Garth Brooks is the subject of a new in-depth documentary, and in a new interview, the country icon says one of the highlights for him is when his ex-wife, Sandy, talks about their marriage.

Brooks, 57, married Sandy Mahl in 1986, years before he shot to stardom with his self-titled debut album in 1989. The couple had three daughters — Tayor, August and Allie — before they divorced in 2001 after years of marital strain. Mahl took part in unfiltered interviews for the two-part A&E documentary Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On, and as Us Weekly reports, Brooks felt he gained a new understanding after seeing what she had to say.

“What really surprised me was Sandy, the girls’ mom. She was phenomenal,” Brooks told reporters during a press junket in New York City. “[I was] gone so much on the road [during our marriage], there were things I guess she was [trying to tell] me that I didn’t hear until this biography. It’s rare you get to hear the other side. I just saw her and I think I hugged her harder than I ever have now that I know things that either I didn’t hear or that she didn’t say until now.”

Brooks was adamant that everyone involved should get the chance to say what they really wanted to say. That's part of the strength of the piece, he says.

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“The truth is what you believe it to be. So all you do is tell the truth," he observes. "My oldest girl and I, we have some variations of the stories, so you [also] see how she sees it. It’s interesting to see both sides. I like that honesty.”

Brooks met his second wife, Trisha Yearwood, during his marriage to Mahl, and married her in 2005, a few years after his divorce. He says although things were messy for a while, he can't regret the way it's all turned out.

“I had been married 13 months when I met her," he recalls. "When someone said, ‘What’d you think when I met her?’ I said, ‘I felt like I just met my wife,’ which is weird, right? But the girls’ mother and I were married in a church, in front of our families."

He thinks it's just as well that everything turned out the way it did.

“If we’d gotten married then, either the career wouldn’t have been what it was in the ’90s or our marriage wouldn’t have lasted. So I have to believe that things happen when they happen," Brooks observes. "I feel very lucky right now where I’m at. So even if I did have regrets, I wouldn’t change anything in fear of changing where I’m at right now.”

Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On premiered on A&E on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

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