Books

Thu, 14 Mar, 2019Shannen Findlay

Olivia Newton-John opens up about Hollywood romance with bad-boy legend

Olivia Newton-John has opened up about her life in a tel all memoir called Don’t Stop Believin’, which was released on Tuesday.

The 70-year-old, who shot to fame and stardom after her role of Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, has detailed her heartbreaking losses and struggles, romances and everything in between.

In what should have been the happiest time in her life instead was filled with heartbreak and sorrow as she suffered her first miscarriage shortly before she was married to Matt Lattanzi in 1982.

The singer and actress has detailed her romantic and steamy love affairs throughout her life, and this includes a mysterious Hollywood legend.

Although Newton-John refuses to put a name and face to the secretive romance she shared with a “Hollywood bad-boy legend with a long list of girlfriends,” she did drop a few massive hints.

She recounts she met the actor in a coffee shop and when asked out, point-blank refused.

The reason? He was dating her friend Susan George, an English actress, film producer and Arabian horse breeder.

At the time, Olivia was staying with Susan and her sister, Rona, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel when the ‘bad boy’ called up to speak with Susan who was not in the room.

Susan had her share of celebrity boyfriends including Andy Gibb, Rod Stewart and Peter Sellers.

But when he asked Newton-John out again, she said yes. 

“He was my first major movie star encounter! His name? I'll never tell,” she wrote in Don’t Stop Believin’.

Growing up in Australia after moving from Cambridge, England in the 1950s, the actress loved hiding in the alcove of her childhood home as a little girl and adored watching her parents leave for evening events with glamorous friends.

Luckily for her, there were nights she would be allowed to travel downstairs amongst her parents and their socialite friends, writing she would rush to light their cigarettes for them.

“I liked the smell of the sulphur of the match and the burning tobacco and paper,” she explained.

“I must have associated comfort with smoke, although now I know cigarettes and second-hand smoke are toxic for your health.”

When she was just nine years old, a younger Newton-John was offered a whole pack of cigarettes by her mother.

“[I] thought this was a splendid idea. I sparked up a cigarette.”

Her adverse reaction to the tobacco had left her swearing off it for the rest of her life after taking a deep breath per her mother’s suggestion – only to end up in a violent coughing fit.

“I can still remember my father's smoke lingering on the sleeves of my pink cotton PJs. I'd go to sleep smelling him with my nose pressed to my pyjama sleeve,” she wrote.

Her father’s death in 1992 from liver cancer should have sent Olivia into a downward spiral –however, she flourished.

“Honestly, I had thought that I would retire, that it was the end of my career, but music kept appearing to me in my head and in my heart,” the 70-year-old explained.

“I didn't retreat from my career but rather I went through the fire and reinvented it.”

The Grease star also recounted her struggles with the first bout of cancer that was devastatingly realised on the weekend her father passed.

This was also a time when her first marriage with Lattanzi began to break down and recalls a specific instance where her doctor had asked her an uneasy question regarding troubles with a man due to some people believing “cancer in the right breast corresponds to a male figure".

Despite the rollercoaster year that overwhelmed her in 1995, the actress found love again in her second husband, John Easterling, who she met while walking the Great Wall of China.

“True love found me when I wasn't looking,” she wrote.

The couple married in 2008.

Olivia and her husband, John. Image: Instagram @therealonj

Despite the crazy love life in her younger years that saw rumours swirling around that she was romantically linked to Hollywood giants, including Dustin Hoffman, Roger Moore and John Travolta, Newton-John says she laughs at it all now.

Even the “rumours that I was a lesbian, even though I had been married or had a boyfriend through most of my career".

Newtown-John and Easterling currently live in a ranch in Southern California.

Swipe through the gallery to see Olivia Newton John through the years.

Are you interested to read Olivia Newton-John's new tell-all memoir, Don't Stop Believin'? Tell us in the comments below.