Man Who Inspired Taylor Swift’s ‘Teardrops On My Guitar’ Arrested For Allegedly Punching Three-Year-Old In The Face

Taylor Swift could probably get some solace from cueing up the Garth Brooks tune “Unanswered Prayers” and thinking about how the song’s lyrics might well apply to the story of one of her now-infamous former crushes.

As noted by celebrity news and rumors outlet Hollywood Life, Andrew Hardwick – the man who inspired Taylor Swift’s hit “Teardrops on My Guitar,” was arrested earlier this week for aggravated child abuse. The man who once prompted Swift to pine that “he’s all I think about at night” allegedly punched a 3-year-old girl in the face, prompting his arrest and incarceration on December 26. Much like the tale in the aforementioned Garth Brooks song, it’s probably a good thing that Taylor didn’t get her wish of a long-lasting romance with Mr. Hardwick.

According to the Daily Mail, police in Hendersonville, Tennessee, found 27-year-old Andrew Hardwick under the influence of “a large amount of alcohol” and arrested him for allegedly striking the 3-year-old girl in the face. The child suffered “severe bruising and lacerations” as well as a concussion, but her injuries were also described as “non-life-threatening.” She was airlifted to a hospital for treatment. Cosmopolitan noted that a 5-year-old also had unspecified injuries that did not require treatment. The website Vulture suggests that Hardwick is also suspected of striking the 5-year-old.

Taylor Swift candidly spoke about Andrew “Drew” Hardwick in an interview with the Washington Post in 2009, noting that she a had a crush on him back in high school. A relationship between the two never developed, and Hardwick did not learn of the songstress’ feelings for him until “Teardrops on My Guitar” became a hit.

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“He showed up at my house when I was leaving to go to a hockey game with Kellie [Pickler] and Carrie [Underwood],” Swift recalled in comments from the above-noted Post interview that were later re-published by ClizBeats. “This car pulls up and two guys get out, and one of them is Drew. I hadn’t talked to him in two-and-a-half years. He was like: Hey, how’s it going?’ And I’m like: ‘Wow, you’re late? Good to see you?’ But we were civilized.”

Swift went on to surmise that Andrew Hardwick had been trying to impress his friends by showing them that he had inspired “Teardrops” by approaching her in public.

“I have theories about what he was doing,” Swift said. “He had his friend with him, so maybe he was trying to prove to people that the song really is about him or whatever. Or maybe he was really trying to be friends. Or maybe he thought I was still pining away from him. Whatever!”

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“Teardrops on My Guitar” was featured on Taylor Swift’s 2006 eponymous debut album and was the second single from that release. The song is certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Police noted that Andrew Hardwick’s 41-year-old wife, Joni, and a 5-year-old child were also present in the home at the time of his arrest, as well as two of Hardwick’s relatives identified as Christopher and Amber. Joni Hardwick was arrested for assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, and Christopher Hardwick was arrested for assault and disorderly conduct.

The Daily Mail noted that Chris Hardwick told police that he saw Andrew Hardwick strike the 3-year-old. It is unclear if the Hardwicks engaged in a physical altercation as a result of the incident.

Andrew Hardwick was released on $100,000 bond on Monday morning, and he will return to court in early 2016 for a subsequent hearing. An investigation is ongoing. Taylor Swift has not commented publicly on the arrest of her now-infamous ex-crush.

[Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images]