If you’re any kind of a country music fan, you have likely heard of the run-in that the legendary Randy Travis had with the police back in 2012, and the troubling circumstances surrounding it. You have likely also heard that he was belligerent and threatening to the arresting officer, and that he was wearing no clothes on that fateful Texas night when police took him into custody after he crashed his car.
But if you are any sort of country music fan, you also know that Randy’s actions on that night were a far cry from his usual demeanor, and that they happened prior to the debilitating stroke the singer suffered the following year. That makes the recent release of the shocking arrest video that much more troubling to Randy’s family, his closest associates and his fans.
Despite efforts by members of Randy’s inner circle to keep the video from ever seeing the light of day, including an online petition circulated late last week, the video was released on Dec. 4 by the Texas Department of Public Safety. It was picked up by a number of news and entertainment organizations after a federal judge denied the country singer’s request to keep it sealed.
The video shows an angry Randy cursing at and repeatedly threatening the life of a police officer, sometimes graphically. Prior to its release, the video was altered to obscure naked images of Randy’s body from the waist down.
Soon after the video was released, country music fans headed to their social media pages to express their disdain for the video ever being released in the first place. “Leave the man alone,” one Twitter user said.
Randy’s team released the following statement shortly after the video’s release: “Randy’s behavior was extremely altered the evening of his arrest due to the state of his mental health, and substances in his body, causing him to do and say things that were entirely out of character. He suffered a severe concussion and sustained numerous other injuries from the crash. Notwithstanding the release of the tape, Randy and his team will have their day in court regarding the ongoing lawsuit against the State of Texas in relation to the violation of his civil rights.”
The statement went on to describe the Country Music Hall of Famer we know and love. “Randy Travis is well known to be a loving, caring person who is respectful of everyone,” the statement says. “A video that shows anything otherwise only underscores that he was absolutely not himself. Randy is deeply apologetic for his actions that evening. A man of integrity with a good heart, Randy does not and will never condone these types of actions that distort the true beliefs of Randy Travis and his entire family.”
Prior to the release of the video, Randy’s December had been off to a good start as family, friends and fans gathered in Nashville for the unveiling of his wax figure at Madame Tussauds on Dec. 1. The figure shows Randy in his prime, wearing a suede-embroidered jacket and jeans Travis donated himself. The figure also holds a 1991 Gibson J-185 guitar.
“I have been excitedly waiting to see the figure in person,” he said in a press release. “The Madame Tussauds team did a fantastic job capturing my likeness and I can’t wait for my fans to stop by the attraction to see it for themselves.”