Brian Wilson Mourns Wife Melinda Who Helped Free Him From Eugene Landy: “She Was My Savior”

Brian Wilson Mourns Wife Melinda Who Helped Free Him From Eugene Landy: “She Was My Savior”

Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, wife and manager of Brian Wilson, has passed away. Ledbetter helped the Beach Boys leader escape the clutches of his notorious psychologist and guardian Eugene Landy in the ’90s, and she and Wilson were married for nearly three decades. She was 77.

“My heart is broken. Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning,” Wilson wrote on social media. “Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost. Melinda was more than my wife. She was my savior. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career.”

He continued, “She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her.”

Wilson met Ledbetter in 1988 when she sold him a Cadillac. He was in Landy’s controversial 24-hour therapy program at the time; Landy had diagnosed Wilson with paranoid schizophrenia, and prescribed him a multitude of drugs, forced him to keep a strenuous workout routine, and hired a team to watch him at all hours. He later ordered him to break up with Ledbetter. Eventually she helped get Wilson’s family involved, and they banned Landy from seeing the musician. Ledbetter became Wilson’s second wife in 1995 and the pair adopted five children. The ensuing decades saw a career revival for Brian Wilson as the legendary artist returned to touring and released several acclaimed albums. She was portrayed by Elizabeth Banks in the 2014 film Love & Mercy.

Read a statement from Melinda Ledbetter Wilson’s family below:

It is with a heavy heart that we let everyone know that our mom, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson passed away peacefully this morning at home. She was a force of nature and one of the strongest women you could come by.

She was not only a model, our fathers savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us.

How to take care of the person next to you with out expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest of places, and how to live life as your truest self with honesty and pride.

We love you mom. Give Grandma Rose and Pa our love.

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