Sheryl Leach delighted many children by creating Barney, a purple and green T-Rex who starred in Barney & Friends. The motivation for creating Barney was her son, Patrick Leach, who’d grown bored of the existing children’s programming. Barney was supposed to be a bear, but when Patrick showed interest in dinosaurs, Sheryl adapted him into a T-Rex.
Barney was big, really big. Sheryl said on a talk show: “He’s become, at least in popularity, on the level of Elvis for the preschool set.” However, as portrayed in I Love You, You Hate Me, Barney caused problems in Sheryl’s home.
Sheryl and her partner Howard Rosenfeld run a philanthropy organization
Sheryl’s ex-husband, Jim Leach, agreed to be a stay-at-home dad following the success of Barney & Friends. Unfortunately, Barney became Sheryl’s main priority, prompting her to neglect familial responsibilities.
Leach left the show in 1998 to dedicate more time to Jim and their child, Patrick. However, Sheryl’s sacrifice couldn’t save her marriage – Jim and Sheryl divorced in 2001. Sadly, Jim took his life three years later.
It’s unclear when Sheryl met her partner Howard Rosenfeld. Sheryl and Howard run the Shei’rah Foundation, an organization that supports media projects that highlight the good in humanity.
The organization has funded numerous projects, including Radio All for Peace, the We Are FamilyFoundation, and the Global Youth Action Network, among others. As a reward for her philanthropy, Sheryl was honored with the National Freedoms Foundations, an accolade she shares with former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Sheryl didn’t participate in Peacock’s documentary. The series’ director, Tommy Avallone, said he met with Leach, who allegedly ignores the criticisms against Barney. Avallone said:
“I know Sheryl, I’ve met her because of this project. I had lunch with her before this project even started and we kept in touch by email. She’s [a] super nice, amazing person. She just doesn’t pay attention to the negative that happened with Barney.”
Sheryl was sued by the victim of a shooting involving his son
Sheryl made Barney for her son Patrick, but she ended up neglecting Patrick for Barney. Therefore, Patrick grew up without his mother’s attention, leading to anger issues and a marijuana dependency.
In 2013, Patrick shot a neighbor, Eric Shanks, in the chest following a trespassing dispute. Patrick was arrested and sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading no contest to the charges.
Shanks sued Sheryl for negligence, claiming she shouldn’t have allowed her violent son to possess a weapon.