Garth Brooks’ Ex-Wife Shares Her Side Of Their Story For The First Time
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Garth Brooks is baring his soul in a two-part documentary that aired in December 2019 on A&E. “Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On” was filmed over a year-and-a-half and includes interviews with Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood, his three adult daughter and his ex-wife, Sandy Mahl.
Garth married Mahl, his college sweetheart, in 1986. A year later, the couple moved to Nashville so Garth could pursue his country music dream. Mahl was there through all of Garth’s success in the ’90s and even appeared in the video for his 1990 hit “Unanswered Prayers.”
But, the two would divorce in 2001, shortly after Garth announced his retirement from the music industry. Garth and Mahl put their daughters first, and for 14 years the pair developed a routine that would allow their daughters to see both parents every day.
“They saw both their parents in the morning and both parents in the evening and for 14 years,” he explained. “That’s how we ran it because we knew it was right for those kids. If you did what was right for the kids, you were going to do what was right for you. It was simple.”
Garth ex-wife has remained silent since their divorce, instead focusing on raising her children and developing a name for herself as a successful businesswoman and dedicated wildlife rehabilitator. But, Mahl is breaking her silence and sharing her side of the story in Garth’s new documentary. According to Garth, one of the documentary’s biggest surprises is Sandy’s interview.
“What really surprised me was Sandy, the girls’ mom. She was phenomenal,” the 57-year-old singer said in a recent interview. “[I was] gone so much on the road, there were things I guess she was trying to tell me that I didn’t hear until this biography. It’s rare you get to hear the other side. I just saw her and I think I hugged her harder than I ever have now that I know things that either I didn’t hear or that she didn’t say until now.”
Garth told the ladies of The Talk that hearing Sandy’s side of the story only made him love and respect her more. “And, I gotta tell you, I never wish divorce on anybody, but three kids and three parents worked out really, really well,” Brooks added.
As for Sandy, who was with Garth while he was struggling to get his career off the ground , she opened up about realizing that they were growing apart after he found success.
“Life totally changed overnight. It was just…everything was on fire. Everything he touched was on fire,” Sandy recalled.
“Running. Running. Constantly a whirlwind. People constantly wanting attention. Yanking and pulling on him. He’d be gone 8 – 10 weeks at a time. And he’d come home there’d be No. 1 parties or shows or CMAs, ACMs, American Music Awards. So it was constantly going, but we both grew apart really, really quickly.”
Sandy shared that her favorite memories of the early days of Brooks’ career were the times she and their three daughters would visit him at venues during soundcheck. It was a rare time during those hectic days that their family was together. They could hear Garth sing while the girls played on what they called their “jungle gym” that was unlike what any other kids their age got to experience.
But, after a 15-year marriage, Garth and Sandy decided to call it quits.
“It was important for those three individuals [their daughters] to know it was nothing that they had done. It was just that mom and dad couldn’t get along anymore,” Sandy shared of their decision to separate. “It was kind of atomic bombs. But, at the same point it time it was like – it’s probably, in the long run, what’s best for me and what’s best for you, as long as we take care of those kids.”
Hear everything Sandy had to say about her relationship with Garth – the good and the bad – in Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On streaming on Netflix.