Who could ever forget one of the nastiest divorces in country music? In 2010, Grammy Award-winning singer and actor Randy Travis divorced Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher, his manager and wife for almost two decades.
According to the Associated Press, Randy Travis filed a petition for the dissolution of marriage in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on 28 October 2010. In the petition, Randy asked for an equal division of assets but offered no specific reason for the split, other than saying a “state of incompatibility exists between the parties.” The divorce was finalized a day after.
The Series of Nasty Lawsuits Begin
In the wake of the divorce, Randy and Elizabeth Travis reportedly continued their professional relationship until Randy Travis fired Elizabeth as his manager the following year, closing a partnership that had lasted 30 years and opening a series of lawsuits. Elizabeth has filed a breach of contract suit against Randy Travis, alleging that the country star illegally sacked her as manager.
She asserted that the country crooner “intentionally interfered with” her ability to perform her duties and undermined the “effectiveness of his career in the entertainment industry.” She accused Travis of terminating their contract without prior written warning. Per the complaint, Randy “had a large truck, an armed guard and several other men” turn up at her Music Row office and removed “practically all of the property and business records” from her custody; this includes computers, framed record plaques and photographs.
But things got even more complicated in 2012. It started when the “I Told You So” singer filed a lawsuit against Elizabeth Hatcher-Travis, claiming that his ex-wife breached their contract by leaking out personal details about his life as well as aiming to sabotage his career. What’s even more intriguing was that he said that Elizabeth tried to scam him out of money by inflating her travel reimbursement requests.
But Elizabeth has denied all the accusations made by her former husband and has sought monetary damages based on lost earnings. While Elizabeth was angling for her full management fee, Randy Travis, on the other hand, asked the court to stop her from taking a cut of his future concerts.
Randy Travis released an official statement as a response to the suit. He said, “It is unfortunate that it’s come to this. We believe the lawsuit lacks merit and that we have legal defenses to her claims.”
How Their Love Story Started
Randy and Elizabeth Travis were married in 1991, but their relationship goes back more than 30 years before his professional singing days when the country crooner was only 17-years-old. He won a talent contest at a Charlotte, North Carolina club owned by his future wife, who soon became his manager too.
Elizabeth Hatcher, born as Mary Elizabeth Robinson, used to be married to Frank Hatcher and is 16 years older than Randy. In 1982, the couple moved to Nashville to pursue Randy Travis’ dream in country music. It was upon that move that Randy began to turn his life around. He focused more on music rather than drugs and alcohol, which plagued him throughout his teens. “In my 20’s, I started really wanting to change,” Randy said in an interview several years ago. “My wife had a big part to play in that. When I first met her, watching all the things that she did for other people, and her attitude — she didn’t get mad, shout, fight or do all this stuff that I was prone to do. She did all this extra work for people when she didn’t have to. Even if it’s something just so simple as making sure a birthday party happened for someone just because she cared about them.”
The couple has also kept their personal relationship secret for 12 years. Elizabeth worried that the relationship would hurt Randy Travis’ career. “He was young, and you want to attract that young audience,” she said. “I wanted him to appear available.”
Finally, they got hitched on 31 May 1991 in Maui, Hawaii, at the courtyard in front of a waterfall. “Of course, to start with, the music brought us together,” Randy told People magazine shortly after tying the knot. “And just being around each other, working with each other … it just grew from that. She is energetic, witty, intelligent, and very kind-hearted.”
Guess sometimes love is just not enough.