Lifestyle & Belief

Mindy McCready's suicide "not a major shock", says ex-boyfriend Billy McKnight (VIDEO)


Singer Mindy McCready (R) performs as Rosie O'Donnell holds McCready's three-month old baby, Zander, at the V-Day Presentation of Any One Of Us: Words From Prison at Alice Tully Hall - Lincoln Center June 21, 2006 in New York City.


Brad Barket

The ex-boyfriend of Mindy McCready said Monday he was not shocked by the country music star's suicide because he had witnessed two previous attempts and she was still battling her demons. 

Billy McKnight, who is the father of Mindy's son Zander, 6, told the Today show he was deeply saddened by her death, but added: "As sad as it is, it didn't come as a major shock. 

"She's just been battling demons for so long. I was around her when she attempted suicide twice, so I knew it was in her."

"I feel for her mother and her family, especially my son," McKnight continued.

"I can't say that it shocked me, no."

The troubled country music star, aged 37, was found dead at her home last night of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, the same house where her boyfriend, David Wilson, killed himself in January.

McCready, whose singing career was shadowed by substance abuse and suicide attempts, was found on the front porch of a home in Heber Springs, Arkansas, around 4 p.m. Sunday, The Associated Press reported

According to the AP, she shot Wilson's dog before turning the gun on herself.

Her death came 48 hours after she left a rehab clinic, E News reported.

A judge had ordered her committed to a mental health facility last Thursday after she admitted she had been drinking too much. Her father also told the court she was abusing prescription drugs.

In a statement to the court, he wrote: "Since boyfriend (David Wilson) shot himself she has been in bed for 3 wks," her father wrote in his filing. "Sleeps all day. Drinks all night and is taking Rx drugs. Not bathing or even helping take care of her 2 children". 

But McCready left the rehab facility after a day and was placed in outpatient care, which required her to stay off alcohol and drugs, E News said.

She left behind two young sons, Zander, 6, and Zayne, 10 months, however The Guardian cited Coroner Waren Olmstead as saying that he did not have further information on who was taking care of them. 

The death of McCready, whose albums include "Ten Thousand Angels" and "If I Don't Stay the Night," prompted an outpouring from other country stars.

Reuters quoted Tracy Lawrence as tweeting:

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Mindy McCready and her family today,"

Carrie Underwood reportedly wrote:

"I grew up listening to Mindy McCready... so sad for her family tonight. Many prayers are going out to them."

Time wrote that it wasn't the first suicide attempt for McCready, whose complicated personal life was marked by substance abuse, disputes with her family over custody of her sons, and tragedy.

Her boyfriend, producer David Wilson, Zayne's father, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in January. Previous relationships included baseball player Roger Clemens and actor Dean Cain.

McCready had recently been embroiled in a custody battle over Zander with her mother, Gayle Inge, the boy's legal guardian.

She fled to Arkansas without permission over what she called child abuse fears but the authorities caught up with her, taking Zander into custody.

McCready famously arrived in Nashville in 1994 with tapes of her karaoke vocals and was signed by BNA Records.

Her 1996 "Guys Do It All the Time," a dig at male chauvinism, hit No 1. "Ten Thousand Angels" sold 2 million copies.