Metallica Lead Singer Has Sad News About His 20-Year Marriage

In Hollywood, romance can be short-lived, and marriage, even more so. Just ask Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet, who announced their divorce via Instagram after four years of marriage. Or Shakira and Gerard ​​Piqué, who shocked fans when they split in June. A-lister breakups might be the norm, while couples who stay together for the long haul are the anomaly.

Rock-metal power couple James Hetfield and his wife of nearly three decades, Francesca Hetfield, seemed to belong in the latter category, at least as of August. Per Page Six, the Metallica frontman met his wife in 1997. They tied the knot after five years of dating, and went on to welcome daughters Cali and Marcella, as well as son Castor.

Despite the fact that Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time — and has inspired new waves of metal groups — James admitted to "feeling a little bit insecure" during a May concert in Brazil (via Blabber Mouth). In 2021, he also spoke to Apple Music's Zane Lowe about the intense pressure he felt on tour. "There was such an expectation already on myself to not let the team down and be the best as possible. But then you add 60,000 people out there ... you need to be what they need you to be," he said. Now fans know that perhaps James had been struggling with personal changes in his life that could have contributed to those feelings of insecurity.

Francesca Hetfield supported her husband through difficult times

In August, TMZ broke the news of James and Francesca Hetfield's divorce. The split reportedly occurred earlier in the year, though the pair managed to keep it under wraps for a few months. According to Mirror, James and Francesca are "still in touch" for the sake of their children and are "splitting on good terms." A rep for the U.K. publication reached out to James for comment, who has yet to speak on the breakup. Currently, little is known about the reasons behind James and Francesca's decision to separate.

The "Master of the Puppets" singer has been candid in the past about Francesca's positive influence in his life. Growing up in a broken home, James suffered from anger and alcohol issues, which his wife helped him get under control. "Fear was a big motivator in that for me," he told Joe Rogan in 2016. "Losing my family, that was the thing that scared me so much, that was the bottom I hit, that my family is going to go away because of my behaviors that I brought home from the road."

The singer quit the bottle in 2004, though he entered rehab again in 2019, per Far Out Magazine. "Being in the public eye and the criticism, how it affects me depends on my mood," James shared at the time. In light of his public battle with substance use, it makes sense that he and Francesca have chosen to handle their split privately.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).