Last Wednesday evening, Michelle Branch tweeted, then deleted, that her husband, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, was cheating on her with his manager, 27-year-old Haley McDonald “while I was at home with our 6 month old daughter. *shrugging emoji lady*” Later that night at 2:00 AM, the cops were called to the couple’s Nashville home, where Michelle admitted she’d slapped Patrick “one to two times.” She was arrested for domestic violence but released from custody early because she’s still breastfeeding. The following morning, 39-year-old Michelle informed TMZ that she and 42-year-old Patrick were splitting, and she was devastated for herself and her family. Now People is reporting that the very next day, Michelle filed for divorce from Patrick in Davidson County, Tennessee after three years of marriage. Michelle wanted to write, “Haley McDonald from Full Stop Management” as the reason for the split, but she had to settle for “irreconcilable differences.”
Branch cited irreconcilable differences as reason for the split, and the documents state that “the parties are no longer capable of resuming their marital relationship and living together as husband and wife.”
The star also asked to be named primary residential parent of the pair’s son Rhys James, 4 this month, and daughter Willie Jacquet, 6 months, and requested that Carney receive “reasonable parenting time privileges” while paying child support.
The docs list the couple’s separation date as Thursday.
This will be Michelle’s second divorce. She married Teddy Landau in 2004 and their split was finalized in 2015. In addition to her two kids with Patrick, she and Teddy share a 17-year-old daughter, Owen. Michelle met Patrick at a Grammy party in 2015 (after she’d separated from Teddy), and she and her daughter moved into his Nashville home in 2017. They got married in 2019.
This is Patrick’s third divorce. His second wife was Emily Ward; they were married from 2012 to January 2016. Before that Patrick was married to writer Denise Grollmus from 2007 to 2009, but the pair were together for nine years in total. In a 2010 Rolling Stone article, Patrick accused his first wife of cheating and painted her in a bad light:
It was really fucked up.” Carney says, sucking on a cigarette outside the band’s trailer. He says she slept with his best friend, lied to him for years, bilked him for money. By the end, Carney was depressed, drinking a lot, and had gained 25 pounds.
His bandmate, Dan Auerbach, told Rolling Stone that Denise was “cock-blocking” his and Patrick’s relationship, adding:
“Homeboy was miserable,” Auerbach says. “He was being manipulated mentally and emotionally. It was so draining.” Carney finally broke it off last July, with a phone call while his wife was in Europe. (“The ultimate pussy move,” he admits.) He says it cost him a quarter of a million dollars, plus health insurance and a monthly alimony check: “Totally worth it.”
Nearly a year after the Rolling Stone article was published, Denise clapped back with her own essay for Salon, entitled “Snapshot from a rock ‘n’ roll marriage”. Denise admits that she cheated once in the fall of 2004. She says she did it because she was “furious for being left behind” while Patrick toured, and she was scared that he was cheating on her like Dan Auerbach was cheating on his girlfriend: “I was a fool if I didn’t think Patrick was doing the same thing — even if I had no proof. I wasn’t that special.” After keeping her infidelity a secret for years, she eventually confessed to Patrick a few months into their marriage. He never forgave her, and they split a year-and-a-half later. But, TWIST:
Then, one night, almost a year after we split up, Patrick called me. He sounded very drunk. And that’s when he finally admitted that’d he also been unfaithful to me. Not just with the woman he’d left me for, but before that, even. One time, he said, on tour. He swore that it wasn’t sex, just a bit of friendly fellatio, because, you know, he loved me so much he could never go all the way. “I swear that was the only time,” he said.
Now, over a decade later, this woe-is-me white boy beanpole band-dude (you know the type) was allegedly cheating with 27-year-old Haley McDonald from Full Stop Management while his wife was at home with their 6-month-old daughter, shrugging emoji lady! Yesterday Michelle posted about the 21st anniversary of her album The Spirit Room, and, in the caption, she wrote that she’s “overwhelmed by the support.” Meanwhile, the comments on Patrick’s last Instagram post have been limited, proving that the court of public opinion has sided with Michelle Fuckin’ Branch.