Rosanne Cash gets candid with an interview with PEOPLE about her father Johnny Cash’s struggles with addiction, and how his infidelity affected the family.
Rosanne Cash on Johnny’s Drugs and Affair
Despite growing up as the daughter of country music royalty, Cash mentions that it wasn’t at all like that behind the scenes. Behind the stage lights and the glitz and glam of country music lies a dark secret that brewed.
“My childhood was chaotic, number one. I understood from a really young age that [my dad] was an artist and that his mind worked differently. And … that scared my mother.”
In an interview with PEOPLE Magazine, she details about living with the legend together with his struggles and addiction to amphetamines and barbiturates, something that she says was a way for him to cope with the exhaustion on his life on the road during his meteoric rise to superstardom.
“One day when he came home, it was impossible to connect [with him]. It was like a door closed. I was 7 or 8. He looked shaky and gaunt, [and he] couldn’t connect. And my mom wouldn’t explain it.”
And then the issue about her dad’s affair with June Carter Cash, whom as part of his touring ensemble, arouse. It was then when Vivian Liberto, her mother, filed for divorce.
“It seemed inevitable, though it was so painful for my mom […] I was relieved they were getting divorced. I remember having this thought, even at 12, ‘Maybe now both of them will be happy.’”
Cash did mention that she had two strong role models in her life in the embodiment of her mother and her stepmother.
“I had two really good examples of women in my life. My mom gave me this powerful sense of discipline, family, mothering, and detail orientation. And June gave me this sense of expansiveness and how to live life as a performer.”
Rosanne now lives in Manhattan with her husband of 24 years, John Leventhal, 66, and their son, Jake, 20. She records and performs regularly, having won three Grammy’s for her 2015 album The River & the Thread.