When Garth Brooks decided to retire in 2000, he also ended his marriage, announcing both in the same month. Brooks was building his superstar career while his former wife, Sandy Mahl, was at home with their three daughters, and didn't know – or didn't hear – some of Mahl's challenges during their marriage, which came out in his new biopic, The Road I'm On, airing on A&E.
"What really surprised me was Sandy, the girls' mom. She was phenomenal," Brooks said at an event ahead of the release of the documentary, as reported by Us Weekly. "[I was] gone so much on the road [during our marriage], there were things I guess she was [trying to tell] me that I didn't hear until this biography. It's rare you get to hear the other side. I just saw her and I think I hugged her harder than I ever have now that I know things that either I didn't hear or that she didn't say until now."
Brooks also praises his oldest daughter, Taylor, for speaking her mind, even if he doesn't necessarily share the same memories as she does.
"I'm always emotional," he confessed. "The truth is what you believe it to be. So all you do is tell the truth. My oldest girl and I, we have some variations of the stories, so you [also] see how she sees it. It's interesting to see both sides. I like that honesty."
Brooks also opened up about meeting his current wife, Trisha Yearwood, while still newly married to Mahl.
"I had been married 13 months when I met her," Brooks recalled. "When someone said, 'What'd you think when I met her?' I said, 'I felt like I just met my wife,' which is weird, right? But the girls' mother and I were married in a church, in front of our families. If [Yearwood and I] gotten married then, either the career wouldn't have been what it was in the '90s or our marriage wouldn't have lasted.
"So I have to believe that things happen when they happen," he added. "I feel very lucky right now where I'm at. So even if I did have regrets, I wouldn't change anything in fear of changing where I'm at right now."
Brooks also credits Yearwood with helping him learn how to be a parent after his split from Mahl. The second part of the two-part The Road I'm On documentary airs tonight, Dec. 3, on A&E.
Photo Credit: Getty / C Flanigan