Garth Brooks to divorce

Saturday, October 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Country superstar Garth Brooks and his wife have agreed to a divorce, a spokeswoman at his record company confirmed Saturday.

The acknowledgment came after Brooks told Billboard magazine that he regrets his failed marriage but believes he is closer than ever to his children. The Capitol Records spokeswoman, Karen Byrd, declined further comment.

Garth and Sandy Brooks have been married for 14 years and have three children, ages 8, 6 and 4.

``Sandy and I both agree that we need to get divorced,'' he said. ``Right now, we're focused on the impact it will have on the children and how to handle that best, to remain parents even if we don't remain husband and wife.''

He said recent difficulties, including his mother's death and his first break from touring in 11 years, have taken a toll.

``But the trade that I made (is that) I am an infinite number of times closer to my children than I've been the entire seven years of their lives before (this year off). And I can't help but think when I lie down at night and say my prayers that that, in itself, ... is worth the trade I've made to get here.''

Brooks has sold 97 million albums in his 10-year career, making him the best-selling artist in country music history. He announced in December 1999 that he might retire because he wanted to spend more time with his family.