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Don McLean Makes Statement on Domestic Violence Arrest: ‘I Am Not a Villain’

Knox County Jail
Knox County Jail

Three days after being arrested on misdemeanor domestic violence charges, Don McLean, the folksinger best known for “American Pie” and “Vincent (Starry Starry Night),” has issued a public statement. Meanwhile, his wife said that he has repeatedly abused her over the course of their years together, and has gotten a temporary order of protection against him.

“This last year and especially now have been hard emotional times for my wife, my children and me,” he wrote on his website. “What is occurring is the very painful breakdown of an almost-30-year relationship. Our hearts are broken and we must carry on. There are no winners or losers but I am not a villain. I may never recover from this but I will try and hope to continue to entertain you all as I always have. I ask God to give us the strength to find new happiness and I hope people will realize that this will all be resolved but I hope I will not be judged in this frantic media environment.”

McLean was arrested at his Camden, Maine home on Jan. 18 following a call made by his wife, Patrisha. In her statement that accompanied the request for the protection order, she wrote, “For the first 10 years or so his rage was unfathomably deep and very scary. On Jan. 17, Don terrorized me for four hours until the 911 call that I think might have saved my life.”

Patrisha added that she saw “the intensity of his rage and the craziness in his eyes,” and said that he grabbed her hand and said “I want to strangle you bad.” She compared it to an attack from 1994 where he squeezed his hands against her temples, causing pain that lasted two days.

Following his arrest, Don did not enter a plea and was released without bail. He will return to court on Feb. 22.

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