Miranda Lambert may have a forthcoming album (Four The Record, due out November 1) and a moderately successful side project (Pistol Annies, whose album Hell On Heels was released last week) but she continues to face charges (in so many words) of breaking up the first marriage of her husband Blake Shelton. As those who are well-versed in country lore know, Lambert met Shelton on June 8, 2005, when they sang “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” for the CMT special 100 Greatest Duets. In Lambert’s episode from this season of Behind the Music (available to stream in full on our site), she, her family, and Shelton talked about the unforgettable performance. “Looking back on that,” Shelton said, “I was falling in love with her, right there on stage”—and it’s plain to see. The problem? “I was a married guy, you know?” (Shelton had married his high school sweetheart Kaynette Williams two years earlier.) “Standing up there and singing with somebody and going, ‘Man, this shouldn’t be happening.'”
Last night when Lambert appeared on Dateline, she faced a similar line of questioning from Hoda Kotb, and she stuck to her story—that sparks flew during the 2005 special, but that she kept her distance until Shelton was divorced. “I had seen their wedding picture in Country Weekly,” she told Kotb. “I knew better, like, this is off limits. My parents are private investigators, for God’s sake. I’ve seen this my whole life—affairs. Of all people to know better, I know better than this.”
We’re pretty fond of this response, and not just because it rings true. We love good gossip as much as the next person, but this frequent line of questioning reads, to us, more like that of right-wing born-again Christians who reject Amy Grant because of their suspicions about her infidelity to her first husband prior to her divorce. Lambert is a devout Christian (one highlight from later in her Dateline interview: she says she and Shelton “have come to Jesus about [Shelton’s ‘out-of-control’ tweets] all the time”) but she’s also no fool. Her response, which speaks not to the ethics of infidelity but to the consequences of being caught with Shelton, implicitly mocks the moralizing of the oft-repeated question, since apparently no amount of moral response will satisfy, even in the wake of continuing non-evidence.