Sara Evans Quits Dancing with the Stars

Sara Evans Quits Dancing with the Stars
Evans with dance partner Tony Dovolani
ANDREW SOUTHAM

updated 10/12/2006 at 11:35 PM EDT

originally published 10/12/2006 10:00PM

Country star Sara Evans has decided to pull out of the Dancing with the Stars competition due to personal reasons, an ABC spokesperson confirms to PEOPLE. In a statement released by her personal rep, it was revealed that Evans had filed for divorce from husband Craig Schelske on Thursday.

Evans, 35, who's the mother of three young children (ranging in age from 2 to 7), made the decision to leave the show "to give her family her full attention at this difficult time," it said in the statement. "Ms. Evans hopes her fans and TV viewers ... will respect and understand her need for privacy in the face of these recent events."

The singer, who was partnered with professional dancer Tony Dovolani, will make her final appearance on the show on October 17. "This has really taken me by surprise," Dovolani told PEOPLE about her departure.

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