How Jelly Roll’s Wife Bunnie Changed Everything for Him and His Daughter
It's pretty common knowledge that Jelly Roll's wife, podcaster and internet personality Bunnie XO is successful in her own right. When the couple first met, in fact, she was making more money than he was, thanks to her former career as a sex worker.
But in a new appearance on the Bussin' With the Boys podcast, Jelly reveals that not only was Bunnie more financially successful than he was when they first met — she actually provided the funds for him to gain custody of his daughter, Bailee Ann.
Jelly and Bunnie first met in 2015, and they got married the following year, on Aug. 31, 2016. Around the same time that their relationship was beginning to develop, the singer was trying to find a way to gain full custody of his daughter, who was about eight years old at the time. Bailee's mother was an addict, and Jelly was fighting hard to provide for his child, despite the fact that he had few resources to do so.
At the same time, he was gearing up to welcome another child — a son named Noah — who does not currently appear much on Jelly's public social media, nor does he appear to live with the country star and his wife.
"So when Bunnie comes into my life, I have to sit Bunnie down ... and go, 'Look, I have a kid that you know about, that I'm fixing to have to get full custody of. There's also a woman out there that's pregnant with a kid of mine," Jelly recounts. "And Bunnie's just like, 'Whew, that's a lot, but I got you, whatever.'"
Early on in their courtship, Bunnie had provided Jelly with some advice about purchasing items to prepare for living with his daughter, and served as a sounding board when he talked about his parenting experience. As things progressed, she became more involved in the work he had to do to become a full-time parent.
"I don't have a house. I'm homeless," Jelly remembers of that time. "So she's like, 'Well, the first thing we have to do is get you somewhere to live in Nashville.' I was like, 'Well, I can't put it in my name. I'm a felon. I don't have enough proof of income to get the kind of place we'd need to get her in the right school district.' Bunnie's like, 'Let's just go get a condo so you have a bedroom for her.'"
So they did — and as they were working toward that goal, Bunnie told Jelly something that brought him to tears just remembering it.
"She said, 'No matter what happens with us, I'm gonna help you get this little girl.' And I was like, 'Man, what character,'" he continues, struggling to speak through the emotion in his voice.
"... Dude, I'm broke. I can't afford the lawyer. I can't afford anything. What am I, gonna put the kid in the van? I'm living out of, like, a '96 van. And Bunnie's like, 'I'll help you.' So Bunnie bankrolled the whole s--t. And she never talks about that. It's a true story."
For her part, Bunnie says that it was easy to make the decision to help Jelly get custody with his daughter, because it reminded her of her own story of growing up.
"It spoke to my heart because I'm a product of an addict. My dad was a musician. My mom was a stripper. I didn't get to meet my real mother until I was 36 years old, because she left me on a doorstep," she explains.
"When we went over to Bailee's mom's house — and this was in the mist of all this — I walked in and Bailee didn't even have a bed. She was sleeping on a chair," Bunnie recalls. "And she was there taking care of her two, two or three little cousins, making them food. Literally all she was doing was making them bread with peanut butter on it. And it broke my heart."
She believed that Bailee would have a better life with her dad, and it was a "no-brainer" decision to throw her weight behind making it happen. "I just did what felt right. IT was the best decision I ever made, because now I've got my little family," she adds.
These days, Jelly makes a point to pay it forward to other families who are hurting. Most recently, he shared a heart-rending video of a conversation he had with a young woman going through her own experience of family struggle and pain — a moment that left both him and the girl in tears.