You may recognize Ainsley Earhardt from her co-hosting gig on Fox & Friends, but there’s much more to the TV journalist’s story than what meets the eye. Over the years, the South Carolina native has faced her share of heartbreak, from suffering a miscarriage and watching her mother battle a serious health scare to accepting that her marriage was over. Through it all, her faith has kept her going and has even inspired her to write a number of best-selling books … but more on all of this below.
While this Fox News star has tried her best to serve as a source of inspiration for her fans, she’s also ended up making quite a few headlines for the wrong reasons in the process. Earhardt certainly knows how to court controversy, even when it’s not on purpose, by always speaking candidly about her life, beliefs, and opinions — no matter how eyebrow-raising some may find them to be. Keep on scrolling to find out the untold truth of Ainsley Earhardt.
She watched her mother suffer
2018 unfortunately proved to be a difficult year for Ainsley Earhardt, who watched her mother, Dale, suffer through the repercussions of a major stroke. According to Atrium Health, Dale’s husband, Wayne, found her “unresponsive on the ground, lodged between the nightstand of their bedroom and the bed” in early February of that year. Although doctors were able to successfully remove the blood clot that caused the stroke, Dale’s recovery journey had only just begun.
After first bringing her to Carolinas Rehabilitation, Wayne recalled, “She couldn’t breathe on her own, she couldn’t talk, she couldn’t swallow, she couldn’t eat. Her whole right side was paralyzed.” For her part, Ainsley made it a point to be there for her mom as much as possible and flew out to Charlotte, N.C. from New York City practically every weekend. The television personality shared the realities of her mother’s condition with The Charlotte Observer that April, revealing, “She had to re-learn to talk. She was paralyzed on the right side, but she just started moving her fingers and then she started lifting her arm.” Ainsley continued, “And she’s feeding herself now — she wasn’t able to do that before, so she’s coming along.”
Her marriage dramatically fell apart
While Earhardt was still dealing with heartbreak over her mom’s health, her six-year marriage publicly fell apart. Her former husband, William Proctor, filed for divorce in October 2018 amid rumors that he’d been unfaithful with one of Earhardt’s best friends. While the infidelity had reportedly occurred years earlier, Page Six reports that the Fox & Friends co-host allegedly possessed “evidence” of her ex-husband’s alleged straying ways.
“After much prayer and careful consideration, Will and I have separated,” Earhardt released in a statement at the time, adding, “I am fully committed to parenting and doing what is always best for my darling, little girl and would appreciate privacy and prayers during this difficult time.” The former couple had welcomed daughter Hayden into the world just three years earlier. For his part, Proctor denied the cheating allegations, stating to the Daily Mail, “There is not one ounce of truth to the allegations that I had an affair. I am devastated about this situation and did not envision this for the future of our family.” He went on to throw some slight shade at his ex with, “I remain focused on and committed to being the best Dad and maintaining a friendship with my wife, even though she has decided to move on.”
She's a best-selling author three times over
It’s impressive enough to pen one best-seller, but as of this writing, Earhardt has managed to do so three times. The author’s first two forays into writing were children’s books, both of which made it onto The New York Times‘ best-sellers list. Publisher Simon & Schuster dubbed her 2016 picture book, Take Heart, My Child: A Mother’s Dream, “a lyrical lullaby” that was full of life lessons Earhardt encouraged parents to pass onto their kids. She went on to publish Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me the following year, in which she “[reflected] on her experiences as a mother and viewing wonders of the world through a child’s eyes.”
However, Earhardt decided to go down a different path in April 2018, when she released a memoir called The Light Within Me, which was also a New York Times bestseller. “Filled with inspirational quotes taken from Scripture and illustrated with sixteen pages of never-before-seen photos,” publisher HarperCollins described it, “her memoir is infused with her spiritual beliefs and will touch the hearts of all her fans, reminding them to count the blessings God has given them every day of their lives.”
She's not afraid to court controversy
Ainsley Earhardt’s become known for making controversial statements and asking head-scratching questions. In fact, she does so regularly on Fox & Friends. For example, Media Matters for America notes that the TV journalist tried to find a silver lining regarding the United States’ declining birth rate while reporting on Alabama’s controversial abortion ban in May 2019, asking, “Will we see the numbers go up because more people won’t be able to have access to abortions?”
Indeed, Earhardt has typically managed to make numerous headlines with her opinions in any given month. In June 2019 alone she criticized House Democrats for passing the Dream and Promise Act to protect DACA recipients with, “Why do you think that Democrats are trying to pass things or pass legislation that they know is going to fail in the Senate?”; and declared that President Donald Trump’s “negotiation tactics are amazing.” She also argued that former Vice President Joe Biden was wrong in slamming major corporations for receiving tax breaks. “Listen, when you create 300,000 jobs, so what if you get a tax break?” she asked on-air. “That’s great. We want you to come to New York. Remember when Amazon was supposed to come here, and then it was squashed by all these lawmakers? It’s ridiculous.”
Honestly, who knows what Earhardt will say next?
Her faith drives her
If there’s one aspect of Earhardt’s life that’s informed all others, it’s her faith. In an op-ed written for Fox News in 2018, she revealed that it was one of the first things she sought out when she left her home state of South Carolina. “When I moved to New York City, I started visiting different congregations immediately,” the TV co-host recalled. “I was used to worshiping every Sunday morning and that was one tradition I wasn’t giving up.”
However, finding the right congregation wasn’t enough. “I was craving more, intense teaching. I wanted to find a Bible study with a small group of women,” Earhardt wrote, explaining that she began meeting up with a few co-workers and old friends in her “tiny apartment” to “learn more about the Bible.” She continued, “That was about 10 years ago and we have since studied so many books of the Bible and different subjects. We have shared prayer requests, happy milestones, sad events, and been there for one another.”
What’s more, scroll through Earhardt’s Instagram feed and you’ll soon find multiple posts featuring faith-driven quotes and passages. “Every day is a gift and an opportunity to follow where Christ is leading. Don’t miss a step!” she shared in June 2019. Another text-post around this time read, “Whatever didn’t work out was God protecting you.”
Journaling is a huge part of her life
In addition to her faith, Earhardt has also relied on another coping mechanism to deal with life’s ups and downs: journaling. While speaking with the The Charlotte Observer in 2018, the news host revealed that the two actually go hand in hand. “When I really discovered who God was and had a firm relationship with him my junior year of college, I journaled constantly. All day long. I had boxes of journals,” she explained. “They were really just love letters to God, just thanking him and praying out loud and telling him my desires.”
Although Earhardt admitted that she’s journaled more often during certain times in her life than others, she’s never stopped, because journaling has always served two very important purposes. Noting that it’s “pretty cathartic for me to write a letter to God,” she added that should anything ever happen to her, “I also wrote those journals so that my daughter would have a deeper knowledge of who I was as a person.”
She made a short film about her miscarriage
In May 2019, Earhardt spoke candidly about suffering a miscarriage in an emotional, tear-filled video for I Am Second, which has filmed hundreds of interviews, documentaries, and short films in an effort to inspire the Christian community. When it was Earhardt’s turn to face the camera during the non-profit’s “White Chair Film” series, she opened up about her struggles with pregnancy, what it was like to lose her first child, and the role her faith played.
“I was a planner. I had a whole life planned out,” she said of her career. “When I started trying to have children, I was not successful.” While the TV personality eventually became pregnant, she sadly received shattering news during her second ultrasound. “There was no heartbeat,” Earhardt recalled. “So [the doctor] looked at us and she just said, ‘I’m so sorry.'”
That was when the doubts set in. “I started thinking, ‘Should I have done this earlier?'” Earhardt admitted. “‘Is this my fault? What’s going on?'” However, just a few months later, she became pregnant again and later gave birth to a healthy daughter, Hayden Dubose Proctor, in 2015. The proud mom concluded, “Know that God has a plan and God works it all out. Life is such a journey. Every step of it, good or bad, is still beautiful.”
She misses South Carolina dearly
While Ainsley Earhardt has called New York City home for over a decade, she’s a South Carolinian through and through. The Fox & Friends co-host grew up in the Palmetto State, attended college at the University of South Carolina, landed her first journalism gig in her home state, and, as she told The Charlotte Observer in 2018, missed it dearly.
“I do miss family, and the culture, the sweet tea, the barbecue sandwiches, going places and knowing everyone,” she confessed before comparing pros and cons. “Sometimes it’s good in New York when you don’t know anyone, because you can go without your makeup and not worry about your hair and all that. But in the South, you go places and you see people that you know and you go to a restaurant and you’re gonna see three or four families that you grew up with.”
This is why South Carolina has become one of her go-to travel destinations. At the time, Earhardt was planning a group trip with her best friends at the Isle of Palms. “We were trying to decide where we wanted to go, and we’re all from South Carolina,” she explained. “And we all said, ‘Let’s just go home.'”
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