Heart Goes On Hiatus Following Domestic Violence Claims

by Brianna Kirkham

For the first time since August 2016, the Wilson sisters are breaking their silence to discuss domestic abuse allegations made against Ann Wilson’s husband Dean Wetter. The incident allegedly occurred at their show in the White River Amphitheatre, 30 minutes from where the two grew up. The homecoming concert ended in an arrest for Ann’s husband of two years, after hitting and choking Nancy’s 16-year-old twin sons.

As the band began to perform the last song of their set, Nancy’s sons and stepdaughter allegedly asked Wetter if they could see Ann’s new tour bus. As the group exited the bus, their step-uncle allegedly warned them not to leave the door open so his dogs couldn’t run away. But when one of Nancy’s sons left the door ajar for the others behind him, Wetter grew extremely upset and hit him in the back of the head, according to court documents obtained by Rolling Stone. After he began squeezing him around the throat, the other son intervened and Wetter choked them both to the point when they could no longer breathe, they said.

He was arrested and charged with two counts of assault, one misdemeanor and one felony. Ann said in an interview with Rolling Stone that she believes it was “unnecessary” to call the police.

Ann Wilson performing with Cheap Trick at the White River Amphitheater, the night of the assault.

‘It was something that could have been worked out in a family meeting,” she said. “My gut reaction was, ‘Let’s get everybody in a room and hash it out.’ All the emotional, super hyper-drama could have been avoided in the first hour.’

Wetter confessed to two non-felony counts of assault charges, and admitted he lost control and should not have touched the boys. He’ll be sentenced on April 14, but per a plea bargain, he won’t face jail time permitting he follow the rules of his non-supervised probation, including counseling, abstaining from drugs and alcohol and no contact with Nancy’s sons.

While Ann describes her husband as a “free spirit” and “Zen warrior,” her sister Nancy uses words like “oddball” and “crankpot” to depict him.

The sisters finished their tour through October, 20 more shows, which both of them described as a nightmare. For the first time in their 43-year career, they asked for separate dressing rooms.


While they both said their band Heart has not broken up, Ann explains they’re on “hiatus.” Beyond the incident back in August, the sisters have struggled because they both have different visions for the band. Ann said she doesn’t want Heart to become a “has-been legacy band,” while Nancy recently formed a new band, Roadside Royale.

‘I do see a positive way forward and that’s our friendship,’ Ann says. ‘Nancy and I didn’t do this thing. We are each other’s friends and have been and will after this. Right now, we’re supporting each of our families. Nobody in this situation is evil.”

Photos via Heart website, Anna Knowlden


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