Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Breaking News

Don McLean Denies Wife’s Accusations That He Is Anti-Semitic

“American Pie” singer Don McLean has denied allegations from his “soon-to-be ex-wife” that he called her an anti-Semitic slur.

“Among the many lies told about me by my soon to be ex-wife Patricia is the statement that 24 years ago I made an anti-semetic [sic] remark,” McLean wrote Monday on Twitter, misspelling his wife’s name, Patrisha.

“This is false given the facts. I was married for almost 30 years to a Jewish woman who I worshiped[sic]. I was proud to have 2 Jewish children.”

The 70-year-old rock star also noted that he had written a song called “Jerusalem” and is a “staunch supporter of Israel.”

“I wrote the song Jerusalem for [former Jerusalem mayor] Teddy Kollek and made a film about that city for him,” McLean tweeted. “I did many tours of Israel during the Iran Iraq War and lived with an Israeli girl who was in the army at that time. I am a staunch supporter of Israel then and now.”

McLean was arrested for domestic abuse in January for allegedly trying to strangle his wife. Patrisha McLean wrote in a declaration filed in a Rockland County district court that he had displayed anger issues and anti-Semitism in the past.

“For the first 10 years or so his rage was unfathomably deep and very scary — calling me horrible things like ‘hebe,’” she wrote, according to the New York Post.

Patrisha McLean had a restraining order against McLean the day after his arrest.

The singer’s lawyer has called Patrisha McLean’s accusations false.

“Don denies making any ethnic slurs to his wife,” attorney Walter McKee said.

“American Pie,” which McLean wrote and sang, was No. 1 for four weeks in 1972 and has gained iconic status.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.