While his Nashville neighbor and sworn enemy Jack White battles it out with his ex-wife over custody of their kids, Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is reportedly in an even messier situation with his own divorce, from estranged wife Stephanie Gonis. The Grammy-winning guitarist/singer/producer announced his divorce in February but has recently been accused of abuse in the divorce filings by Gonis.
According to court documents, the 34-year-old singer claims that his wife twice attempted to commit suicide—once supposedly in front of their daughter, of whom Auerbach has primary custody, and later starting a fire that could have potentially destroyed their house. It’s unclear when these alleged events occurred.
In her own filing, Gonis appears to acknowledge the cutting suicide attempt, but says it was the result of years of abuse by Auerbach. The fire, she asserts, was an accident. Since then, Gonis has admitted herself to a treatment center.
Auerbach retains custody of their daughter, Sadie Little, who was born in 2008, with Gonis granted supervised visits.
Meanwhile, The Nashville City Paper has obtained court documents and emails in the custody battle between Jack White and Karen Elson alleging that the White Stripes artist removed his children from a Nashville school because he didn’t want them attending with Auerbach’s daughter. White has long accused Auerbach of mimicking his sound and band-naming aesthetic.
Elson has obtained a restraining order against White, claiming he has targeted her with angry emails regarding the schooling of their children, Scarlett and Henry Lee. In an email submitted by Elson, White lays out why he wanted to switch schools.
Since the documents were published, White has denied threatening Elson and says his wife went back on a verbal agreement to settle the divorce without mediation.
At the Grammys last February, the Black Keys scored big, taking home four awards: Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “Lonely Boy” and Best Rock Album for El Camino, while Auerbach himself snagged the award for Producer of the Year.