Surviving Racism, Infidelity: Meet Vivian Liberto Money

Vivian Liberto Cash is the first wife of country singer and songwriter Johnny Cash. At the end of their 13-year marriage, Vivian became the subject of controversy to shed light on the real reason for their divorce and true ethnicity.

Meet Johnny Cash’s first wife and how she managed to live after he broke her heart. Read on to find out more:

She grew up in a Catholic household

Before she was known as Vivian Liberto Cash, she was Vivian Dorraine Liberto.

Her mother gave birth to her on April 23, 1934 in San Antonio, Texas. She was raised by her parents, Irene Robinson Liberto (1913–1979) and Thomas Peter Liberto (1905–1971), a devout Catholic.

Vivian grew up in a Catholic household with her brother Raymond Alvin Liberto (1932-2008). Her father’s strict manner of adhering to his religion would later hit Vivian hard at the end of her marriage to Johnny Cash.

She was a dedicated housewife

Unlike her first husband’s second spouse, June Carter, she was a full-time mom who stayed at home and was out of the spotlight.

As a housewife, she focused on raising her four children: Cindy Cash, Rosanne Cash, Kathy Cash, and Tara Cash.

Meanwhile, her husband was busy with his booming country music career in the 50s.

Vivian and Johnny began a whirlwind long-distance romance

Vivian first crossed paths with the country music legend on July 18, 1951 during a skate tournament. She was a shy 17 year old woman.

The first three weeks of their advertising were especially romantic before Johnny had to leave. His deployment with the US Air Force in Germany did not prevent the two of them from keeping the fire burning.

They sent each other letters until they reunited from Germany. Her private wedding ceremony soon took place in 1954. Their close friends and close family members witnessed their union.

However, their whirlwind commercial and wedding ended sadly when Vivian filed for divorce. In 1966, the courts officially granted divorce when she cited extramarital affairs and her spouse’s drug use.

Vivian later pulled her divorce due to a controversy against the Catholic Church.

She is African American, not Italian

When the land hitmaker was arrested for his drug case in 1965, a newspaper published a photo of him with his then-wife Vivian. Along with the photo comes the lesser known fact that she was of African American descent rather than Italian American.

The racist speculation caused an uproar among her husband’s fans. During this time, the couple wanted to end their relationship.

Along with the public outcry came the many canceled concerts.

White racists also claimed that the country that topped the charts used the money from its music sales to buy drugs and fund its fascination with black sex workers.

She was a victim of racism

After the couple’s rare photo was published, many other newspaper companies carried racist photos and rhetorical stories with them.

The ThunderBolt and the National States Rights Party newspaper were among the publications that made headlines about Vivian’s true racial identity. The sensational news left them receiving death threats from many large racist groups such as the infamous Ku Klux Klan.

Vivian was excommunicated from the Catholic Church

After the Hullabaloo regarding her race, Vivian also had problems with her religion.

Soon after her divorce from Johnny Cash was finalized, she was excommunicated from the Catholic Church. She was not allowed to take communion. However, the church’s official decision was changed after her ex-husband sent the archdiocese a letter with all the stories of his failure as her husband.

Vivian was readmitted to the Catholic Church soon enough.

Vivian found love and remarried

Vivian married Dick Distin in 1968. He’s a cop and they moved in with Vivian’s daughters after they got married. In the meantime, the singer of “I Walk the Line (1968)” found a home near Nashville.

During their second marriage, Vivian tried to completely remove herself from the spotlight of her former husband’s fame. She embraced the beauty of raising her four children with Johnny. She spent the rest of her retirement in Ventura with her second husband.

Vivian was co-author of the book “I Walked the Line: My Life With Johnny”.

Vivian Liberto died author of her first and last book entitled “I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny”. This book, which chronicles the story of their first love, received mixed reviews from its readers.

The book was published in 2007, two years after her death. It describes the sweet beginnings, bitter betrayals, and forgiveness of Johnny Cash’s shortcomings. Among all the details presented in this book, their fans loved it for its truthful narrative, complemented by love letters never before published.

She sharply turned down a 2005 Oscar-winning film

Her book release was in response to the film Walk the Line (2005), a music / drama film that chronicles the life of Johnny Cash. In the film, Vivian was written as a difficult woman pulling on her husband’s dreams as a country star.

The book is a treatise that clarified your side of the story. Its title was an apt reminder of Johnny Cash’s hit single from 1956. With the aim of ringing a bell, the book also reminded people of the singer’s sweet promises to his first wife.

Fortunately, the publication of her book successfully removed her name from the controversial film portrayal of her ex-spouse. The people close to Vivian expressed their support for the woman they would describe as kind and generous.

Vivian led a meaningful life after the divorce

Despite the misfortune of her marriage to Johnny Cash, Vivian remained a decent woman. Many noticed how she walked the line with her warm attitude towards the country star and June Carter’s marriage, the woman her then-husband romped with.

Rather than showing the manners of a broken woman, Vivian was especially preoccupied with working for the good of her local community.

She was President of the Garden Club of San Buenaventura for three terms. Her community engagements included volunteering at Country Hospital, a nursing home for unmarried mothers in LA.

Vivian Liberto Net Worth

With zero verified reports on your net worth, it’s impossible to bet an estimated amount on them today. However, numerous news stories about her lifestyle suggested that she lived in a luxurious home.

What is certain is that the Vivian rounded up a handful after her book was published. She was a co-author and it was available on Amazon for $ 13.52 in paperback and $ 32.95 in hardcover.

Vivian died of post-operative complications

Johnny Cash’s first spouse died on May 24, 2005. Vivian was 71 years old and had lung cancer. Complications after her surgery took her life away when she was surrounded by close friends, family, and pastor.

Vivian left behind her second husband, four daughters and many grandchildren. Her family held a memorial mass in the Sacred Heart Church in Ventura.

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