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Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney Addresses Fans With Lengthy Statement About DUI, Getting Sober, & Transition Rumors!

Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney Addresses Fan With Lengthy Statement About DUI, Getting Sober, & Transition Rumors!

Joe Don Rooney is starting the new year with transparency.

If you didn’t know, the Rascal Flatts musician has been relatively off the grid for a while now. He drops the occasional post every now and then on X (Twitter), but hasn’t uploaded anything on his Instagram feed since July 2021.

Since then, he’s been trying to lay low with all that social media stuff, apparently. But on Wednesday, he took a moment to fill in some blanks. In a lengthy post on Elon Musk’s social media app, the 48-year-old apologized to fans for his absence online. Then, he took time to address what sounds like a rough few years:

“I’m sorry it’s been a while since I’ve posted on any socials. It’s actually been a couple years since I’ve engaged with fans and friends on Twitter (now X) or Instagram. But I figured today, at the beginning of this brand new year 2024, would be a good day to send a message out to the world.”

He started off by addressing a rumor that started on TikTok in 2023, which suggested that a male country singer was transitioning:

“First off, I am alive! There have been so many rumors and opinions thrown around about me — but I’m finally healthy and ready for the world. And NO, I’m not transitioning to be a woman. That thought has never entered my mind. Nothing against the trans community whatsoever but I needed to set the record straight.”

He then went on to address an extremely low moment that nearly cost him his life in September 2021: a drunk driving incident. He explained:

“My life and career took a major detour at 4a in the early morning hours of Sep 9, 2021 when I ran square into a tree and about killed myself. I was drunk and I was so far gone with my life — I was completely out of control and finished with trying to fight the fears, depression and anxieties that had spun me out in a way I’ve never experienced before. My drinking had been an issue for many years — and as they say in AA and treatment, it’s a progressive disease. I am living proof that the progressive nature of drinking can really ratchet up and as I grew older as an adult my drinking grew worse.”

He continued:

“The pressures of my career and the many mistakes I made in regards to my home life, coupled with a lot of pain and trauma from my childhood and early on in my adult life, had become too much to bear. I was not a good father — I was not a good husband — and I was not a good band mate to my business partners. I probably would’ve never taken responsibility for any of this if it hadn’t been for my car wreck on Sep 9, 2021.”

In 2020, Rascal Flatts announced they’d be splitting up after one final tour, and a year later, Joe’s wife Tiffany Fallon filed for divorce. The exes share three kids together, and just finalized their split last fall.

However, it sounds like the rock-bottom drunk driving moment led Joe to take back some control over his life. He told his fans:

“Fortunately, (and I truly believe this,) God lead [sic] me into that tree safely enough to not kill me — and luckily nobody else was involved and I didn’t injure or kill anyone. I could literally be in a Federal Prison for life right now. That is the reality of what my life had become.”

He was booked into the Williamson County Jail the night of his wreck, and later had to serve an additional 48 hours — which he says sucked. But like he noted, he avoided a far worse situation. He went on:

“That event lead me to treatment for my alcoholism for 4 months in the beautiful mountains of Utah. When I first got there, I didn’t want to stay. I was ashamed of myself. I was so full of fear and guilt, that it took me all of the those 4 months to really start understanding treatment and the AA way and how to best utilize these new tools that I downloaded from the amazing clinicians, counselors and other patients there. My life has been changed forever — and I’m grateful for the change. I’ve been sober now for almost 28 months come this Jan 13. I never believed I could actually live my life without drinking. It had become such a huge part of my daily and nightly routine. I had tried to stop on my own in the past but the powerful nature of alcohol always found its way back into my life.”

Wow! He sounds so grateful for the journey he’s been on.

The Life Is A Highway musician went on:

“I never believed I could actually live my life without drinking. It had become such a huge part of my daily and nightly routine. I had tried to stop on my own in the past but the powerful nature of alcohol always found its way back into my life.I learned that I had to come to the realization that I was powerless over alcohol — and a power much greater than myself (and much greater than alcohol) was the only way to stop drinking and completely restore my sanity. God intervened and helped me to get my life back. With the help of my family and so many other professional clinical advisors and now numerous new sober forever friends, I’ve been able to get the train back on the tracks and live without the burden of alcohol. Now, I need to protect my family and protect my sobriety. I have new healthy boundaries for the first time in my life. Only positive, loving, caring & understanding people may enter.”

Good for him! It sounds like he’s really turned his life around. He concluded with one more major note:

“It’s an absolute blessing in ways I can barely put into proper words. But for now, I’ll just say — thank you God!! I wish there was a way I could give back to God what all God has given to me — but moving forward, I will do my best to reflect God’s light of love and grace onto others like so many have done for me.”

The guitarist then signed off:

“I hope y’all have an amazing 2024.Thank you for all the love, support and prayers. I promise you, I’ve felt them all and I’m super appreciative. Here’s to making the best of 2024 and living our most healthiest, happiest and goal oriented lives ever!! — JDR”

We’re extremely happy for Joe! By his own account, it really sounds like he desperately needed to get his priorities straight. It’s so sad it had to happen under the circumstances that it did, but he clearly feels a bit of divine intervention was involved.

Here’s to starting the year off in a healthy and resilient way!

[Images via NetJets Inc./YouTube & Nicky Nelson/WENN]

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Jan 04, 2024 14:04pm PDT