Three days after he was arrested on a domestic violence charge, “American Pie” singer Don McLean is pleading with his fans for understanding.
“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,” he said Thursday in a statement on his website and on Twitter.
“Our hearts are broken and we must carry on,” added the singer-songwriter, 70. “There are no winners or losers but I am not a villain.”
Police in Camden, Maine, where McLean lives, arrested him early Monday on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence assault. He was booked into the Knox County Jail and posted $10,000 bail a few hours later, according to Knox County Cpl. Bradley Woll.
Police didn’t name McLean’s alleged victim. According to his website, the singer lives on a 300-acre estate outside Camden with his wife, Patrisha, and their two children. Patrisha McLean is a children’s photographer who has published two books and exhibited her photos across the country.
According to CNN affiliate WGME, McLean was arrested shortly after 2 a.m. following a 911 call to his home. As a condition of his bail, he was to have no contact, direct or indirect, with the woman he allegedly assaulted.
Patrisha McLean did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. According to the Portland Press Herald, she sought and received a temporary restraining order prohibiting her husband from having contact with her.
Although he has been writing and performing music for five decades, McLean remains best known for his iconic hit “American Pie,” an 8-minute-and-33-second opus that topped the pop charts in early 1972.
McLean has said that its opening lines were inspired by the death of Buddy Holly, but he has been evasive about the rest of the song’s symbolism and meanings. The tune has become one of the most dissected in the pop music canon.
In April, his handwritten lyrics to the song sold for $1.2 million at auction.
McLean, who continues to perform sporadically, is due to be arraigned in court February 22, according to WGME.
“I may never recover from this but I will try and hope to continue to entertain you all as I always have,” he added in his statement.
“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.”