Sara Evans Is Back Together With Her Husband Jay Barker, Who Plead Guilty To Trying To Hit Her With His Car

Sara Evans Jay Barker
Sara Evans/Davidson County Sheriff's Office

Putting the past behind them.

If you remember back a couple years ago, in 2021 Sara Evans filed for divorce from her then-husband, former Alabama quarterback and radio host Jay Barker, after 13 years of marriage.

And in 2022, Barker was arrested near the couple’s home in Nashville after allegedly trying to hit his wife’s car, which she was in at the time.

According to the arrest affidavit, Evans said she was leaving a party at her neighbor’s house when she got in the passenger seat of a friend’s car to ride across the street. Barker was reported to be “backing up his vehicle at a high rate of speed attempting to hit them but missed.”

Evans, as well as other witnesses, claimed he was intentionally trying to hit them.

Barker drove away, Evans called the police, however Barker came back and spoke with officers and was eventually arrested.

He was initially charged with felony aggravated assault, but would eventually plead guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment in June of 2022, admitting that prosecutors had enough evidence against him while not admitting guilt.

Barker was ordered to attend a 26-week long Batterer’s Intervention Program for domestic violence, and to get rid of any firearms that he owned. He was also sentenced to a year of probation.

But it seems that since then, Barker and Evans have been working out their differences, and the country star revealed on the debut episode of her new podcast, Diving in Deep with Sara Evans, that the couple are back together once again.

She started by detailing where the trouble started in their marriage:

“When we settled into our marriage, and he saw that I was…very submissive, and I wasn’t going to nag him, and I wasn’t going to bitch at him and boss him around and tell him what to do, I think he was like, ‘Ooh, I love this.’

And a few years into our marriage I think he began to sort of take that for granted and take advantage of it…We probably should have gotten into marriage counseling from day 1…

Because of the way that I was raised, so old fashioned and the man is the head of the home, I think I brought out in him a lot of feelings and emotions.

I’ve never loved anybody the way that I love him. I’ve also never been driven crazy the way that he drives me crazy.

Something started happening to Jay. I would notice – and he never drank alcohol until he met me…It didn’t make him better. It made him worse. The safety that he felt being married to me, knowing that I’m a soft place for him to land, I think the safety of all that backfired maybe with him…

He became addicted, I would say, to being the boss of me. Wanting to control me. Even if it’s like, I’m just trying to keep you safe.”

She also seems to think that Barker’s football career may have had an impact on his personality:

“I don’t know if there have been too many concussions or what.”

But she said eventually she realized that she was in an abusive relationship, though she didn’t want to admit it. And after the couple had a big fight in 2020, they decided to separate.

“I just wanted him to get better.”

She also addressed the 2022 incident that resulted in Jay’s arrest, speaking publicly about what happened for the first time. According to Sara, it all started when they met for lunch and had an argument at the restaurant.

Later that evening, Sara and one of her children went to a friend’s house for a bonfire. But as they were leaving, her estranged husband showed up:

“We were leaving the bonfire and he had come over in his truck and was sitting on the side of the street. It really scared me. And it scared all of us, especially my child that was with me.

The friend of ours was driving me, we were getting ready to pull into the driveway…He had a verbal altercation with my child, who had never seen that side of him, ever. And it scared the shit out of her.

Then he jumped into his truck and he started backing up at a very high speed. I knew Jay, so I didn’t think – I didn’t feel the same way that my child felt. My child felt that he was going to plow our car down, that he was backing up towards our car, and that she was about to watch something horrific, or at the very least an accident, which would have been his truck hitting my side of the car where I was in the front seat.

She was terrified and called 911. He sped away, and cops came, we were all standing in the foyer of our home and the cops were questioning. My child was more upset than I was, because I’ve been privately having these experiences with Jay for 13 years or 14 years. It was a first for her to see her dad like that.”

But despite all this, Sara says that she tried to warn Jay to stay away because he would be arrested if he came back:

“In my love for him, as I always have loved him and cared for him and taken care of him…I tried to text him and call him before the police got there to say, ‘The police have been called.’ I was basically warning him, ‘Stay away or you’re going to get in some big trouble.'”

And she says that after the arrest, they began to reconnect and discuss working things out – while having to lie to her children, who would not have approved of the two reconciling:

“We started talking more and texting more, and he said ‘I will literally do anything not to lose you. I will literally do whatever you tell me to do…’

We started sneaking around, and I would go over and see him at his place here and we would just order dinner and talk. And he started therapy.

My conditions were, you have to be in therapy for the rest of your life, and we have to be in marriage counseling for the rest of our lives, and when we go to marriage counseling you have to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Now, Sara says that her and Barker are happy in their marriage – but she cautions that her situation isn’t for everyone:

“I don’t encourage all women to do this. Every situation is differnet. Some situations are a lot more dangerous than mine. Some situations are less and they should still probably divorce. But I just did not want to divorce again and start over. And I just pictured myself being alone and missing him and thinking, ‘We could have tried harder…’

He is my best friend…I truly now believe that we are going to stay together forever and be very happy, but that’s not going to be without rules that I’ve put into place…

In our situation I do believe that this is a miracle from God and we’re so happy now, but I don’t want anybody to think that I’m advocating staying in a relationship where you are ever, in your gut, you know that you need to exit the situation.

Every woman needs to follow her gut on that and do what is best for her.”

If you or someone you know are a victim of domestic violence seeking information or assistance, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, visit, or text START to 88788. Calls are toll-free and confidential.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock