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Arts and Entertainment

Family Of Scott Weiland Says 'Don't Glorify This Tragedy'

Scott Weiland (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
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Scott Weiland's ex-wife and two children are asking that the public not glorify the tragedy of the singer's death, and instead reflect on the late singer's troubled life and the family he left behind.In a poignant letter published in Rolling Stone, Mary Forsberg Weiland, the mother of Weiland's teenage children, Noah, 15, and Lucy, 13, speaks candidly about his role as a father and his family's struggles with his years of absence, illnesses and drug addiction. The letter was written with the help of the two children, according to Rolling Stone. The singer died in his sleep while touring with his current band, Scott Weiland & the Wildabouts. But Forsberg, who was married to the frontman from 2000 to 2007, explains that for his children, "the truth is, like so many other kids, they lost their father years ago. What they truly lost on December 3rd was hope."

The letter explains that while she appreciates the outpouring of condolences to their children, and doesn't wish to downplay his "amazing talent, presence or his ability to light up any stage with brilliant electricity," she feels compelled to speak out about how the public perceives artists battling addiction, "because as a society we almost encourage it."

"We read awful show reviews, watch videos of artists falling down, unable to recall their lyrics streaming on a teleprompter just a few feet away," Forsberg says. "And then we click 'add to cart' because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art."

Forsberg emphasizes the importance of considering the children of performers, including those of Weiland, who are often left in the wake of parents who are struggling with substance abuse and other issues:

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Many of these artists have children. Children with tears in their eyes, experiencing panic because their cries go unheard. You might ask, "How were we to know? We read that he loved spending time with his children and that he'd been drug-free for years!" In reality, what you didn't want to acknowledge was a paranoid man who couldn't remember his own lyrics and who was only photographed with his children a handful of times in 15 years of fatherhood.

She recounts times, even after she and Weiland separated, when she struggled to "calm his paranoid fits, pushing him into the shower and filling him with coffee," in order for him to attend performances of his children. "Those short encounters were my attempts at giving the kids a feeling of normalcy with their dad. But anything longer would often turn into something scary and uncomfortable for them."

As time went on and Weiland moved on to another relationship, Forsberg hoped that Weiland would grow and connect more with his children. But instead, she explains, "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. They have never set foot into his house, and they can't remember the last time they saw him on a Father's Day."

"I won't say he can rest now, or that he's in a better place. He belongs with his children barbecuing in the backyard and waiting for a Notre Dame game to come on," Forsberg says. "We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up."

Forsberg concludes the letter urging other parents to aim for "progress, not perfection" with their children and not to give up in their efforts to be there for them. She also offers this takeaway following Weiland's death:

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.

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