|Other names Melinda Wilson|
Role Brian Wilson's wife
Name Melinda Ledbetter
|Organization BriMel Music|
Years active 1990s–present
Spouse Brian Wilson (m. 1995)
|Full Name Melinda Kae Ledbetter|
Born October 3, 1946 (age 74) (1946-10-03)
Occupation Manager of Brian Wilson
Marriage location Palos Verdes, California, United States
Children Dash Tristan Wilson, Dakota Rose Wilson, Dylan Wilson, Daria Rose Wilson, Delanie Rae Wilson
Similar People Brian Wilson, Carnie Wilson, Murry Wilson, Wendy Wilson, Dennis Wilson
Brian Wilson and Melinda Ledbetter Fashion - Golden Globes 2016
Melinda Kae Ledbetter (born October 3, 1946), also known as Melinda Wilson, is an American talent manager who is the wife of singer-songwriter Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. She was formerly a model and car saleswoman. Shortly after meeting Wilson in 1986, she helped instigate the court-ordered separation between him and his therapist Eugene Landy. These events were later dramatized in Bill Pohlad's 2014 biopic Love & Mercy, in which Ledbetter is portrayed by Elizabeth Banks.
- Brian Wilson and Melinda Ledbetter Fashion Golden Globes 2016
- Elizabeth Banks Saves Brian Wilson as Love Mercy Hero Melinda Ledbetter
- Personal life and career
Elizabeth Banks Saves Brian Wilson as 'Love & Mercy' Hero Melinda Ledbetter
Personal life and career
While working at a car dealership in 1986, Ledbetter met Brian Wilson while he was a patient under Eugene Landy's 24-hour therapy. Six months after meeting Wilson, she had reported Landy to the state's attorney general for ethical violations, but they informed her that nothing could be done without the cooperation of Wilson's family. Three years into their relationship, Landy ordered Wilson to sever ties with Ledbetter. After Landy was struck with a 1991 court order which barred him from contacting Wilson, Wilson and Ledbetter reconnected and were married on February 6, 1995. Ledbetter went on to become Wilson's manager in 1999, a job which she says is "basically negotiating, and that's what I did every single day when I sold cars."
The 2014 biopic Love & Mercy featured Elizabeth Banks as Ledbetter, depicting her initial involvement with Wilson and Landy. The real Ledbetter said after watching the film: "I remembered that what Landy did to Brian was even worse. You don’t get a sense of it in the movie, but it happened on a daily basis, for years.
In 2015, Wilson credited Ledbetter for assisting with some of the production of his album No Pier Pressure.
In the mid 1990s, Wilson collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Andy Paley on tracks earmarked for a potential Beach Boys comeback album. In 1998, the magazine Uncut wrote that Brian was "coerced away from Andy Paley (by wife Melinda, according to observers), toward [producer] Joe Thomas." Rolling Stone's Jason Fine reported: "She calls the Paley–Wilson material 'great therapy' but says his vocals are not up to par and believes the production isn't good enough to be released commercially. As is often the case with Brian's career, Brian doesn't seem to be the one calling the shots." In 1999, a suit was filed against Thomas, seeking damages and a declaration which freed Wilson to work on his next album without involvement from Thomas. Thomas reciprocated with a suit citing that Ledbetter "schemed against and manipulated" him and Brian. The case was settled out of court.
According to Beach Boy Mike Love, the group's 50th anniversary reunion tour involving all original surviving members was ended prematurely partly due to interference from Ledbetter. He expressed disappointment that he was never allowed to collaborate with Wilson for the album That's Why God Made the Radio, as had been promised, "I didn't ask Brian because I knew he wasn't in control. I did ask Melinda about my agreement, and she told me, 'Brian doesn’t write that way anymore.' Actually, he does write that way, if he is given the chance, but there was no point in arguing." Love also recalls that during the performances, she attempted to install five autotune units on each of the band members' microphones. This was the beginning of numerous backstage quarrels between Love and Melinda, ending with his stipulation that she be banned from rehearsals until the tour was over.