Olivia Newton-John may have had a memorable career, but she has arguably been less fortunate when it comes to her personal life. Although the actress and singer appears to have found love on more than one occasion, few relationships seem to have worked out for her. However, when Newton-John tied the knot for the second time at 59 years old, she showed that age doesn’t have to get in the way of finding The One.
Newton-John entered life in England in the city of Cambridge in September 1948. When she was five years old, however, her father landed a dean position at a university in Australia. And so, the family packed up and moved to Melbourne – although Newton-John would relocate back to the United Kingdom when she was a teenager.
From an early age, Newton-John excelled at performing, winning a singing contest during her teenage years. And so, she decided to take that evident talent and turn it into a career. In her 20s, in fact, the rising star began building a name for herself in the music industry and receiving recognition for her work. The singer started to rack up hit tracks in the United States and even scooped up Record of the Year at the 1974 Grammy Awards.
But Newton-John’s career really took off in 1978 after she had landed the role of a lifetime. Yes, the singer appeared as Sandy Olsson alongside John Travolta in the movie musical Grease. The film was a sensation, earning nearly $395 million at the box office, and Newton-John’s performance as the doe-eyed Australian transfer student made her a household name. What’s more, Grease is still beloved today – more than four decades after its release.
Off the back of Grease’s success, Newton-John attempted to further her acting career with another musical, Xanadu, in 1980. But the Robert Greenwald-directed movie wasn’t a box-office hit, and Newton-John returned her focus to singing. After releasing the popular track “Physical,” however, she took a step back from the spotlight.
While Newton-John didn’t give up performing entirely, she did make a move to focus on her personal life – including relationships. During her time filming Xanadu, you see, the star had met Matt Lattanzi, a fellow actor, with whom she fell in love. And in December 1984, Newton-John and Lattanzi stepped up their romance by getting married.
A little over a year after Newton-John and Lattanzi had tied the knot, they welcomed their first child together. The star gave birth to a daughter, whom they named Chloe Rose, in January 1986. However, several years later, the marriage fell apart, and Newton-John and Lattanzi ended up officially splitting in 1995.
However, Newton-John was able to move on from her marriage to Lattanzi, and just a year after her divorce, she met someone new. The star began a relationship with a cameraman named Patrick McDermott. And yet their romance was not to have a happy ending; after nine years together, a tragedy occurred.
In 2005, you see, McDermott went fishing near Los Angeles, California. And in a shocking twist of events, the cameraman never returned, leading to speculation that he had been lost or injured at sea. The U.S. Coast Guard conducted an investigation and came to the conclusion that Newton-John’s boyfriend had most likely drowned.
Bizarrely, however, not everyone seems to think that McDermott died during that expedition. In fact, private investigators looked into his disappearance and discovered something startling: in 2009 they alleged that they had located McDermott still very much alive. Philip Klein, for instance, who was apparently hired by the television show Dateline to try and find Newton-John’s boyfriend, claimed that he did just that and “concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. McDermott is alive.”
Interestingly, Klein alleged that McDermott was living in a boat off the coast of Mexico and going by Pat Kim – the name with which he was born. But why would McDermott have faked his own death? Well, some have suggested that the move was for the purpose of evading paying child support for his son, Chance McDermott.
You see, McDermott had been married to actress Yvette Nipar for 15 months between 1992 and 1993. After their divorce, the cameraman received a court order to repay his ex-wife for overdue child support. And Klein claimed that McDermott had staged his death so that his son could benefit from his life insurance policy – which apparently would have amounted to $100,000.
It had been Newton-John who had reported McDermott missing a week after the fishing excursion, when he hadn’t turned up to a family function. Strangely, however, none of the other 22 passengers on the boat had seen him fall overboard. It was also claimed that, after starting a new life in Mexico, McDermott had settled down with a European woman.
Newton-John also weighed in after Dateline had claimed to have found McDermott alive. And she admitted that the situation was a “heartbreaking” one – because she may never know what truly happened to the man she loved. She told The Australian Women’s Weekly in April 2009, “I think there will always be a question mark.”
Newton-John continued, “Even though the U.S. Coast Guard has closed the case and considers him missing at sea, I don’t think I will ever really be at peace with it.” And the star echoed the same sentiments several years later. “One of the hardest things is not knowing,” she told People in 2016.
However, as taxing as a divorce and the disappearance of a boyfriend presumably were for Newton-John, they are not the only tragedies that she has experienced in her lifetime. It was during her marriage, you see, that the singer and actress received some life-changing news: she learned that she was suffering with breast cancer in 1992.
Newton-John had chemotherapy to fight the cancer, and she also underwent surgery to remove some breast tissue. This procedure is known as a partial mastectomy. After her treatment, the star was in remission, and she spent several years advocating for other cancer survivors. But over two decades later, Newton-John revealed that the deadly disease had returned.
After beating cancer again in 2013, it was in May 2017 that Newton-John was forced to put her plans for a tour around North America on hold. The actress had discovered that the cancer had not only returned yet again, but it had also spread to her back. However, Newton-John was determined that she wasn’t going to let the disease consume her.
“I’m not going to be one of those statistics. I’m going to be fine. And I will probably deal with this in my life as an ongoing thing,” Newton-John told Today in September 2017. “I think that you can live with cancer like you can live with other things – if you take care of yourself.”
That’s right, Newton-John is seemingly refusing to give up. She has been using cannabis oil to treat her symptoms and having radiation on a tumor at the bottom of her spine. And while the celebrity admits that it’s not always easy to be optimistic, she certainly has a good support system around her.
And sitting at the top of the list is surely Newton-John’s second husband, John Easterling. The couple have been married for more than a decade – and it looks as though they couldn’t be happier. However, the Grease favorite has confessed that she wasn’t expecting to fall for someone so soon after losing McDermott.
After McDermott had disappeared, in fact, Newton-John apparently wasn’t too hopeful about ever finding love again. But it turns out that she was friends with Easterling long before things became romantic between them. Newton-John had actually met the founder of the Amazon Herb Company – which is based in Jupiter, Florida – around 15 years previously because they had a pal in common.
Then, a couple of years after McDermott had vanished in those mysterious circumstances, Newton-John and Easterling reconnected. The star couldn’t have predicted how things would turn out between them, but everything seemingly fell into place. “I dated a little bit, but I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with him – and then bam!” she told People in 2016.
In 2011 Newton-John told the Daily Express that she had at first viewed her relationship with Easterling as nothing but platonic. But in reality, it seems that the timing had simply never been right for romance, and the pair eventually recognized the chemistry that they share. “That certain magic, which happens at certain times, happened to us,” she said. “I never believed it. I would hear stories like that and go, ‘Oh, yeah, right.’ Then it happened to me. [Easterling] is such a special person. I realize that I am very lucky.”
Easterling also helped Newton-John to cope with her boyfriend’s disappearance, which she has described as “traumatic.” Newton-John and Easterling had both been on work trips to Peru when they had realized their feelings for each other. “Suddenly, in the peace of the jungle – away from the city noise and distractions – we just knew we were meant to be together,” Newton-John told Hello! magazine in 2008.
One year later, Newton-John and Easterling surprised the world when they announced that they were married. The couple had secretly tied the knot on June 21, 2008, you see, in Cuzco – at the very same spot where they had fallen for each other the previous year. And what’s more, they had wed in a totally private Inca ceremony.
Newton-John and Easterling’s nuptials took place on the top of a mountain, in fact, with the service carried out in Quechua, an ancient South American language. The couple dressed the part in traditional Inca clothing, too, with the groom donning a poncho and the bride sporting a type of shawl that’s known as a matrimonial “manta.” And afterwards, the newlyweds honeymooned around the area.
But the celebrations didn’t stop there. Newton-John and Easterling held a legal wedding just over a week later, in fact. And this time, they said “I do” on the sand in Jupiter Beach, Florida – in another low-key ceremony. It was apparently only when the couple threw a Fourth of July barbecue at the singer’s home that they revealed the exciting news to their friends and family.
Newton-John explained to Hello! magazine that she and Easterling had wanted to get married away from the spotlight so that they were able to share their moment just with each other. In fact, the couple didn’t have a single friend or family member at either of their weddings. And it wasn’t until right before they had gone to Peru that Newton-John’s daughter Chloe had found out what was going on.
“Much of our lives have been lived out in public, and we wanted to keep our relationship very private,” Newton-John told Hello! magazine. “It was precious to us – something we wanted to share with each other and enjoy without being chatted about and followed around. It’s the reason we kept our two ceremonies secret and didn’t invite any guests.”
Newton-John was 59 when she tied the knot with Easterling – and the marriage showed the world that age isn’t a barrier to finding love. Easterling has made his feelings for the Grease star clear, too. “We didn’t need a big song-and-dance celebration of our union,” he revealed to Hello!. “For me, every day is a celebration, and the rest of our lives will be a honeymoon.”
Also during the Hello! interview, Newton-John professed that she is “the happiest woman in the world.” What’s more, she revealed that she and Easterling had secretly become engaged six months before they actually said “I do.” Although the couple’s relationship may seem like somewhat of a whirlwind romance, it’s fair to say that they both knew it was right – and Newton-John couldn’t help but express her love for her new husband.
“John is an extraordinary and special person – kind, sweet and loving,” Newton-John told Hello! shortly after their wedding. “He has a lot of integrity and authenticity, and I feel for him madly and deeply. He’s thoughtful and attentive. He’s one in a million, and I couldn’t be more enthralled that he is mine.”
Believe it or not, Newton-John and Easterling have now been married for more than ten years. And in 2016 the singer and actress revealed that her entrepreneur husband’s positive attitude is one of the things she loves most about him. “He’s incredibly smart and compassionate,” she told People. “He says ‘yes’ to everything; he says ‘yes’ to life.”
What’s more, Newton-John’s relationship has taught her that it’s possible to find The One at any age. “I’m very lucky I have a wonderful, beautiful husband who is just so loving and fantastic,” she added. “I always tell my friends, ‘You’re never too old to find love. I found the love of my life at 59 going on 60!’ I’m grateful.”
And as well as making Newton-John realize that she hadn’t missed her shot at true love, Easterling has seemingly boosted her confidence – and her spirits. In fact, the star confessed to British tabloid the Daily Express in 2011 that she had had the “best times” of her life since her secret weddings. “I am enjoying a wonderful freedom,” she elaborated.
Newton-John continued, “I never thought I would be saying this at my age, but I do feel happier and sexier than ever. A lot of good things and bad things have happened during my life, which has been a roller coaster. But there is no better time than now. I live for the day. [I] never think of the future, and the past is gone. So, I am always loving and living as if it is my last day.”
Now, meanwhile, Easterling is helping Newton-John through her battle with cancer. Shortly before the star’s 70th birthday in September 2018, she admitted that she sometimes feels scared about what may happen. But the actress, who opened the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Center in Australia, believes that Easterling will forever stand by her.
“My husband is always there, and he’s always there to support me. I believe I will win over it,” Newton-John told TV show Sunday Night in 2018 of her cancer fight. And despite the Australian’s diagnosis, she understands that she is not the only one going through a difficult time. “There are people out there doing much worse than me,” she said.
Despite everything that Newton-John has been through, then, she is still counting her blessings – and Easterling is definitely one of them. She told Sunday Night, “I’m a very privileged person, and I’m very aware of that.” She added, “I live in this beautiful place. I have a wonderful husband.” All in all, it’s safe to say that Newton-John feels very lucky. “I have an incredible career,” she said. “I have nothing really to complain about.”