Scott Weiland's untimely death last Thursday (Dec. 3) resulted in an outpouring of emotion and appreciation for his work, particularly as the frontman for Stone Temple Pilots. However, Weiland's ex-wife, Mary Forsberg Weiland, also wants the world to see that the rock star had also mightily struggled to be a present father to their children, 15-year-old Noah and 13-year-old Lucy.
In an open letter published on Rolling Stone, she writes, "December 3rd, 2015 is not the day Scott Weiland died. It is the official day the public will use to mourn him, and it was the last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others. The outpouring of condolences and prayers offered to our children, Noah and Lucy, has been overwhelming, appreciated and even comforting. But the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope."
She goes on to detail Weiland's "paranoid fits" and writes, "There were times that Child Protective Services did not allow him to to be alone with [Noah and Lucy]." The couple eventually divorced, and Weiland married photographer Jamie Wachtel in 2013 -- which his ex-wife said led to his children being cast aside. "They were not invited to his wedding; child support checks often never arrived. Our once sweet Catholic boy refused to watch the kids participate in Christmas Eve plays because he was now an atheist."
Weiland's ex-wife, whom he married in 2000, had written in her 2009 memoir Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll and Mental Illness that she and Weiland spent much of their marriage using heroin and crack. She uses the open letter to point out that, while Weiland was an artistic genius, the story of his wrecked family life should inspire others to be better parents.
"Progress, not perfection, is what your children are praying for," she writes. "Our hope for Scott has died, but there is still hope for others. Let's choose to make this the first time we don't glorify this tragedy with talk of rock and roll and the demons that, by the way, don't have to come with it. Skip the depressing T-shirt with 1967-2015 on it – use the money to take a kid to a ballgame or out for ice cream."