Don McLean’s marriage to Patrisha McLean ended on an unfortunate low point

Don McLean and his wife of 30 years ended their marriage in a rather volatile manner earlier this year, but have now settled cordially.

Divorce finalized in June 2016

Don McLean married his second wife Patrisha in 1986 and had two children with her, Jackie and Wyatt. When the two were married, Don had been a superstar for many years already, famous because of the many songs he had written, most notably American Pie.

Patrisha McLean Don's second wife

Patrisha McLean Don’s second wife

So, when the two married, there was indeed a prenup. It was the sensible thing for Don to do, especially since he had been married once before.

Few would have thought that Don and Patrisha would ever actually divorce. Not after they managed to stay together for nearly 30 years. And Don loved his wife and their children. When he sold the manuscript to American Pie for $1.2 million, he said he did it for his family, all of whom were apparently missing some business acumen. That was in 2015 and he wanted to make sure his family was taken care of. Don was heading towards his 70th birthday, after all.

But something changed drastically in January this year, at least as far as the public was concerned. Don was arrested on a misdemeanour charge of domestic violence assault. He was booked and posted bail within a few hours.

Patrisha claimed that Don had “terrorized” her for four hours, at some point pressing hard on her temples with his hand and threatening her life. Don never denied the incident, but later said on Twitter that he had had a bad reaction in tough emotional times he and his wife had been facing during the past year.

Patrisha filed for divorce shortly after the incident, citing “adultery, cruel and abusive treatment, and irreconcilable differences”. She reportedly said that there had been incidents of spousal abuse throughout their marriage and that Don had had a particularly volatile temper during the first 10 years of their marriage. We’re not sure where the adultery came in as there was no claim that he cheated on her.

Once more Don took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the matter. He regretted that his wife had chosen the route she had and that the divorce had been her idea. He also said that her take on their 30-year marriage was “completely distorted and untrue”. In the end he concluded that there are neither winners nor losers in the situation at hand and that he was not a villain.

Don and Patrisha do some cooking

Don and Patrisha do some cooking

We don’t actually know what led to the breakdown of the couple’s marriage. We only know that it was pretty volatile.

Ultimately there must have been enough good times for Patrisha to stay married to Don for nearly 30 years. And Don has proven to care deeply for his wife and children on plenty of occasions. Jackie and Wyatt turned out pretty decent as well, which is not typical in dysfunctional families. Clearly, Patrisha and Don did some things right.

In the end Don even chose to ignore the prenup when it came to finalizing the divorce. Patrisha received $10 million in the settlement, which is likely a lot more than the prenup would have granted her.

Let’s hope it wasn’t a way to buy Patrisha’s silence, but instead a way of making sure that she was taken care off for the rest of her life. Don asked not to be judged. And judging comes easily to those looking in from the outside. Instead it is indeed up to judge and jury and his family to do that.

He won’t walk away from this entirely unscathed. He lost his wife of 30 years, who must have finally had enough of whatever had transpired in that time. Since there were no further news of any volatility between the estranged couple, one can only hope that the situation was resolved amicably in the end.


Don and Patrisha dayout

Don and Patrisha dayout

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