Pulliam’s husband, former NFL pro Ed Hartwell, filed for divorce from her on Tuesday, just days after the 37-year-old actress announced she was pregnant, and nearly seven months after the two were married. In an exclusive sit-down with ET on Wednesday in Atlanta, Pulliam — who wasn’t wearing her wedding ring — broke down in tears when discussing her issues with Hartwell.
“I don’t know if it’s the hormones… no, it’s all of it, because it’s fresh,” Pulliam tells ET’s Nischelle Turner, fighting back tears. “And it’s hurtful. And I knew I couldn’t be silent, because this isn’t about money. This isn’t about fame. This isn’t about social media likes or follows. This is about my character — my integrity as a woman being attacked — and that’s not OK.”
Pulliam says she was given no warning and was blindsided when Hartwell, 38, told her he had filed for divorce. The Cosby Show star says she has never cheated on Hartwell, but alleges that he had been unfaithful during their marriage — and that she was actually the one who wanted to get a divorce before deciding to give him another chance.
“Early on in my marriage when I was faced with this, I was ready to leave. It’s not OK,” Pulliam says. “In the process, I found out I was pregnant. And I had to take another hard look and decide if I wanted to try to work through this and forgive him for the sake of the child. Like, I had divorce papers ready. I presented it to him. … Once I was pregnant I did decide to give him that one last chance.”
“The part that hurt me the most when he filed for divorce was that he had asked me to give him another chance, and I was willing to do that and forgive him, for our family,” she claims.
Pulliam says that having children was always a plan for the both of them. The former linebacker is already a father to his 9-year-old son, Ed Jr., with his ex-wife, Real Housewives of Atlanta star Lisa Wu.
“We both wanted to get married, I was not pushing it,” she says of their New Year’s Eve wedding. ” … This is his baby. He wanted more children. He was excited once he found out that we were having a little girl. There was never a question about that. … No point after we got pregnant was there an issue of the fact that we’re having a baby.”
Pulliam now has “no desire” to still be married to Hartwell, but instead, wants to focus on their child.
“There’s a baby in the middle of this!” she stresses. “And regardless, if we don’t want to be married, that’s fine, because we agree on that. But this baby is what’s important, and I feel like that’s being lost.”
The actress says she hasn’t been in touch with Hartwell.
“There’s nothing to say at this point,” she explains. “They can discuss that through attorneys. I have to move forward. I have to do what I need to to release the hurt, to release this, and to be happy for me and my baby girl, because the stress isn’t good. The stress isn’t healthy. And my only priority is her.”
Pulliam says she trusts that “time will always tell the truth.”
“You can be a cat in the sandbox and try to cover that up as much as you want. Truth prevails,” she says.” I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t cheat on my husband. I didn’t do it. It’s really that simple.”
Pulliam gets emotional when asked if she still loves Hartwell.
“I love who he pretended to be,” she says. “I love who he portrayed himself as, and the one mistake I made was, when he showed me who he really was, not believing him. Not believing him the first time. When he said he wanted our marriage, he wanted our family — I believed him. That’s why I gave him this one last chance, only for him to pull the rug from under me and blindside me.”