Multiple sources have confirmed that Metallica vocalist James Hetfield and his wife of 25 years, Francesca, are divorcing. TMZ initially disclosed the split on Aug. 13, citing a “source close to the former couple” who told the entertainment media outlet that Hetfield filed divorce papers in Colorado earlier this year. In a subsequent statement, Francesca confirmed the information.
I am deeply sorry that my marriage has come to this after 30 years of ups and downs, but always with a lot of love,” she stated. The couple originally met in 1992 and married in 1997. They have three children together — Castor, Cali, and Marcella. During Metallica’s show at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the day after the TMZ news came out, Hetfield made an emotional appeal to his followers.
“Are you feeling good right now? You have all been in the dark before. The 59-year-old lead singer and guitarist explained that “Fade to Black” deals with the taboo subject matter by saying, “This song is about something we are not supposed to talk about.”
We should not bring up the subject of suicide.’ Cause, it’s scary. That thought chills my bones. Everyone here’s been impacted by it one way or another. You all battle — we all know what darkness is — and if you are feeling like you need to take your whole life, please don’t. Please wait.
If you need to communicate, please seek help. Regardless of what happens, you will always have someone who loves you. Someone hears you. No matter what happens, I will always adore you. Regardless of your past mistakes. The truth is, “You are not alone.”
In 2016, Hetfield uprooted his family to Vail, Colorado, so that they could live nearer nature and so that Francesca, who was born in Argentina, could return to her hometown. Metallica’s offices are still in San Rafael, but he desired some distance from the “elitist” politics of the Bay Area.
“I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there a little bit,” Hetfield said to podcast host Joe Rogan in 2016. “They talk about how diverse they are, and things like that, and it’s fine if you’re diverse like them. However, showing up in Marin County with a deer on your bumper is not acceptable. My approach to organic food is different from theirs.
“There was an elitist attitude there,” Hetfield explained, “that if you were not their way politically, their way environmentally, all of that, you were looked down upon.” For my own well-being, it was a bad idea. I felt like I was constantly at war with myself and needed to snap out of it.
Metallica’s lead singer got emotional in front of fans in Brazil in May and shared his struggles with anxiety. Let me be honest with you: I was not in the best of moods before making my way out here. “I am a little bit insecure,” Hetfield told the fans at the Estádio do Mineiro in Belo Horizonte on May 12. “I am an old guy, can not play anymore,” he added.
“So I talked to these guys, and they helped me — as simple as that. They comforted me with a hug and assured me, “Hey, if you are struggling onstage, we have got your back.” It means more to me than you know.
In 2019, Hetfield entered rehab, prompting the band to cancel its “WorldWired” tour dates in Australia and New Zealand. In a statement released to Metallica’s official website at the time, the band members said, “As most of you surely know, our brother James has been suffering with addiction on and off for many years. Sadly, he has had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his rehabilitation again.”
As stated in a statement published on Metallica’s website in 2001, Hetfield checked himself into rehab for alcoholism “and other addictions” at that time. These metal giants were known as Alcoholica while in their ’80s prime.
“Some Kind of Monster,” a 2004 film that shows the band’s flaws without sugarcoating, details the singer and guitarist’s temporary absence from the group. Many of Hetfield’s problems, he said, had their roots in his youth. He often praised Francesca for helping him keep his rage and substance misuse issues in check.