Entertainment & Arts

Don McLean asks fans not to judge him over assault charge

Don McLean Image copyright AP
Image caption McLean will appear in court next month

American Pie singer Don McLean has asked his fans not to judge him, after he was arrested earlier this week on a charge of domestic violence assault.

In a statement on his official website, McLean blamed "hard emotional times for my wife, my children and me".

"What is occurring is the very painful breakdown of an almost 30-year relationship.... There are no winners or losers but I am not a villain.

"I hope I will not be judged in this frantic media environment," he said.

The 70-year-old was arrested on 18 January after police were called to a property in Camden, Maine, at 02:00 local time. He was later released on bail.

Image caption McLean has amassed more than 40 gold and platinum records over the course of his career

It is understood his wife was granted a temporary restraining order against the singer after she cited a pattern of abuse going back three decades.

Court records show she filed a handwritten note requesting protection, following the incident on Monday.

Referring to the early years of their 29-year marriage, photographer Patrisha McLean described her husband's rage as "unfathomably deep and scary''.

She claimed she feared for her life when she called police earlier this week, writing: "Don terrorised me for four hours, until the 911 call that I think might have saved my life."

McLean, who is due in court later on Friday, "vigorously denies" his wife's allegations.

In his statement, he lamented the breakdown of his relationship over the past year: "Our hearts are broken and we must carry on. 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 realise that this will all be resolved, but I hope I will not be judged in this frantic media environment."

The singer is set to appear at the Knox County Unified Court in Rockland. His lawyer, Walter McKee, has stated his client will plead not guilty.

McLean is best known for his 1971 hit American Pie, about the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper in a plane crash.

The original working manuscript for the song was auctioned for $1.2m (£840,500) last year.

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