December 13, 2017
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Don McLean’s ex-wife granted new protection order against folk singer

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A judge on Wednesday granted a new protection-from-abuse order to the ex-wife of Don McLean, extending by another 20 months the period during which the folk singer is not to have any contact with her.

McLean pleaded guilty in July to charges of domestic violence assault, domestic violence criminal threatening, criminal restraint and criminal mischief that were filed against him after he assaulted his now-ex wife a little over a year ago, according to copies of documents filed in Knox County Unified Criminal Court. McLean was arrested Jan. 18, 2016 after Patrisha McLean accused him of terrorizing and striking her for four hours at the home they shared in Camden.

Patrisha McLean sought a new order in Hancock County because she has been living in Castine since her split from the renowned folk singer. Without the new order, Don McLean would have been allowed to contact her after the prior one was due to expire this July.

“Today is a happy day for me,” Patrisha McLean said Wednesday in an interview with the Bangor Daily News, after the new order was granted. “Thirty years [of marriage] was enough.”

The agreement on granting the new order was reached Wednesday when Eric Morse, Don McLean’s attorney, and Christopher MacLean, Patrisha McLean’s attorney, met in chambers with Judge Mike Roberts to discuss the matter — forgoing the need for a public hearing.

Patrisha McLean said that, had a public hearing been held, she would have presented the judge with photographs of bruises she suffered and damage to the house from the January 2016 incident, and would have quoted threats her former husband made to her about her seeking a divorce.

“I did divorce him,” she said. “I need him to leave me alone. Now I know with this [order] I have some measure of safety.”

Patrisha McLean said she also was concerned about disparaging comments posted about her online, and so sought to have her ex-husband prohibited from making any such remarks on social media. The judge granted that prohibition in Wednesday’s order.

Don McLean denies having disparaged his ex-wife on social media or having any contact with her since his arrest.

Christopher MacLean, her attorney, said that the new order now will be in effect until March 2019 and could be extended beyond that if any new allegations of bad conduct by Don McLean arise.

Patrisha McLean said she hopes there is no reason for getting another order when the new one expires.

“I’d like to not have contact with him for the rest of my life,” Patrisha McLean said.

Don McLean declined to comment to the Bangor Daily News when asked at the courthouse about the new order being granted.

Morse, the singer’s attorney, said that Don McLean agreed to the new order because it does not include any finding of abuse or other misconduct. It’s simply an agreement that he will continue to not have any contact with his ex-wife.

“He’s sad about this chapter in his life,” Morse said. “He’s really moved on.”

In spite of the painful episode, the attorney added, Don McLean continues to be “very successful” in his career and is “finding happiness” again.

“He wants to just continue to move forward and not relive old offenses,” Morse said.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.


Correction: A prior version of this story should have indicated that Patrisha McLean on Wednesday was granted a new protection-from-abuse order against her ex-husband, rather than having a previously issued order extended.

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