stop posting or filming Hudson entirely until he is old enough to decide whether he wants to be included in her social media or shows. She and her first husband, Tarek El Moussa, both regularly share and film their kids, ages 7 and 12, for social media and their HGTV shows.
On October 3, Hall shared an Instagram Story from a woman named Kaitlyn Jorgenson who describes herself as a “survivor advocate” and explains in her bio that she’s “creating stronger strategies in response to Intimate Partner Violence.” Jorgenson posted her own analysis of Hall’s custody situation via her Instagram Stories. She tagged Hall, who re-shared Jorgenson’s writing to her own Instagram Stories within a couple of hours.
Jorgenson’s Story featured a screenshot of an Us Weekly article about the custody dispute. She first corrected the article’s headline to reflect Hall’s new married name (she married Josh Hall in early 2022) rather than her maiden name, Haack. Then Jorgenson took aim at the part of the headline that said Hall “agreed” to stop posting and filming Hudson.
Jorgenson wrote, “Can we establish something here? This is not an ‘agreement’ — an agreement is something that you enter into voluntarily. However, when your ex-husband sues you, disparages you, comes for your career, your new marriage, children, family, friends, etc. your element of free will is removed from you. It’s like being taken hostage.”
She continued, “Moms that endure Post-Separation Abuse are not simply free to enter into ‘agreements’ with their ex-husbands/abusers and I wish the press would point this out.”
“@thechristinahall and #AntAnstead are not equals in this,” Jorgenson continued. “He is continuously weaponizing the Courts to punish her for existing outside of him, and for being brave enough to leave him.”
It is not clear if Hall knows Jorgenson or if she saw the Instagram Story because she was tagged in it. Instagram Stories disappear from the platform after 24 hours.
Anstead Says ‘Awful’ Breakup With Hall Was a ‘Shock’
Hall rose to fame on HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” with El Moussa, which they kept filming after their 2016 separation. She thought she’d found wedded bliss with British-born TV personality Anstead when they married in December 2018, months after her divorce from El Moussa was finalized. The couple gushed over each other after letting People Magazine film their wedding.
The newlyweds welcomed Hudson in September 2019, but the relationship had nosedived by the following summer. Hall filed for divorce in September 2020. She shared on Instagram in a since-deleted post that they’d “made the difficult decision to separate” and asked for privacy for their family.
While they tried to co-parent Hudson amicably, Anstead filed for primary custody in April 2022, claiming in court documents that Hall was only with Hudson nine days out of each month and that the environment wasn’t always safe. He also hoped to prevent Hudson from being featured in any “commercial endeavor” without his permission. A Los Angeles judge denied the emergency request, saying Hall would need time to prepare a response. The two did wind up working out some of their differences privately, but not all, which led to Anstead’s recent court filing.
Anstead, who’s been in a relationship with actress Renée Zellweger since mid-2021, has not publicly commented on the current custody dispute, although his and Hall’s family court filings are public record. But in a previously recorded podcast that was published on September 29, he opened up about the end of his relationship with Hall.
On The Late Brake Podcast, a show for car lovers in the U.K., host Jonny Smith told Anstead he was surprised to see all the headlines that came up when he Googled his name — and that was likely before Anstead’s most recent court filing.
“It’s my ridiculous private life,” Anstead lamented.
Speaking about his 2020 breakup with Hall, he said, “It was awful. We all have setbacks in our life and…I feel incredibly privileged and very lucky. You know, my setbacks in the grand scheme of things aren’t that bad. And it was, it was kind of a shock. It kind of came out of nowhere. COVID had hit as well.”
Due to the lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe, Anstead said he couldn’t go visit his teenagers, whom he shares with his British ex-wife Louise, and they couldn’t visit him, so he felt “trapped.”
“That was brutal,” he said. “It was overnight I, you know, lost my friends, my wife, my home.”
When Smith suggested Anstead was in a “bedsit,” which is a British term for a small space where a person lives in solitude, he replied, “Yeah, it was a bedsit with a baby.”
“I was in this really dark place and I shut everything out, because I was getting pelted in the press,” he said. “I was subjected to so much hatred because I think other people, without getting too ‘therapist’ on it, it’s a projection, isn’t it? So you’ve got all these people like, ‘Oh, I can shower that guy’ — you know, ‘you’re a failure and your marriage has failed and you’re useless’ and all these kind of fake stories and this awful trolling.”
“So I did what I think most people would do,” he continued. “I closed the doors, turned off, and actually, what it ended up invariably doing was it kind of re-set me and gave me focus. I think particularly as men, we have to find purpose, and I’ve got lots of friends that when they lose their purpose, they change. Their character changes.”
Anstead said that despite how hard that time was for him, he wouldn’t change it because Hudson came out of his relationship with Hall.
“That’s the best thing,” he told Smith. “That’s the funny thing…you look at the silver lining in every setback? Hudson. Like, I would go for it again a million times for Hudson. He’s awesome. Yeah, he and I have a great relationship and it’s really, really lovely. He was worth it.”