Don McLean was to be presented a lifetime achievement award from UCLA – that is, until they rescinded it just hours later.
The George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement was assigned to be presented to the singer-songwriter on May 17 by the Student Alumni Association of UCLA. However, the award was rescinded once the school realized that McLean had plead guilty to charges of domestic violence back in 2016.
A statement from the association was released to the Press Herald saying, “The decision to rescind the award was made by SAA’s Spring Sing Executive Committee upon learning that Mr. McLean had previously been convicted of domestic violence charges. SAA rejects any behavior – including violence and the threat of violence in all its forms – that does not uphold the True Bruin Values. We extend our support to survivors of domestic violence.”
McLean’s publicist, Jeremy Westby, said it was “publicly disrespectful and grossly humiliating to Mr. McLean to issue and then rescind an award based on the supposition of any violent criminal history.”
McLean then wrote his own statement to UCLA on his Facebook, posting, “You awarded me your George and Ira Gershwin life time achievement award and then took it back because you found out about my squabble with my ex wife. This has been all over the internet for 3 years. Are you people morons? This is settled law. Maybe I need to give you some bribe money to grease the college wheels. Don’t ever come near me again unless you offer me an apology for the damage you have done me. I am guilty of nothing to do with assault and you had better make that clear. We live in a dark age of accusation and not law.”
McLean was charged for alleged violent attacks against his then-wife in 2016. They have since divorced.