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Your Web Browser may be out of date. If you are using Internet Explorer 9, 10 or 11 our Audio player will not work properly. The anti-domestic violence campaigner Patrisha McLean has a proud smile on her face as she shows me around her home in Camden, Maineon the east coast of the United States. The house, she says, is a reflection of her personality. We are on a Zoom call, so she points her laptop camera at various walls, some painted in vibrant shades of purple and green. She shows off her favourite wallpaper, a turquoise de festooned with white flowers and birds.

This is a colourful, bohemian looking home with a dazzling view of the sea and boats bobbing on the Camden harbour. There is art everywhere and a room where she can indulge one of her favourite hobbies: calligraphy. In Januaryafter an incident at their home in Camden, Don McLean was arrested and pleaded guilty to four charges including one of domestic assault. A plea bargain agreement would eventually see the assault charges, including the most serious charge of domestic violence assault, dismissed. Patrisha, who now runs a domestic violence organisation Finding Our Voicesfelt moved to respond.

As part of her activism she takes portraits of survivors of domestic violence, who consent to using their real names. There was outrage that Don McLean, who had pleaded guilty to domestic violence, should be facilitated in criticising his ex-wife. The couple have two grown-up children, a son and a daughter. So Woman seeking McLean of the media giving a platform to abusive, narcissistic men. She says he chose the cars she drove over the decades, always leasing them in his name. This is the first home Patrisha has owned by herself and the first place she has been able to decorate and furnish in a way that expresses exactly who she is.

He was trying to shove open the locked bathroom door behind which I had barricaded myself. As it was splintering I pushed the sand as he was breaking through the thick, locked door I pressed the button to send the through because I believed when he broke through he would kill me. The police arrived soon afterwards. They interviewed both of them, and arrested Don McLean. There were six charges originally. The singer pleaded guilty to four charges arising from that incident including one of domestic violence which was later dismissed.

The Irish Times has seen the year restraining order Patrisha has against Don McLean, agreed by him and without a finding of abuse. It was hurtful and very traumatic in the beginning. I am afraid of what is happening.

It is dangerous for the media to be doing this because it perpetuates the silence. And for the media to be complicit in this. Her point about the escalation of domestic abuse since the pandemic is well founded. Globally, there has been a rise in reports of intimate partner violence and earlier this year in Ireland the Garda reported the of calls Woman seeking McLean help relating to domestic violence had increased by 25 per cent.

It really bothered me that they would include that quote. She believes the media has a responsibility. One of them is when the person moves quickly to seal the deal. Another red flag is that they sweep you off your feet. But he Woman seeking McLean, he swept me off my feet and then it all just changed. And I just thought he was so romantic and such a poet. It just shows you the difference between how someone presents themselves and who they really are. She says she saw his temper for the first time early on in the relationship. I had sold my car. I had given up my apartment and told everybody I was moving back east with Don.

It was like a fairy tale. I blocked it out.

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And to let go of the dream because until then it had been so amazing. It was so exciting. It was so fabulous. I could not admit to myself that this was not real. In that interview, when I asked him what he was proudest of apart from his music, he said his year marriage to Patrisha. I felt it showed how Woman seeking McLean I was. I am reading a lot about cults. I do feel there is an element of brainwashing there. I relate to a lot of the things they say about cults like the charismatic leader, and how their version of things becomes your version, the twisted version.

She has had a lot of time to reflect on her life with the singer since their divorce. They tell me what they really thought of him. I used to think people only liked me because I was with him. But it turns out they liked me in spite of him. They like me for who I am. I really thought the most interesting thing about me was him. He liked me to be isolated from everybody.

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And they just snuff out your life. I saw this painting once, it was a hand holding up colourful balloons. They are always piercing your joy. A musical is expected in The arrest did not hurt his career.

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The singer is The conversation turns to the conundrum of how to separate the art from the artist. How does she think fans should engage with the work of a celebrity such as Don McLean? At least recognise that you know what he did. There are so many stereotypes around domestic abuse, tropes Patrisha bought into so deeply that she did not recognise herself as that person.

They had not known about me and I had not known about Woman seeking McLean. I knew this was something big that needed to be exposed. Her Finding Our Voices movement started in her hometown of Camden with 14 survivors talking openly about their abusive relationships. Now there are I did not relate to the woman with the black eye. I never had a black eye.

But with our movement, with the portraits, people are seeing people they know, Woman seeking McLean kinds of people from 18 to An architect, a teacher, a nurse. They tried to shame me but the shame is not mine. The shame belongs to Don McLean. Patrisha says she will never get over the trauma. His threats came to nothing. The movement continues.

He made no comment regarding the coercive control allegations but said his client denied ever assaulting Patrisha McLean. American Pie gets a lot of radio play, especially in the US. But I am very happy about not having to hear that song again. I must have heard that song thousands of times. I had to go to every single concert all over the world.

Patrisha believes that Don McLean had a message for her in that recent newspaper article, a warning that despite the restraining order, he can continue to attack her through the media. Does she have a message for Don McLean? She shakes her head. I am just so happy to have him out of my head, to have my life back and to have finally found my voice. Anyone who feels in immediate danger should call or The new dedicated text line for the hard of hearing is The Finding Our Voices website is here. Please update your payment details to keep enjoying your Irish Times subscription. As it was splintering I pushed the s Commenting on The Irish Times has changed.

To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber. The details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can In. Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post.

Woman seeking McLean

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