, 20 tweets, 6 min read
Patrisha McLean, who accused her singer-songwriter husband, Don McLean, of #domesticabuse, is organizing Maine women to tell their own stories. And he is protesting.
THREAD nytimes.com/2019/10/20/us/…
She displayed a typed letter which, she said, he forced her to sign in 1994, declaring that fights they had were her fault, the result of her premenstrual mental disturbances. #DonMcLean
“In the later years of the marriage, “the worst of the physical violence didn’t really occur,” she said. “But I always know it could occur. He would say, ‘Don’t get me started,’ and we both knew what that meant.””
In January 2016, Patrisha McLean made a 911 call to the police, and #DonMcLean was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. He denies assaulting his wife at any time in the marriage.
Originally charged with 6 misdemeanors, he pleaded guilty to 4 as part of a plea agreement:
One of the four charges, domestic violence assault, would be dismissed after a year.

For the remaining three — one count each of criminal restraint, criminal mischief and making domestic violence threats — he paid around $3,000 in fines and was not sentenced to any jail time.
Maine is state where domestic abuse accounts for around half of all murders and assaults.

Patrisha McLean has created a traveling exhibit, “Finding Our Voices.” where women — some of them, like her, from wealthy & prominent families — speak out about violence in their r/ships.
#DonMcLean has repeatedly tried to block publicity about the project, threatening local newspapers with lawsuits for giving it coverage.

So far, these efforts have not worked.
Bill Nemitz, a columnist for The Portland Press-Herald, described #DonMclean ‘s protests as the exhibit’s “most powerful promotional tool.”
At the Holocaust and Human Rights Center in Augusta on Oct. 10, the exhibit’s host read aloud, to laughter from the audience, the contents of a letter from #DonMcLean’s public relations firm.
It warned that “any display of doctored photos and untruthful information concerning the details of a 2016 incident in their home may be adjudicated as defamation toward Mr. McLean.”
The project marks a departure from a tradition among outreach workers, who were trained to protect victims’ identities from exposure.

We joke about it, but in Maine, everybody knows everybody,”
“If you live in a very small town, and the person abusing you is the brother of a police officer, or a town clerk, you’re going to think twice about whether it’s safe to reach out for help. There is a sense that you can’t be invisible here.”
Patrisha McLean has achieved startling success in persuading women to come forward, perhaps because of the nationwide groundswell of anger that followed the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

“I think a lot of women are really angry right now,”
#DonMcLean : “I never assaulted anyone in my life, especially my wife, who was treated like a queen,” he said. He said that only three misdemeanor charges remain on his record, which he described as “about the same as a speeding ticket.”
#DonMcLean “This is so far away from the life we had,”
“This life that we had was her in a long red dress, going through her beautiful rose garden sipping Champagne, while the people that worshiped her and her information about flowers were following along.”
”You can see it in the movie about me called ‘American Trobadour”
Patrisha McLean says her husband’s arrest “lifted the veil,” prompting a long series of women — her hairdresser, her dental hygienist, a woman at the farmers’ market — to reach out to her with their own stories about domestic violence in their lives.
“I had never heard of domestic violence in Camden,” she said. “It was never in the paper. And all of a sudden this happened to me, and it was everywhere.”
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