Rascal Flatts' J.D. Rooney has been off the radar for a long while -- but he's back to clear the air on his personal life ... and addressing the rumors he was transitioning to a woman.
The country artist posted a lengthy update on X Wednesday, where he opened up about where he's been, what he's been going through and what's NOT true about his personal journey ... namely, he debunks a rumor that he was undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
Rooney starts his open letter to fans by apologizing for being MIA over the past few years or so, and then adds ... "First off, I am alive! There have been so many rumors and opinions thrown around about me - but I’m finally healthy and ready for the world. And NO, I’m not transitioning to be a woman. That thought has never entered my mind. Nothing against the trans community whatsoever but I needed to set the record straight."
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The famed guitarist goes on to say he hit rock bottom in September 2021 when he got busted for a DUI in Tennessee -- a wild incident TMZ covered in great detail at the time.
Rooney says after that, he went away to Utah to get clean ... a process he says took a lot out of him, but from which he came out the other side sober and better than ever. JDR reflects on what he says his alcoholism caused ... like major rifts in his relationships.
Like we said, J.D.'s doing much better now -- adding, "My life has been changed forever - and I’m grateful for the change. I’ve been sober now for almost 28 months come this Jan 13. I never believed I could actually live my life without drinking. It had become such a huge part of my daily and nightly routine ... God intervened and helped me to get my life back."
He thanks fans/supporters for the prayers and well-wishes -- and dishes those back to 'em in return ... hoping everyone has a great 2024, which he certainly seems to be having himself.