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Sara Evans Details How She and Jay Barker Got Back Together After His Domestic Violence Arrest

Sara Evans Addresses Husband Jay Barker s Arrest After Their Reconciliation
Sara Evans, Jay Barker. Rick Diamond/Getty Images

Sara Evans broke her silence about reconciling with husband Harry “Jay” Barker two years after he was arrested for domestic violence.

During the Thursday, March 21, episode of her “Diving in Deep with Sara Evans” podcast, Evans, 53, confirmed that she and Barker, 51, reconciled after she filed for divorce nearly three years prior.

“We’re so happy now, but I don’t want anyone to think that I’m advocating staying in a relationship where you are ever, in your gut, you know that you need to exit the situation,” she explained. “Every woman needs to follow her gut on that and do what is best for her. I believe and I hope that I’ve done that.”

Evans noted that she will be addressing her ups and downs with Barker in an upcoming album titled Unbroke.

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Evans and Barker’s relationship made headlines in January 2022 when he was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. At the time, Barker was accused of attempting to hit a car Evans was riding in with his own car. He subsequently entered a “best interest” plea to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment and received one year of probation.

According to Evans, she and Barker originally separated in April 2021 after 13 years of marriage. They met for lunch in January 2022 and got into a verbal argument. Later that day, Evans and one of her daughters went to a friend’s house and Barker was waiting outside when they got out.

“It really scared me, and it scared all of us, especially my child that was with me,” she recalled on Thursday’s podcast. “So the friend of ours was driving me. We were getting ready to pull into the driveway, and [Jay] had a verbal altercation with my child, who had never seen that side of him, ever. And it scared the s—t out of her.”

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Evans continued: “Then he jumped in his truck, and he [was] sort of backing up at a very high speed. I knew Jay, so I didn’t feel the same way that my child felt. My child thought he was gonna plow our car down, that he was backing up towards our car, and that she was about to watch something horrific, or at the very least, an accident, which would have been his truck hitting my side of the car, where I was in the front seat. She was terrified.”

The country singer’s daughter called the police, which caused Barker to leave the scene. (Evans shares daughters Audrey, 19, and Olivia, 21, and son Avery, 24, with ex-husband Craig Schelske.)

Sara Evans Addresses Husband Jay Barker s Arrest After Their Reconciliation
Jay Barker, Sara Evans. Taylor Hill/Getty Images

“I just felt so ashamed and so stupid, and my child was so mad. But you know that she was standing there thinking, ‘He’s about to hit my mom with a truck.’ I don’t know how close he got honestly, and I don’t know what it looks like to her. But I heard her scream so loud,” Evans continued. “I really did not think that he was trying to hit our car. I think he was trying to back up as fast as he could to see who I was in the car with, to see if I was with another man. And my child thought, ‘He’s gonna run into them.’”

After Barker’s arrest, Evans cut off all communication, adding, “I was just getting call after call after call after call, and I was like, ‘I cannot believe this is happening to me and my children again. I’ve lost the love of my life.’”

Evans reconnected after Barker sent her a text months later, which read, “Everybody says that I shouldn’t contact you, but you are still my wife.”


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The musician acknowledged that not everyone would agree with her decision to reconcile with Barker.

“A lot of women will judge me and want to judge me. When he said, ‘But you are still my wife.’ I don’t know. I just melted because I thought, ‘I am still your wife, and we can talk if we want to. We’re both adults,’” she noted. “So I texted him back and I think I just said something short and sweet like, ‘How are you? I’m on the road.’ And we sort of tiptoed back to each other.”

Evans didn’t immediately tell her children about how she and Barker got back together. She also discussed how she requested that Barker go to therapy and marriage counseling with her ahead of their next chapter.

“I just did not want to divorce again and start over. I just pictured myself being alone and missing him and thinking, ‘We could’ve tried harder.’ But it took me filing for divorce, I think, for him to realize, ‘Oh s—t, she’s serious. This is it,’” she shared. “Some people have marriage problems that are like, they fight all the time. We didn’t fight all the time. He fought me. When he was in his low spots, he fought against me, he pushed me away, pushed my love away. So every situation is different. I would never encourage anybody to stay in a dangerous situation.”

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Evans noted that Barker has become a “completely different” person.

“But we’re all Christians, and I’ve taught my children to forgive. My three children have forgiven him and we’re all back together. Every day we thank God that we didn’t split,” she concluded about how she’s “happier” than she’s even been.

The duo’s divorce was officially dismissed in February 2023, according to court records obtained by People.

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.

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