Jay DeMarcus Sheds Light on Rascal Flatts Breakup in Newly Unsealed Court Deposition
Rascal Flatts bassist Jay DeMarcus shared a new perspective on some of the factors of the trio's 2020 breakup in newly unsealed court depositions surrounding band mate Joe Don Rooney's divorce. Both DeMarcus and the band's lead singer, Gary LeVox, sat for depositions in Rooney's divorce proceedings in June of 2022, and those documents have now been made public.
According to People, which obtained the documents, DeMarcus spoke to a statement that LeVox made in late 2021, in which he said that the catalyst for the band's split was that Rooney quit the band. At the time, LeVox said that Rooney's announcement came out of nowhere, and that the band mates were never able to get closure, as their planned 2020 farewell tour was thwarted by the COVID-19 pandemic and never wound up getting rescheduled.
But in court, DeMarcus said that it was "tough" to say for sure that Rooney broke up the band, since all three members had decided to quit the group at one point or another during Rascal Flatts' career, and LeVox himself had quit "three or four times over the last 15 years."
Instead, Rooney's final decision to quit came at the end of a "strained" few years for the trio as a whole.
"I think Joe Don was the first one to be brave enough to put it out there that he was tired of the way things had been the last few years," DeMarcus reflects. "So he shared with us that he wasn't sure he had the energy or the emotional energy to deal with some of the things we had been dealing with on an ongoing basis."
So, although it is technically true that Rooney's quitting the band came right at the end of Rascal Flatts' career, DeMarcus says he doesn't think it's entirely fair to point to that moment as the cause for the split.
"I knew that all of us were frustrated, so what [LeVox] said in an article I don't think is a real reflection of how it really came down," DeMarcus added. "I think time and egos and money and everything else changes people."
Rooney is currently in the midst of a complicated divorce from his wife Tiffany Fallon, a split with a paper trail of court documents that dates back to early 2021. Both parties have admitted to adultery, and Fallon accused Rooney of having an affair with another patient at a rehab facility while he was seeking treatment for substance use and addiction. Rooney and Fallon share three children, who range in age from eight to 15 years old.
In his court deposition, DeMarcus said that conversations he'd had with Rooney about his divorce were "brief," and happened when he'd been out of rehab for about two months.
"He called me and just said that he couldn't wait to get it over with, and it was painful for him and the children, and that he hated that it had come to this between [him] and Tiffany because he still cared about her," DeMarcus recounted. "And, you know, just how painful the whole process had been, and he hoped that it was over sooner than later and it didn't seem to be heading in that direction."
Rooney and Fallon's divorce is set to go to trial this week in Nashville.