Sandy Mahl is most popularly known as country music legend Garth Brooks’ first wife and mother of three lovely ladies – Taylor, August, and Allie. But like any other woman, Sandy is more than just her identity as an ex-wife and a mother.
So, who really is Sandy Mahl? And what is she doing after her divorce with Garth Brooks?
She is a very private person, but here are some facts we managed to dig that most people probably don’t know about her.
First, let’s fill out the basic information.
Sandy Mahl was born on January 16, 1965 (56 years old) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Pat Mahl and John Mahl. She was raised with her sister Debbie Mahl in Tulsa, where she also spent her childhood until high school years. For college, Sandy attended the Oklahoma State University in Stillwater at the same time with Garth Brooks though this wasn’t the place where they actually first met.
She and Garth Brooks first met at a club fight.
The once-upon-a-time of most love stories are either romantic or candid. But Sandy Mahl met Garth Brooks in a rather interesting situation. She had gotten into an argument which turned to a full-fledged fight in the women’s restroom at Tumbleweed Ballroom in Stillwater, Oklahoma, according to Country Fancast. She then took a swing which ended with her fist to be stuck in the wall’s wood paneling.
Garth Brooks, a senior at university who worked as a bouncer that night, was the one who broke off the fight.
She married Garth Brooks on May 24, 1986.
Sandy left Oklahoma to start a family with Garth in Nashville, Tennessee. They had three lovely daughters, namely Taylor Mayne Pearl Brooks, 28, August Anna Brooks, 26, and the youngest Allie Colleen Brooks, 24.
She was a credited songwriter.
Sandy played a pivotal role in the music career of Garth Brooks. Aside from being his support, she penned the song ‘I’ve Got A Good Thing Going,’ which was featured in his debut album Garth Brooks in 1989. That album soon became a breakthrough success which led to where he is now as a country music artist. Aside from that, she also wrote the 1993 song ‘That Summer.’
After 15 years of marriage, the couple divorced in 2001 where Sandy received $125M in divorce settlement.
According to Sandy Mahl, their separation was something bound to happen. In the 2019 documentary Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On, Sandy shared that Garth was gone for about 8-10 weeks at a time, and his supposed free time at home was filled with parties, shows, and events. And while it was an amicable split, the highly publicized divorce had a lengthy legal battle and was recorded as one of the most expensive divorces of all time. Garth paid her $125 million.
She did not remarry.
After her divorce with Garth Brooks, Sandy remained single. She focused on being a mother to their three children. On the other hand, Brooks married Trisha Yearwood in 2005. Sandy was very supportive of their decision and even told Brooks that it was a good move for him and the children.
She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.
Her cancer battle did not get a lot of media attention since she did not share details about it, and it was largely overshadowed by the news of Brooks’ marriage to fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood.
She was also reported to have been abducted from her home the same year.
According to a report by CMT, Sandy Mahl was abducted from her home in Owasso, Oklahoma. Bail bondsmen were reported to have showed up on her property looking for a man who stayed in the barn apartment. The man was apparently wanted for an embezzlement case, and he kidnapped Sandy to evade those looking for him. She was forced to drive, but after several miles, she stopped the car and managed to escape. Luckily, Sandy was able to run into a convenience store, and she was unharmed.
She is a businesswoman and passionate about wildlife rehabilitation.
When Sandy moved back to Oklahoma, she dedicated her time in wildlife rehabilitation which led her to co-found Wild Heart Ranch in Rogers County, Oklahoma. She is currently the Vice-President and Co-Founder with Annette King Tucker as President and Director of Operations.
She is also now a grandmother.
In 2013, August gave birth to her daughter Karalynn with her now-husband, Chance Michael Russell. And three years later, in 2016, the couple welcomed another daughter, Gwendolyn, into the world.
Sandy Mahl may be popularly known as Garth Brooks’ ex-wife; we know that the woman is so much more than that. She is also a mother, a grandmother, a cancer survivor, and a wildlife saver.