Metallica frontman James Hetfield is divorcing his wife after over 20 years together. According to TMZ, Hetfield filed divorce documents in Colorado earlier this year to end his marriage to Francesca Hetfield, keeping it out of the headlines until now.
TMZ adds that the couple is in touch and co-parenting their children, but the divorce is in motion. The metal frontman and wife met in 1992, close to when Hetfield was seriously injured by pyro on stage in Montreal. Hetfield married Francesca in 1997 and the couple has two daughters and a son together.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield and his wife of more than two decades are no more, TMZ has learned. https://t.co/Dmb1sG781X— TMZ (@TMZ) August 13, 2022
Hetfield has credited his wife with helping him overcome his rough patches over the years, including his anger management issues and addiction struggles. Consequence cites Hetfield's 2016 appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast and the rocker detailing his wife pushing him to rehab in 2000.
"My wife did the right thing, she kicked my ass right out of the house and that scared the s-t out of me. She said, 'Hey, you're not just going to the therapist now, and talking about this, you've got to go somewhere and sort this s-t out,' so that's what I did," Hetfield said at the time. "What worked for me was seven weeks someplace, like basically tearing you down to bones, ripping your life apart, anything you thought about yourself or what it was, anything you thought you had, your family, your career, anything, gone. Strip you down to just, you're born. Here's how you were when you were born, you were okay, you were a good person, let's get back to that again, then they slowly rebuild you."
Hetfield relapsed in 2019 and entered rehab shortly after, putting Metallica's planned tour of Australia on hold at the time. The band is back to touring and playing together at this point, with the pandemic also behind them a bit.
Recently the group enjoyed some unexpected Billboard success after "Master of Puppets" played a big part in season four of Stranger Things. Metallica and Kate Bush have something in common now thanks to The Duffer Bros streaming series, with Netflix even sending Joe Quinn to meet the band at Lollapalooza. He got to shred with them and dig in a bit about learning to play the song. Quite the time to be a Metallica fan.