Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney Had an Affair While in Rehab, According to Divorce Documents
Rascal Flatts guitarist Joe Don Rooney is in the midst of a complicated divorce from his wife Tiffany Fallon, and according to new information from People, the split has actually been in the works for two years.
Court documents trace the timeline back to January 2021, when Rooney filed for divorce from Fallon, citing irreconcilable differences. Three months later, in April, Fallon returned to court, listing "inappropriate marital conduct" on Rooney's part as a reason behind the split.
As their legal battle has raged on, both parties have accused each other of infidelity: Rooney says Fallon cheated on him with her personal trainer, an affair she doesn't deny, but she says that wasn't the reason behind their breakup — in fact, she claims that Rooney had "fully withdrawn from their marital relationship" by the time that affair started, and adds that his "habitual alcoholism and drug use" contributed to the breakup.
The court documents also state that Rooney spent four months at a luxury Utah rehab to address his substance abuse issues — a stay that came with a hefty $315,800 price tag. He didn't tell Fallon where he was going, the documents state, nor did he give her the chance to offer any input on a more affordable treatment center option.
In the paperwork, Fallon also claims that Rooney had an affair with another patient during his stay at the facility.
"[Rooney] has admitted to engaging in an ongoing sexual affair with another facility patient while he was there for his incredibly expensive therapy, calling into question his dedication to the program," the documents read.
Rooney defended his choice of rehab, saying that it was his business management team who chose the facility. He also explained that there were no less expensive options that would have "benefited [his] recovery in the same manner."
The guitarist has admitted to "an alcohol use disorder for which he has received treatment," but claims that he stopped drinking between May and September of 2020 at Fallon's request, and denies that his drinking contributed to the demise of their marriage. Meanwhile, Fallon points to his September 2021 DUI arrest — for which he spent two days in jail — as the culmination of his substance abuse issues.
Rooney's former Rascal Flatts bandmates, Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox, have intermittently been involved in the divorce proceedings: They've each been subpoenaed at various times during the legal battle. According to court documents, DeMarcus and LeVox have testified that "they would be open to touring as a band if [Rooney] would agree," while Rooney remains adamant that the band's January 2020 breakup is final.
Fallon's divorce filings have requested alimony in futuro from Rooney, in light of the fact that there's a chance Rascal Flatts will tour again. When the country trio announced their split, they planned to undertake one final tour; however, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench into those plans.
In a People interview following Rooney's arrest, LeVox spoke to his former bandmate's situation. "I think God gets your attention in different ways," the singer said. "I just wish him the best and I hope he gets everything that he needs to get well and take care of whatever issues he's got going on. There's power in prayer."
In the same article, LeVox revealed that Rooney decided to quit Rascal Flatts prior to the trio's breakup.
Rooney and Fallon have been married since April 23, 2006. They share three children — 14-year-old Jagger, 12-year-old Raquel and 8-year-old Devon — and, according to the initial divorce report from TMZ, custody is one of the points in their legal battle.
16 Shocking Country Celebrity Breakups
These Heartwrenching Breakup Songs Hurt, Too