Showtime’s ‘George and Tammy’ follows the story of the two country singers who became the most successful artists in the genre. They walked a good part of this journey together and were deeply connected with each from the beginning. The TV show is a retelling of their time together. While, in the beginning, it all feels like a fairytale story, the truth starts to set in as George and Tammy get to know each other’s difficult parts.
George Jones was an alcoholic, and in his drunken state, he would turn into someone Tammy could barely recognize. In the second episode of the show, he scares her so much that she runs away from him in the middle of the night. It is a rather disturbing incident, right at the beginning of their marriage. If you are wondering whether there is some truth to it, then here’s what you should know about it.
Was George Jones Abusive?
There is no doubt about the fact that George Jones struggled with alcoholism for a good part of his life, and this caused problems in his first three marriages, including the one with Tammy. The show depicts Jones’ struggle with his addiction, and it is during his drunk state that he turns into a completely different person as compared to the one when he is sober. This revelation makes Tammy reconsider their relationship, and the same thing happened in real life too.
Talking about their tumultuous marriage in her autobiography, ‘Stand by Your Man’, Tammy Wynette claimed that she found herself at the receiving end of Jones’ violent streaks when he would get drunk. In one instance, she said that Jones chased her through their house in Nashville with a loaded 30-30 rifle. This incident happened in 1975, towards the end of their marriage, and by this time, Tammy had suffered through quite a few other things.
Allegedly, the scuffles with a drunk Jones would often end up with Tammy getting a bruise on her face, and she would use stage makeup to hide them. In another instance, she asserted that Jones had thrown her down the aisle of their tour bus, over a misplaced doubt that she was indulging with someone else. All this, combined with the unprofessional behavior of her husband, led Wynette to ask for a divorce. She changed her mind the first time around, but when she filed for it the second time, it went through and they were legally separated. Despite Wynette’s revelations in her book, none of the accusations were ever taken to a court and have never been legally proved or even asserted in a court of law. For his part, Jones admitted that he had trouble with alcohol and it was one of the factors that led to the deterioration of their marriage. However, he maintained that he never laid a hand on Tammy Wynette.
Over time, Jones admitted to other weird and unacceptable behavior that he exhibited while drunk. Be it missing several shows in a row to gain the title of No Show Jones or be it the case of using a lawnmower to drive to the liquor store, he had his fair share of transgressions over the years. But he never confessed to the allegations of physical abuse. While there might be truth in his words, there is also the fact to consider that he was drunk through most of it and might not clearly remember the events as they happened. In any case, the whole situation appears fractured, much like the brief marriage that Tammy and George shared. Irrespective of whether or not Jones beat Tammy, their marriage didn’t survive the brunt of his addiction.