Nelson’s wife found a startling piece of mail that indicted the ‘Buddy’ singer.
Willie Nelson is not shying away from talking about some of the hardest moments of his life in his new Paramount+ show, Willie Nelson & Family.
In the new four-part docuseries, Willie, 90, goes into detail while describing the exact moment when his second wife, Shirley Collie, found out he had been having an affair by finding a shocking piece of mail.
The “Buddy” singer says Shirley had stumbled upon a hospital bill from Houston for the birth of a baby girl named Paula, born to his longtime girlfriend, Connie.
“Shirley wanted to know who in the hell was Connie Nelson,” the singer recalls in the series. “The truth is, Connie had been my girlfriend for several years before becoming pregnant.”
Willie’s daughter, Lana Nelson — from his first marriage to Martha Matthews — chimed in to add that Shirley “had no idea there was a Connie” until that moment, telling the camera that she was “completely oblivious until she got the hospital bill.”
Shirley and Willie separated two years after Paula was born, finalizing their divorce in 1971. Willie quickly went on to wed Connie and the pair stayed married until 1988.
During his relationship with Connie, Willie started another affair with makeup artist Annie D’Angelo. Following his divorce in 1988 from Connie, he wed Annie in 1991 and the pair has been married ever since.
Despite having three ex-wives — two of whom are no longer living — and some remaining regrets, Willie says he believes everything (even the messiest bits) happens for a reason.
“I’ve always said there’s no such thing as a former wife,” the singer says. “Once in your life, a wife never leaves. I regret the pain I caused Connie, and Martha and Shirley before her. I have no excuses. I’d be hard-pressed to define love. I know God’s love is pure, but worldly love is flawed love, and lots of times confused love.”