Jason Dottley’s Return to Love Story
Star of TV’s Sordid Lives On Life and Love After Divorce
By Mick Sandoval
When Sordid Lives star Jason Dottley married his long-term partner, playwright-filmmaker Del Shores, in 2003, the pair imagined theirs would be a love to last a lifetime.
Together, the ‘first couple of West Hollywood’ (as fans of the show often dubbed them) fought hard for marriage equality, becoming poster boys of the movement. That was, until last year, when Del Shores announced via Facebook that they were splitting. In his post, Shores wrote, “This was not what I wanted, but I must now accept what Jason wants.”
Disappointed fans waited to hear Dottley’s reason for leaving, however, their wait would be a long one. The early 30s Mississippi native chose to remain silent. Even Shores admitted in an interview with the Dallas Voice that he didn’t know why Dottley departed. “Let me put it this way,” he explained to reporter Rich Lopez, “I come up with reasons I don’t cast certain (actors), but the bottom line is, I don’t want (them) to play the role. The bottom line was Jason said, ‘I don’t want to be married to you anymore.’ And there was no negotiation on any level.”
After a year of personal contemplation, Dottley says he is ready to break his silence. More than that, he is eager to experience love again. He sings about it in “Love Story”, a song he wrote that releases next month.
The slice of 80’s pop, layered with emotionally compelling lyrics, is the first of a three-part experience Dottley is calling The Love Story Project that will also include a music video and a Love-U-Mentary film.
You made your marriage with Del Shores public. Why did you choose to keep your divorce private for so long?
I chose to keep my pain and my journey to myself, to write about it, to learn from it. Discussing it with total strangers while I was lost in the trek myself was not on the agenda for me.
How long has it been since the divorce became final?
You were married nine years. Walking down the aisle, did you intend for it to be forever?
Of course I did.
When did the blooms first start falling from the rose?
That sounds so pretty. About two years before we separated.
Were you fighting or simply drifting in different directions?
We evolved into people who didn’t compliment and inspire each other any more. We stopped healing, growing. It wasn’t like I threw the towel in the first time it got ugly. It was two years of collapsing before the foundation had to be scrapped entirely. Then we fought. Divorce doesn’t bring the best out of you.
When did you know it was over?
At some point, a fire inside of you for someone burns out. It’s a cold, lonely feeling. You just know.
What is your relationship with Del like now?
We are peaceful and out of each other’s lives.
Are you prepared to see him with a new man?
I saw pics of Del with a guy that I heard he’s dating. He looked so happy. It eased my guilt for leaving. As for him seeing me with a new man, well, once I’m ready to share that part of my life openly again, he’ll see and he’ll be fine.
Is it true that Del recast you in Sordid Lives?
Can you imagine for one minute how awkward that set would be? I’m not friends with anyone in that cast because of my divorce. If he has recast the role, congrats to the new guy, whom I hear is the original Ty from the movie. My life has moved on from Sordid Lives, so it’s not something that I feel I lost. It’s cherished, and I’m fine to leave my work as Ty complete as-is. And, I am definitely the better Ty. (Laughs) Yeah, I said it. Del knows it too.
Has it been hard to contemplate love after divorce?
If you go out looking for love, you might as well stay home. Love will find you.
What is one thing you will do in your next relationship as a result of what you learned from your last?
I will communicate better. I will compromise more and I will always make sure he knows that he’s my everything.
Will you walk down the aisle again?
You bet your ass.
Will the next time be forever?
Who can say? I believe we are intended to have a series of love affairs.
You don’t believe in one soul mate?
I absolutely believe in soul mates. Nothing about a soul mate says that you are meant to be together forever, or even together at all. My three best friends are all my soul mates, but I’m not romantically interested in them.
Do you believe in monogamy?
100%. I do not share. I’ll guest star occasionally, though.
Why did you decide to launch The Love project?
“The Love Story Project” is my attempt to shine a light on gay love. The project aims to help people see gay lovers as people and not ideas. I encourage everyone to visit the website, share your story and become a part of it yourself!
Are you encouraged by the response the project has received so far?
I am! It has pushed me further than I ever thought I could take this project.
What are you looking for in your next love project?
Someone who is ambitious, fearless, and inspiring. I’ve already found him but I ain’t giving details. I’ve learned the hard way to keep my heart private.
Visit www.JasonsLoveStoryProject.com for more information of Jason Dottley and his Love Story Project.