Beckett Cypher, the son of and her former partner filmmaker Julie Cypher, has died. He was 21. Beckett’s death was related to opioid addiction, Etheridge said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction,” she wrote on Twitter. “My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today. He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends.
“My heart is broken,” she continued. “I am grateful for those who have reached out with condolences and I feel their love and sincere grief. We struggle with what else we could have done to save him, and in the end we know he is out of the pain now. I will sing again, soon. It has always healed me.”
Etheridge and Cypher, who met in 1988 during a video shoot, have two children — their daughter Bailey and son Beckett. For several years after their children were born, people speculated about who was the sperm donor for their children. In 2000, the couple revealed it was fellow musician David Crosby.
While the then-couple was vacationing in Hawaii, they met up with Crosby and his wife Jan and began discussing their want to have children, but they had a dilemma as to whom to have as a sperm donor. “And Jan said, ‘What about David?’” Etheridge told Rolling Stone. “It came from her, which was the best, most perfect way.” They thought it over for a year before they made the call. “For one, he’s musical, which means a lot to me, you know, and I admire his work,” says Etheridge. “And he has his own life, has his own family.”
Crosby told Rolling Stone he didn’t hesitate at his wife’s proposition that he be the donor. “Melissa and Julie are good people,” he said. “Nice set of values, they’re funnier than shit, and they’ve got courage. All rare stuff. You could see that they were in love with each other.”
Etheridge and Cypher split up later in 2000, but they continued to co-parent. Etheridge is also the mother of twins, son Miller and daughter Johnnie.
— Melissa Etheridge (@metheridge) May 14, 2020