Jason Aldean has filed for divorce from wife Jessica Ussery, citing irreconcilable difference, reports People magazine. Married for 12 years, the papers were filed in Williamson County, Tennessee court on April 26. The couple has two daughters, Keeley, 10, and Kendyl, 5.
“This is a really tough time for my entire family,” Jason told the magazine. “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 number one priority.”
The day before papers were filed, Jason’s rep confirmed that Jason and Jessica were going through a rough patch. “I can confirm that Jason and his wife are having problems, but there is nothing more to share with the press at this time,” his rep said at the time. “It’s a private family matter, and we hope everyone will respect that he would like to keep it that way.”
Jason is asking for privacy during this difficult time. “I’ve learned that everyone always rushes to judgment when they hear news like this,” he said. “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.”
The divorce comes after Jason was photographed kissing season 11 American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr in Los Angeles last fall. Jason issued a public apology and he and Jessica appeared together on CBS This Morning last December, saying they were trying to learn from their mistakes.
Jason is currently on his Night Train Tour. His latest single, “1994,” is at radio now. Read PEOPLE’s full story HERE.