Garth Brooks and Wife to Divorce

ByABC News

N A S H V I L L E, Tenn., Oct. 8, 2000 -- Country music superstar Garth Brooks and his wife are calling it quits after 14 years of marriage.

In an interview to be published this week in Billboard magazine,Brooks said he regrets his marriage ended but believes he iscloser than ever to his three daughters, aged 8, 6 and 4.

Spokeswoman Karen Byrd of Capitol Records declined to comment further.

“Sandy and I both agree that we need to get divorced,” said Brooks. “Right now, we’re focused on the impact it will have on the children and how to handle that best, to remain parents even if wedon’t remain husband and wife.”

He said recent difficulties, including his mother’s death and his first break from touring in 11 years, have taken a toll.

“But the trade that I made [is that] I am an infinite number oftimes closer to my children than I’ve been the entire seven yearsof their lives before [this year off]. And I can’t help but thinkwhen I lie down at night and say my prayers that that in itself tome is worth the trade I’ve made to get here.”

Brooks has sold 97 million albums in his 10-year career, makinghim the best-selling artist in country music history. He announcedin December 1999 that he may retire because he wants to spend moretime with his family.

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