Actor/singer John Schneider stopped by Nash campus last week to talk with Blair Garner about his new project, Odyssey, but the conversation quickly turned to his ongoing legal woes surrounding his estranged wife, Elvira “Elly” Schneider and their three adult children who won’t talk to him.
Elly filed for divorce in 2014 after 21 years of marriage and John claims he cannot afford the “$19,000 per month” alimony payment because he is struggling financially after his movie studio in Louisiana was destroyed in a March 2016 flood. In June, John was ordered to serve three days in the Los Angeles County Jail for unpaid alimony, but he was released after only a few hours due to overcrowding.
“I can’t not do what I feel is the right thing . . . so when something screams of injustice—and it’s usually about other people—then I can’t not do something about it,” says John to Blair. “Lately, I do honestly feel there’s been a tremendous amount of injustice done to me, and I also can’t not do something about it.”
John says his estranged wife will not work and he can’t pay her $19,000 a month in alimony.
“She feels like she’s entitled to it, and she doesn’t work and she hasn’t worked since we got married,” says John. “And there is a group, I guess, out there that says, ‘Well, she gave up a career to become a housewife.’ Well, no, we had nannies.”
John, who is best known for his TV roles as Bo Duke in Dukes of Hazzard and Johnathan Kent in Smallville, had a string of Top 10 hits on the country charts in the 1980s, including No. 1 tunes “Country Girls” and “You’re the Last Thing I Needed Tonight.”
“I don’t wish Elly to hurt like I hurt right now, I really don’t,” says John. “But the laws of nature dictate that she’s going to, and it’s gonna hurt her bad. When those kids won’t talk to her, I don’t know how she’s gonna take that.”
And if you were wondering about Odyssey, it’s a 52-song offering that teams John with some of country’s most acclaimed writers and artists, including Tanya Tucker, John Conlee, Colin Raye, Jamie O’Neal and more. With one song released each week, the project also includes weekly behind-the-scenes video content in a series dubbed Artist Studio Access (available via CineFlix Digital on Demand), which documents the writing, recording and inspiration of each song.
Check out Blair’s interview with John below.