Joe Don Rooney Breaks Silence About Sobriety Journey, “Going To Jail Sucks”
Joe Don Rooney, former Rascal Flatts guitarist and vocalist, broke his social media silence Wednesday (January 3) with a lengthy post addressing personal struggles of recent years.
Joe Don Rooney, 48, was a member of the award-winning country trio Rascal Flatts from its inception in the late ’90s until the group disbanded in 2020.
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The trio’s split was confirmed in 2021, the same year that Rooney and his wife announced their divorce. During the same year, Joe Don also found himself at an all-time low and having a brush with death. In a statement posted to X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, the musician opened up for the first time about the terrifying crash that he claims God used to turn his life around.
In the post, he wrote about a crashing into a tree while driving drunk, adding that his drinking “had been an issue for many years.”
“…I was so far gone with my life – I was completely out of control and finished with trying to fight the fears, depression and anxieties that had spun me out in a way I’ve never experienced before,” Joe Don wrote. “The pressures of my career and the many mistakes I made in regards to my home life, coupled with a lot of pain and trauma from my childhood and early on in my adult life, had become too much to bear. I was not a good father – I was not a good husband – and I was not a good band mate to my business partners.”
Rooney shared that his car accident, subsequent jail time and DUI charge led him to make some big life changes. He spent four months in rehab, another tool that he credits for his current sobriety.
“When I first got there, I didn’t want to stay. I was ashamed of myself. I was so full of fear and guilt, that it took me all of the those 4 months to really start understanding treatment and the AA way and how to best utilize these new tools that I downloaded from the amazing clinicians, counselors and other patients there,” Rooney said.
“My life has been changed forever – and I’m grateful for the change. I’ve been sober now for almost 28 months come this Jan 13.”
Joe Don and his wife of nearly 20 years, Tiffany Fallon, finalized their divorce in September 2023. The couple share son Jagger (15) and two daughters, Raquel (13) and Devon (9).
Read Joe Don Rooney’s full statement below.