Don McLean's daughter, Jackie McLean, has come forward with allegations that her father mentally and emotionally abused her for years. Jackie decided to open up about her childhood to Rolling Stone, through a new interview. She told the publication that the alleged abuse began when she was only a child, including verbal attacks in isolation.
She stated, "There was a constant state of fear in the house about the slightest thing [that] would make my dad turn into a crazy person. If somebody moved an item in the house and he didn't know where it was, then he would go on a rampage for hours... And everyone was just constantly on edge because it was chaos."
Narcissistic abuse is real. When perpetrated by a parent, it can be debilitating. Thank you @RollingStone and @AltheaLegaspi for helping me reclaim some of my power and for sharing the story behind the music that helped me to find my own voice. https://t.co/YYVaANpqSo pic.twitter.com/JDr4R1zjLQ
— Roan Yellowthorn (@RoanYellowthorn) June 23, 2021
Jackie did state that her father did not physically abuse her, but is now feeling physical manifestations of the trauma, saying, "If I talk about my experiences, my teeth chatter and I get cold and sweaty even if I hear his name." Jackie stated that the alleged abuse has caused her now to develop depression, OCD, anxiety, as well as coping rituals. She also noted that as she got older, Don apparently fostered a strong culture of misogyny within their home, commenting on the appearances of women on TV.
The singer-songwriter, who is now part of Roan Yellowthorn, alleged that Don McLean made several indirect remarks about her voice, which is what discouraged her from pursuing a music career. She stated, "Every stage of my development was met with some level of trauma. When I started shaving my legs, he got mad at me 'cause he noticed the razor in my room... When I got my first bra, he got mad about it."
In the interview, she said Don went on a "campaign" to get her to stop dating her former boyfriend, who is Black.
"He would go on a tirade for an hour about how I needed to break up with my boyfriend," she told the magazine. "How it was not OK that I was dating a black person, how it was disgusting of me and how I was ruining the family by doing it, and basically demanding that I stop."
Don McLean denied the allegations.
"Because I was very vigilant in high school about my daughter, I thought he was giving her a bunch of bullshit, and that's all I said. I don't care what color he was," Don McLean said.
Sharing the Rolling Stone story about the incident, she tweeted, "Narcissistic abuse is real. When perpetrated by a parent, it can be debilitating."
Don McLean has denied the allegations of mental and emotional abuse as well as allegations that he isolated or conditioned his daughter. Giving his side of the story, he also told Rolling Stone, "There would never be any paralyzing attacks 'cause her mother was always around. I would never attack her anyway; I would never attack anybody. If I yelled at you for five minutes you'd think I yelled at you for an hour because it's shocking. I would snap sometimes; I did have a temper. "
The "American Pie" singer was arrested back in 2016 on charges of domestic violence assault against his estranged wife. He had initially pleaded not guilty and then entered a guilty plea. The domestic violence assault charge was later dismissed. He has denied assaulting his ex-wife and his lawyer stated in previous statements that the reason for the guilty plea wasn't because he was guilty of anything, but it was to "provide closure for his family and keep the whole process as private as possible."