Kelly Hildebrandt is no longer married to Kelly Hildebrandt.
Nope, that is not a typo.
The same-name couple whose whirlwind, heart-warming romance drew headlines in the United States and abroad has divorced, the male Hildebrandt, Kelly Carl Hildebrandt, told NBC 6 on Friday.
“How do they term it at the courthouse? Irreconcilable differences, that is what I would say,” Hildebrandt said. “We gave it our best shot.”
After the couple separated, male Kelly returned in March to his hometown of Lubbock, Texas, where family and friends live and where his tree-service business is situated, he said.
“She’s a Florida girl, and I’m a Texas guy,” he said. “We really did come from pretty different worlds.”
For the first time since the couple separated, male Kelly returned to South Florida for a visit this week, he said. He met with female Kelly a few days ago and there were “no hard feelings,” he said.
The tale of the two Kellys began in February 2009, when Kelly Katrina Hildebrandt, of Coral Springs, found the Facebook profile of her future spouse. She saw that they had the exact same first and last name and sent him a friendly greeting to note their shared name.
They started having online exchanges and three weeks later, male Kelly, then 24, traveled from Texas to South Florida to meet female Kelly, then 20. They hit it off immediately and got engaged.
NBC 6 first reported about the Kellys in July 2009, and their story soon after went worldwide. They appeared on the “Today Show,” “Inside Edition,” Fox News, the front page of Yahoo.com, their wedding picture made People Magazine and they were mentioned in the monologue of late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien.
On Oct. 11, 2009, Kelly and Kelly tied the knot in Lighthouse Point. Things were going well for the newlyweds: they lived together in Coconut Creek and celebrated their first anniversary with a trip to Key West.
Then last year, the pair filed for divorce. The court case is still listed as pending, Broward County court records show.
Male Kelly said he has been happy back in Texas. “That’s where all my connections are. It’s been really great since I got back,” he said.
When he moved, he didn’t have to travel back to Texas alone. “Kelly let me keep my dog,” he said.
Female Kelly couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. But in a statement, her mother told NBC 6: “Yes, I am sorry to say they have separated. I am happy to say they have remained good friends and are both doing well.”
Male Kelly said he would be reluctant to marry anyone with the same name again. He said he suspected there would be another spotlight if that were to happen.
“I wouldn’t want my future spouse to have to deal with everything from before,” he said. “That wouldn’t be a fair situation, given the media coverage.”
Asked whether the media spotlight affected his marriage, Kelly said he didn’t have an answer. “You know, I really don’t know on that,” he replied.
He was sure, however, that having the same name didn’t impede their love. That just happened to be the “cutesy side” of a real relationship, he said.
Female Kelly has since removed her Facebook account.