Divorce news always sucks, but this one is particularly a bum out because Metallica’s James Hetfield has long been vocal in the press about how amazingly supportive his wife, Francesca Hetfield, has been in helping him through his struggles with alcoholism. Per Blabbermouth, James filed for a divorce from his wife Francesca Hetfield earlier this year. Having wed back in 1997, the couple spent an impressive two and a half decades together. That’s no easy feat for any couple, let alone one involving arguably one of the world’s most famous musicians.
James and Francesca first met in 1992 on Metallica’s ‘Where We May Roam Tour’ in support of the Black album. Francesca actually worked on the tour crew in the wardrobe department. Fast forward five years later and the couple wed on August 17, 1997. The couple had 3 children together, including son Castor Hetfield who has recently started following in his dad’s musical footsteps with his own band, Bastardane. The two seem close, with elder James imparting some rock & roll wisdom on Castor:
“My dad had told me a lot of his tour horror stories from when he was young, so I feel like that helps, so we can pre-learn from his mistakes. Like just leaving all your gear in the car and having everything stolen out of it, or partying maybe a little too much and then having the next show not be as great, just things about consistency, which is something I think is really important.”
At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions back in 2009, James gave a particularly poignant thank you to Francesca: “I would love to thank my wife, Francesca, for saving my life… many times”:
James frequently credited Francesca for the tough love help she gave him in his battles with sobriety:
“[My wife] did the right thing, she kicked my ass right out of the house and that scared the s—t out of me. She said, ‘Hey, you’re not just going to the therapist now, and talking about this, you’ve got to go somewhere and sort this s—t out,’ so that’s what I did … What worked for me was 7 weeks someplace, like basically tearing you down to bones, ripping your life apart, anything you thought about yourself or what it was, anything you thought you had, your family, your career, anything, gone. Strip you down to just, you’re born. Here’s how you were when you were born, you were okay, you were a good person, let’s get back to that again, then they slowly rebuild you.”
This was apparently James’s only marriage. Despite the news, we are of course wishing the whole Hetfield clan health, happiness and lots of heavy riffs for years to come.