Maddie Hasson Cast as Billie Jean Horton in Hank Williams Biopic
The upcoming Hank Williams biopic, 'I Saw the Light,' just got a little more star power. 'The Finder' actress Maddie Hasson has been cast as Billie Jean Horton, Williams' second wife.
Horton, known professionally as Billie Jean Jones, was just 19 years old when she wed Williams, whom she met while dating singer Faron Young. She had previously been married and divorced from Harrison Eshliman.
Horton was wed to Williams only three months when he passed away on Jan. 1, 1953. Later that year, she married country singer Johnny Horton, who passed away in 1960. She then started her own music career, with one record, 'Ocean of Tears,' becoming a Top 40 hit in 1961.
Horton also had a relationship with Johnny Cash while he was still married to his first wife, Vivian Liberto, before marrying, and subsequently divorcing, her fourth husband, Kent Berlin.
Horton publicly opposed the first movie based on Williams' life, 'Your Cheatin' Heart,' in 1964, claiming the film erroneously portrayed her as being illegitimately married to the singer.
“That movie portrayed me as a harlot. It grossed $44 million, but I shut ‘em down,” she told the Gadsden Times in 1975. “They had lawyers stacked on top of one another, but I whupped ‘em all over town. They just weren’t ready for Billie Jean. Yeah, the movie portrayed me as a harlot, but there they were in court looking at my marriage certificate with mine and Hank’s signature on it.”
Horton estimates she won about a million dollars from that lawsuit.
The film is scheduled to be released next year.