Saturday, June 15, 2024

Starry, Starry Fight: Wife of “American Pie” Singer Says “This is a very sad time for him, as well as for me.”


Patrisha McLean, the photographer wife of Don McLean, obtained an order of protection against him today after a domestic dispute turned into an arrest.

The news out of Camden, Maine is upsetting because McLean is a folk singing hero whose songs “American Pie” and “Vincent,” among others, made him a national institution. Last year someone paid $1.2 million at auction for the original handwritten lyrics to “American Pie.”

Even though McLean is not in People magazine every week, he’s still an important and well loved figure in the music world. He tours all the time and his records are played on oldies radio and places like Sirius XM.

In her complaint, Patrisha wrote that Don has access to firearms, has a gun, knives, and a baseball bat in his car. She said he told her “If I have a stroke (over my leaving) I will get my gun and kill you.” She also said that she is Jewish, and that he called her a “Hebe.” She says more recently, on January 17, he terrorized her four hours until she called 911.

I emailed Mrs. McLean. She wrote back to me today and said: “I would like to say that he is not an anti-semite and he is not a monster. We had a lot of good times/years together. This is a very sad time for him, as well as for me.” The McLeans have been together for 30 years and have two grown children. She is 56 years old, he is 70.

It’s a sad day for everyone. In a lot of his photos, Don McLean looks angry. His teeth are almost gritted. There are two sides to every story. I hope the McLeans can work things out. On his website Don McLean writes:

“This last year and especially now have been hard emotional times for my wife my children and me. 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.”

Don McLean

January 21, 2016

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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