The death of Stone Temple Pilots and the Wildabouts lead singer Scott Weiland on Dec. 3 came as a shock to fans of the rock star. But Weiland’s ex-wife, Mary Weiland, has penned an angry, sad and deeply emotional open letter for Rolling Stone about how she wishes people would take her husband’s death as a wake-up call about drug abuse, marriage and embracing life.
The letter begins by refuting that Dec. 3 was Weiland’s death. “It is the official day the public will use to mourn him, and it was the last day he could be propped up in front of a microphone for the financial benefit or enjoyment of others.”
She goes on to thank the public for expressing condolences to her and her children, but that their family is feeling is not only grief, but a loss of “hope.” As Weiland continues, she takes music fans to task for indulging artists’ self-destructive behavior, the same way her husband’s drug use was.
“Someone needs to step up and point out that yes, this will happen again – 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 … because what actually belongs in a hospital is now considered art.”
She then shares a surprisingly intimate portrait of the Weiland family’s struggles over the past 15 years, describing how Scott’s mental illness, drug use and divorce took a high toll on Mary and his two children, Noah and Lucy. In Weiland’s words, missing holidays, failing to sober up before school performances and even the involvement of Child Protective Services is the reality behind the rock star image.
But she also shares that at no point did she or her kids give up on their dad. “Noah and Lucy never sought perfection from their dad. They just kept hoping for a little effort.”
“This is the final step in our long goodbye to Scott,” Mary writes. “I won’t say he can rest now, or that he’s in a better place … We are angry and sad about this loss, but we are most devastated that he chose to give up.”
Weiland ends the piece with a call to action: “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.”