Chelsea Handler on why her relationship with Jo Koy ended

Chelsea Handler spoke about the end of her relationship with Jo Koy. (Photo: Michael Tran/AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea Handler is ready to find love again, after the end of her relationship with fellow comedian Jo Koy.

The former Chelsea, Lately host — whose new special on Netflix, titled Revolution, dropped on Dec. 27 — joined Brooke Shields on her podcast Now What?, where the two women spoke about Handler’s personal and professional life. One topic that Handler got candid about was her romance with Koy, which ended just ahead of their one-year anniversary in July.

“I really believed that this was my guy. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I won. I got everything. I have my career, I have respect, I have my family, I have so many friends, I have all these things. And then I thought this was going to be the person I spend my life with,’” she explained. “I’m not that hard up to get married, but I was open to the idea of ​​it, and we definitely discussed it at length, because it was important to him. But towards the end of the relationship, it just became clear that this was not my person. … There were just some behaviors that we couldn’t agree on. … It felt, to me, like I would have to abandon myself, which maybe I would have been OK to do if I was 20 or 25, but I wasn’t willing to do that, no matter how much I loved this person — and I loved him so much. But I wasn’t willing to do that.”

While Handler said it was “difficult” to walk away from what she thought would be a “forever relationship,” she recognized there were irreconcilable differences between the pair.

“I was in a lot of pain, but — it was just unacceptable,” she noted. “Like I just said, ‘This … can’t happen.’ Our relationship just evolved. And we both could not agree on a situation, or several situations. And I thought, you know, therapy could help — it didn’t. And I exhausted any avenue I could think of and then I just realized, this is futile.”

She added, “After therapy I understand, there’s no reason to be angry at anybody when something doesn’t work out. You just have to understand things don’t work out sometimes. And there’s no reason to have vitriol about it. But yeah, walking away from him was one of the most difficult things that I’ve ever had to do.”

Shortly after their split in July, Handler and Koy both penned messages to each other on Instagram. Handler said of the Easter Sunday star, “You blew my creativity open, my lust for working hard again, being on the road again, and you reminded me who I was and always have been.” Koy said he remains Handler’s “biggest fan” in the wake of their split.

Although Koy directed her latest Netflix special, Handler told Shields that she hasn’t “spoken to him in a while.”

“There has to be some accountability — you know what I mean — from him, about what happened, because it was just ridiculous,” the ex-talk-show host said. “And, you know, I don’t think we can have a friendship until there’s some accountability and some responsibility taken.”

As for what she’s looking for now, Handler said, “I need somebody who reads books and reads the news and cares about global affairs. … I never thought it was like the most important thing but I’m so about that. And it’s not fun to read the paper and be able to discuss that with someone. Like a thirst for knowledge, a thirst for growth.”

Handler previously spoke about the end of her relationship with Koy this summer on Glennon Doyle’s podcast We Can Do Hard Things. She called the choice to stop dating the comedian a “mature thing to do.”

“When you know, you know,” she said at the time. “It’s like any other intuition you have. You have to close your eyes and listen to your gut and understand that sometimes the pain you’re gonna go through with a breakup is gonna be much more preferable than remaining in something that isn’t working anymore.”

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