Even though Johnny Cash pledged loyalty to ex-wife Vivian Liberto in the song “I Walk The Line,” the iconic singer-songwriter did just the opposite of that. The country legend’s daughter, Rosanne Cash, opened up about growing up with her late father and revealed how she felt towards Johnny’s affair with fellow performer June Carter.
“It seemed inevitable, though it was so painful for my mom,” the 64-year-old admitted to People. Rosanne, who appears in Ken Burns’ upcoming 16-hour docuseries Country Music, explained that her mother’s insecurity stemmed from Johnny being on the road all the time. “He wrote, ‘I’m gonna stay true,’” she said in Burns’ new project. “Of course that wasn’t true.”
In 1966, Rosanne’s mother filed for divorce from “Folsom Prison Blues” singer after she suspected he was romantically involved with June, who happened to be a part of his touring ensemble at the time. “My childhood was chaotic,” she said. “I understood from a really young age that [my dad] was an artist and that his mind worked differently. And … that scared my mother.”
Two years after Vivan filed for divorce, Johnny struck up a genuine bond with June and married her in 1968. Around the time, he got clean after struggling with drug addiction.
Even though Johnny left her mother for June, Rosanne dished that she has no lingering resentment towards her stepmother. “I had two really good examples from women in my life,” the “Tennessee Flat Top Box” songstress shared. “My mom gave me this powerful sense of discipline, family, mothering and detail orientation. And June gave me this sense of expansiveness and how to live life as a performer.”
In a previous interview with Billboard, Rosanne opened up about some of her father’s trials and tribulations in life, including his affair and struggle with drugs. The brunette beauty praised him for how he copes with pain.
“My dad worked out a lot of his stuff in the spotlight. He took his pain and his problems to the stage,” she explained in 2010. “Even though he was a great artist, in private moments he didn’t open up about his feelings. He was a tough guy with huge soul. That was the way he kind of got his feelings out in those moments, and it was very beautiful. And after that, of course, we got a lot closer in the last decade of his life.”
We love that this family overcame any obstacles in their way.