TMZ cites sources as revealing that Hetfield filed divorce papers in Colorado, but was able to keep it under wraps, as the filing was never publicly reported.
James and Francesca married on August 17th, 1997, and the metal icon has often credited his wife with helping him through tough times, including his battles with addiction.
Recalling one of his rehab stints in the early 2000s, Hetfield told The Joe Rogan Experience podcast in 2016, “My wife did the right thing, she kicked my ass right out of the house and that scared the shit out of me. She said, ‘Hey, you’re not just going to the therapist now, and talking about this, you’ve got to go somewhere and sort this shit out,’ so that’s what I did.”
He continued, “What worked for me was seven weeks someplace, like basically tearing you down to bones, ripping your life apart, anything you thought about yourself or what it was, anything you thought you had, your family, your career, anything, gone. Strip you down to just, you’re born. Here’s how you were when you were born, you were okay, you were a good person, let’s get back to that again, then they slowly rebuild you.”
Hetfield had a relapse in 2019, entering rehab again and forcing Metallica to postpone a tour of Australia at the time. He since rejoined the band, who’ve been back playing shows, including a concert Sunday night (August 14th) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a just-announced headlining appearance at the Global Citizen Festival on September 24th in New York City’s Central Park.
Among the three children shared by James and Francesca is son Castor, who plays drums in the band Bastardine.