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Mindy McCready's Ex: Singer's Death 'Didn't Come As A Major Shock'

18 February 2013
Mindy McCready performs at the Greased Lightning Daytime Stages during the 2008 CMA Music Festival on June 5, 2008 at Riverfront Park in Nashville -- Getty Premium
Mindy McCready performs at the Greased Lightning Daytime Stages during the 2008 CMA Music Festival on June 5, 2008 at Riverfront Park in Nashville -- Getty Premium

Mindy McCready's ex-boyfriend and the father of her 6-year-old son said he was not shocked by the singer's death by apparent suicide.

"As sad as it is, it didn't come as a major shock," Billy McKnight, father of Mindy's 6-year-old son Zander, said during an appearance on the "Today" show on Monday. "She's just been battling demons for so long."

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"The demons that she hasn't beaten were there," McKnight said of McCready, 37, who was also the mother to 10-month-old Zayne, whose father David Wilson died in January.

After Wilson's death, the singer's children were placed in foster care while McCready sought treatment for mental health and alcohol issues.

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"I feel for her mother and her family and especially my son," McKnight, who was in the midst of a prolonged custody battle for Zander with McCready said during the interview. "He shouldn't have been taken from me to begin with... He was taken out of Florida. He has a happy home here I can provide for him and it's just been a really big mess. Enough is enough. He's up there all alone. He has no family in Arkansas. He has plenty of family who love him here - cousins, aunts, uncles. He needs to come home."

As for the late singer's youngest son, McKnight was not sure what should be done, but wants to have the two brothers close to each other.

"I don't know what's going to happen to Zayne, but if he does go to Fort Myers, [Fla.], where her family is from, it's only an hour-and-a-half difference. I'd like to keep those boys being brothers together and try to turn my son's life around," he continued. "He's had a rough first six years and he deserves better than this. My heart's broken for him right now. I'm very worried."

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The singer's ex believes that if she had continued with treatment, her death might have been avoided. "I don't know how she got out. I don't have those exact details. Mindy does have a way of talking her way out of situations that maybe she shouldn't have been so good at. Perhaps staying in there and grieving around people that could help her over the death of her fiance could have calmed her down," he said on Monday.

Adding, "The demons that she hasn't beaten were there, and until she was going to face them, something was going to happen. Everyone who knows her personally knew that, because you talk about it. She would have had to probably stay in somewhere for quite a long time until she really healed and started looking into herself getting better."

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-- Jesse Spero

Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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