TODAY   |  February 18, 2013

McCready’s ex: I’m not shocked by her suicide

Billy McKnight, country star Mindy McCready’s ex-boyfriend and the father of the couple’s 6-year-old son Zander, tells TODAY’s Carl Quintanilla that he is not shocked by her apparent suicide given that she battled personal demons for so long.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> billy mcknight is mccready's ex-boyfriend and father of their 6-year-old son. he joins us exclusively. good morning. so sorry for your loss.

>> good morning. thank you.

>> you've known mindy for 15 years. you've watched her struggle. what was your first reaction when you heard she did this?

>> as sad as it is, it didn't come as a major shock, because she's just been battling demons for so long. and, of course, i was around her when she attempted suicide twice. so, you know, i knew it was in her. i feel for her mother and her family and especially my son, you know. but i can't say that it shocked me, no.

>> a lot of people are thinking of your son and zain as well. mindy was institutionalized by the court because of her grief after david wilson took his life and your son, xan dechlt r, was put into foster care as a result of that. what's your reaction to that?

>> this whole thing -- he shouldn't have been taken from me to begin with. he was taken out of florida. he has a happy home here. i can provide for him. it's just been a really big mess and enough is enough. he's up there, all alone. he has no family in arkansas. he has plenty of family who love him here, cousins, aunts, uncles. he needs to come home. and, you know, zain -- i don't know what's going to happen with zain . if he does go to ft. myers where her family is from, it's only an hour and a half difference. i would like to keep those boys being brothers together and try to turn my son's life around. he has had a rough first 6 years. he deserves better than this. and my heart is broken for him right now. i'm very worried.

>> billy, mindy was in the hospital for two days, then moved to an outpatient program. do you think she might still be alive if she had been kept in the hospital for treatment?

>> i would like to think that. i don't know how she got out. i don't have those exact details. mindy does have a way of talking her way out of situations that maybe she shouldn't have been so good at, perhaps staying in there and grieving around people that could help her over the death of her fiance, could have calmed her down. but the demons that she hasn't beaten were there. and until she was going to face them, something was going to happen. and everyone who knows her personally knew that. you talk about it. so, you know, i don't know how much -- she would have had to probably stay in somewhere for quite a long time until she really healed and started looking into herself or getting better.

>> billy mcknight , we appreciate your time. our thoughts are with you, your family and your son. thank you.

>> thank you.