Jewish Wife of Don McLean Claims He Called Her ‘Hebe’ and Other Antisemitic Names
The wife of famed American singer-songwriter Don McLean claimed the musician called her antisemitic names in the beginning of their 30-year marriage, according to court documents revealed on Thursday.
“My husband has/had a violent temper,” Patrisha McLean wrote in a statement filed in Rockland District Court that supports her request for a restraining order against her husband. “For the first 10 years or so his rage was unfathomably deep and very scary — calling me horrible things like ‘hebe’ (I’m Jewish).”
In her statement, first cited by the Portland Press Herald, Patrisha also described an incident that occurred in 1994, when the “American Pie” singer allegedly used his hands to squeeze her temples so tightly that she felt as though her head was in a vise. She said she called 911 on that occasion and that her husband, 70, has had better control over his temper in the last 20 years, except for his alleged violent outburst on Sunday.
Patrisha claimed in her court papers that on Sunday, “Don terrorized me for 4 hours until the 911 call that I think might have saved my life.”
Don was arrested on Monday in Camden, Maine and charged with domestic violence assault against his wife, who secured a restraining order after his arrest.
“He was scaring me with the intensity of his rage and the craziness in his eyes,” the photographer said in her statement about the incident on Sunday. She said when she tried to leave, he allegedly “grabbed [her] hard and said, ‘I want to strangle you so bad.'”
Patrisha said she then grabbed her cellphone and ran to the bathroom, where she locked herself in. She claimed, “He tried to break open the door and I feel he would have succeeded and killed me but for me telling him I was calling 911, which did deflate him.”
Don dismissed Patrisha’s accusations that he used antisemitic slurs against her, according to his defense attorney, Walter McKee.
“Don denies making any ethnic slurs to his wife,” McKee said. “As with many of the statements made in the request for a protection order, this statement is patently untrue.”
The musician on Thursday released a statement on his official website acknowledging his recent violent outburst, while insisting he is not a bad guy.
“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,” Don wrote. “Our hearts are broken and we must carry on. There are no winners or losers, but I am not a villain.”
The Vincent singer said he would like to continue performing and asked for fans not to judge him. He said, “I hope people will realize that this will all be resolved but I hope I will not be judged in this frantic media environment.”
A judge set a hearing for Don’s domestic violence charge on Jan. 28. McKee said his client will plead not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.
After her statement was made public, Patrisha called the Portland Press Herald to say her description of what happened on Sunday is accurate, but that her husband’s temper is only “one side of him.”
“I was blindsided by this report being made public,” she said. “Don is not a monster.”