Source: Getty Images

Garth Brooks' Ex-Wife Reveals What It Was Like to Be Married to Him at the Peak of His Career


Apr. 27 2020, Updated 3:48 p.m. ET

Long-time country music star Garth Brooks has a new documentary airing on A&E, titled Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On, documenting his rise as one of the most popular country singers and seventh CMA Entertainer of the Year award.

Surprisingly to Garth, some of the people featured in that documentary were his ex-wife and children. Sandy Mahl, who was his first wife, made some shocking comments about what it was like to be married to Garth at the height of his fame — and Garth had some things to say about it.

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Garth Brooks' ex-wife tells all — what she said in the documentary.

Probably the most impactful comments that Sandy made were about why she and Garth drifted apart — and she said that it was because of his career.

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"People [were] constantly wanting your attention and yanking and pulling on him," she said of her marriage to Garth, according to Good Housekeeping. "He'd be gone eight to 10 weeks at a time. He'd come home, [and] there would be number-one parties, or shows, or CMAs, or ACMs, American Music Awards, so it was constantly going. But we both grew apart really, really quickly."

Garth told Fox News that he found this to be the most surprising comment she made because he'd never noticed it was a problem.

He admitted that Sandy had talked about these problems with him before their divorce, but it took hearing it in the documentary for him to really listen to them.

"I heard things from her that she told me our whole life, but I didn't hear them until now," he said to Fox News. "And so my respect and love for her is through the roof for what she went through and how she's handled it."

Sandy said his demanding music schedule was what led to their eventual split — and was also what led to his retirement.

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How long was Garth married to Sandy?

The two were wed in May 1986, and the pair had three daughters together: Taylor, August, and Allie. They made the decision to separate in 1999, and their divorce was finalized in December 2001.

Garth originally made the decision to "retire" in 2000, while in the middle of his divorce with Sandy. He had promised his oldest daughter, Taylor that he would pause his music career by the time she started school — but he missed it by two years, he said.

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"I was getting divorced," Garth said. "Sandy is kind of doing my job and her job with the girls. If Sandy is doing her job, she's telling them, 'Hey, your dad loves you to death. He's just working, and he'll be home soon.' Well, I didn't have anybody to do that anymore."

Garth then spent the next 14 years co-parenting his kids with Sandy. His children are grown now, and his youngest daughter, Allie, is also a singer, just like her father. 

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How many marriages has Garth had?

After his divorce with Sandy was finalized in late 2001, Garth later married fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood in 2005. The two had originally met shortly after he and Sandy had married, and Garth refers to her as his "best friend."

"If we would have gotten married back in the late '80s I don't think our marriage would have survived the ‘90s or our careers would not be what they were," Garth said to Fox News of his marriage to Trisha.

Garth told the outlet that Trisha was also a large part in his children's upbringing, and feels she had an important role in their parenting. They are still happily married today.

The A&E documentary about Garth's life, Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On, airs Monday, Dec. 2 and Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. EST.

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