Elton John’s former wife has claimed that she tried to kill herself three days into their honeymoon after the singer said their marriage was not working. Renate Blauel, who is suing John for $5.48m, claims he breached an agreement not to discuss their marriage in public with the publication of his autobiography and the 2019 film Rocketman.
Ms Blauel, 67, said in a court document released on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST) that John, 73, was aware of her battles with depression, which included an anxiety attack while they hosted a lunch for members of the royal family.
John said his ex-wife’s allegations had been made to “extract a large sum of money … and tarnish his name with falsehoods”. John confirmed in 1992 that he was gay and entered a civil partnership with David Furnish, currently 57, in 2005. They married in 2014 and have two sons.
Ms Blauel, who married John at Sydney’s St Mark’s church in Darling Point on Valentine’s Day 1984, said they were accompanied on their honeymoon to St Tropez by the star’s manager, John Reid, and personal assistant Bob Halley. “Three days into the honeymoon, and without any forewarning, (John) told (Blauel) that the marriage was not working and that he wanted her to leave the property and return to England,” the (London) High Court document alleges.
Ms Blauel said she took an overdose of prescription drugs and was found unconscious by Mr Halley. When John was told about the overdose, he “became angry” and did not visit his bride during her two days in hospital.
Ms Blauel, a former sound engineer, said during the marriage she suffered from anxiety, particularly when attending public events. She said. she had a panic attack at John’s Windsor mansion when film director Brian Forbes and his actress wife, Nanette Newman, visited before a planned dinner at a restaurant. Newman found her in her dressing room hyperventilating and crying.
John and Ms Blauel hosted a lunch for members of the royal family in about 1985. When Princess Margaret asked Ms Blauel about a painting belonging to John, she could not recall any details and, in a panic, interrupted her husband’s conversation with the Queen Mother before leaving the room. “It must have been obvious to him that she had absented herself because of her anxiety,” the court document said.
Ms Blauel claims John should have known that she could suffer psychiatric harm with the revelations about their marriage. They had agreed not to discuss their marriage after their divorce in 1988, with Ms Blauel saying she had sought to shed her identity as a pop star’s wife and live a quiet life. She said her former husband’s discussion of their relationship in his book Me and scenes in the biopic had led to renewed public interest in her.
Adam Wolanski QC, representing Ms Blauel, said she had suffered “nightmares, agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, fear, and has had to relive her past constantly”. She had spent $21,000 on therapy, two psychiatrists and a psychotherapist because of the disclosures.
Ms Blauel says the legal agreement prevents John referring to matters relating to the marriage and the reasons for the separation even if they were already in the public domain. She is seeking an injunction preventing future editions, reprints or adaptations of John’s memoirs from discussing their marriage.
John’s barrister, Colin West QC, said the singer denied breaching the terms of the divorce agreement or knowing Ms Blauel was susceptible to mental health issues. She had not complained when he spoke about their marriage in the past and correspondence between them since their divorce had been “warm and friendly”. The clause in the divorce agreement could only have been intended to prevent discussion of confidential matters, not common knowledge, such as John’s sexuality, Mr West said.
The hearing continues.
Updated Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Elton John is now trying to settle out-of-court with ex-wife
For Elton John, "settlement" now seems to be the hardest word.
The Sun reports that court documents now show that Elton and his former wife Renate Blauel have called a temporary truce, and are now trying to hash out their differences with an out-of-court settlement. According to The Sun, the lawyers have until October 13 to reach a deal, if not, the matter could head to open court, where even more details of their relationship could become public.
Blauel, who married Elton in 1984 and split with him four years later, has claimed that Elton's depiction of their marriage in both his autobiography Me, and in his biopic Rocketman, "seriously misrepresented the nature of their relationship." Blauel was suing Elton for three million pounds, claiming that Elton reneged on his agreement never to discuss their relationship, and has, as a result, suffered "recurring nightmares, agoraphobia, fear, depression, and anxiety.”
Through his lawyers, Elton denied breaking their agreement and described the lawsuit as a cash grab, saying Blauel had never complained before when he had said things about their marriage.
One particular point of contention was reported by The Sun a few months ago: Blauel was upset about the fact that Elton had claimed in his book that he'd never wanted to have kids until he met his husband David Furnish. In reality, her lawyers claimed, she and Elton tried to have children but were unable to conceive. Her lawyers also claimed that she'd asked Elton to take that part out of the book but he refused.
Updated Wednesday, October 14, 2020
HAPPY WIFE Elton John and ex wife Renate Blauel settle £3m court battle over his autobiography and film
Simon Boyle, The Sun
SIR Elton John has agreed an out-of-court settlement with his ex-wife Renate Blauel, after she sued him for £3million over his autobiography and film.
The Sun previously told how a judge had given them until 4pm on Tuesday to agree an end to their legal battle over claims his portrayal of her in the book and blockbuster breached the terms of their 1988 divorce deal.
Sir Elton has agreed an out of court settlement with his ex-wife. And a spokesman for the rock icon yesterday confirmed the former couple had reached an agreement, which means neither will ever discuss their marriage again.
A statement said: “The parties are happy to announce that they have resolved this case, in a way that acknowledges Renate’s need for privacy. “For her part, Renate acknowledges that Elton has acted in a dignified and respectful way towards her in the last 30 years and has been always happy to help her. They will not be discussing each other, or their marriage, in future and will be making no further comment about the case.”
It comes after Sir Elton previously refused to pay up – with sources saying he believed she had exaggerated her claims in pursuit of cash. A source said: “This legal dispute was becoming increasingly bitter, and looked like going all the way to a full on court battle with loads of money at stake. Neither would back down for many months, but in the end it seems to have been better for all concerned to keep this dignified and away from a public courtroom. Elton was also very keen to stay civilised with Renate after all of these years so has softened to make sure they get things sorted between the two of them.”
Neither party would confirm the value of the behind-closed-doors settlement, but it’s thought they will have met half way financially.
The agreement reaffirms their promises not to discuss each other or their marriage in the future.
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