Glen Campbell’s Wife Kim Opens Up About the Hatred She Faced While Caring for Him
Country legend Glen Campbell died in August, following years of living with Alzheimer's disease. His diagnosis meant that his family -- especially his wife of 34 years, Kim -- became his caregivers and decision-makers -- a fact that has led to some contentious relationships between his loved ones. In a recent interview, Kim Campbell opened up about some of the hateful backlash she faced, both from people she knew and those she did not, as she took care of the country icon.
“Trolls on the Internet said very unkind things ... I’d get death threats." Campbell tells People, specifically speaking about her decision to put Campbell in an assisted living facility. "They’d say, ‘Why couldn’t she hire a big strong man to handle him?’ But I put child locks on my kitchen cabinets and it would make him mad. He would rip the cabinets off the wall and pull out all the dishes onto the floor.”
When Glen Campbell moved into Abe's Garden, a memory care facility in Nashville, his wife says that he was at total peace, even if his fans were not.
“I saw a neurologist, and he said, ‘I can’t believe you’re trying to do this at home,’" Kim Campbell shares. "I had never considered long-term care. There is a terrible stereotype around that, but I didn’t know there were memory care communities designed specifically for people with dementia — and their entire family.”
Campbell says that she found solace at the long-term care facility as well. She felt supported by the other spouses, and they worked through the tragic process together.
"I became friends with a lot of the other women whose husbands were there," Campbell says, "and we tried to encourage and love each other. It was one big family."
Unfortunately, outside of Abe's Garden, Campbell was fighting with some of her husband's children. Two of Glen Campbell's children claimed that Kim Campbell was mishandling his care and finances, and they asked a judge to protect their father's interests by appointing conservators and a guardian. As a result, Tennessee created the Campbell / Falk Act, which allows family and close friends of a person with Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other disabilities to visit with their loved one despite a conservator’s opinion.
“That’s been harder, probably, than the actual Alzheimer’s itself, to be deliberately attacked and sued when I’d been married for almost 35 years to this man and was always good to him," Kim Campbell says. "They never asked. They only attacked. To be slandered while he was dying was beyond the pale. It was very painful.”
The Campbell family was recently back in the headlines because Glen Campbell's will excludes three of his children. A hearing on the will is now set for Jan. 18.
See Glen Campbell + Other Country Stars' Yearbook Pictures