Olivia New­ton-john was ‘hor­ri­fied’ by the minis­eries about her in­spi­ra­tional life star­ring Delta

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Celebrity News -

Olivia New­ton-john is so ap­palled by the “made-up” minis­eries about her life, star­ring fel­low cancer sur­vivor and singer Delta Goodrem, she has vowed never to watch it. Her anger comes as scenes were aired where Delta de­picts Olivia’s first trau­matic di­ag­no­sis with breast cancer in 1992 – just as the leg­endary singer is once again fight­ing the killer dis­ease. “Find­ing out a TV minis­eries is be­ing made about you with­out your con­sent, par­tic­i­pa­tion or knowl­edge is bad enough,” Olivia’s daugh­ter Chloe Lat­tanzi re­veals in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Woman’s Day. “But poor Mum had to deal with it right in the mid­dle of bat­tling cancer. It made me so an­gry that ad­di­tional stress was be­ing put on her at a time when all she re­ally needed to be do­ing was con­cen­trat­ing all her en­ergy on get­ting bet­ter.” Chloe says she was fu­ri­ous at how her 69-year-old mum was left reel­ing when the Olivia: Hope­lessly De­voted To You minis­eries got the green light de­spite Olivia’s op­po­si­tion, at a time when her fo­cus should have been her health. “What’s up­set­ting is the way it’s been done. Not one part of it has come di­rectly from our fam­ily, it is com­pletely unau­tho­rised. No­body asked us to take part or con­sulted us about ac­cu­racy.

“We didn’t want peo­ple to see some of the tough­est pe­ri­ods we have en­dured as a fam­ily and view them sim­ply as light­hearted TV. We are peo­ple with feel­ings like any­one else, and it’s weird that some of the heav­i­est and sad­dest times of our lives have been turned into a fic­tional TV minis­eries for the sole pur­pose of en­ter­tain­ment.”

Chloe says her amaz­ing mum only re­lented and de­cided to record two songs with Delta for the sound­track of the minis­eries be­cause it will help raise funds for her beloved cancer and well­ness cen­tre in Melbourne.

“The fact mum agreed to do the songs says ev­ery­thing about the kind of big-hearted woman she is,” she says.

“Be­cause no mat­ter how much she hated the idea of the show, she was de­ter­mined to turn a neg­a­tive into a pos­i­tive. Thank­fully, the one pos­i­tive thing about cancer is that it does give you per­spec­tive,” Chloe says, adding that Olivia has long been a men­tor to Delta and wanted some­one she knew well to play her if the minis­eries had to go ahead.

‘Mum had to deal with it right in the mid­dle of bat­tling cancer’

Olivia has told friends she gave Delta, who was di­ag­nosed with Hodgkin’s lym­phoma at 18, her bless­ing in the hope she and the pro­duc­ers would treat her life with re­spect and sen­si­tiv­ity.

“No­body should ever have to en­dure cancer, but one pos­i­tive it gives you is a re­minder to not let triv­ial things bother you any more, to fo­cus on all things pos­i­tive. De­spite my mum be­ing in­cred­i­bly up­set about this show, she’s do­ing her best to try and not let it bother her,” Chloe says.

“When your health is in danger, you have to get your pri­or­i­ties straight and, thank­fully, af­ter all she’s en­dured, my mum to­day is the strong­est she’s ever been.

“But it was some­thing I wish we didn’t have to deal with. We al­ready had so much to con­tend with when Mum found out her breast cancer had re­turned [Olivia found out her cancer had re­turned and spread to her spine last year].”

Olivia broke her si­lence last week to re­veal that since she couldn’t stop the se­ries go­ing ahead, she tried to get some­thing “pos­i­tive” out of it by rais­ing funds for the Olivia New­ton-john Cancer, Well­ness & Re­search Cen­tre.

“I was very anx­ious. I didn’t have con­trol – they’d do it with­out my per­mis­sion any­way,” says Olivia, who ap­peared ner­vous when she said Delta as­sured her the story was “lovely”.

Chloe, 32, says her fam­ily are dis­traught the TV se­ries is re­vis­it­ing their worst times.

“We were all hor­ri­fied when we heard about it, how it would be re­hash­ing dark mo­ments from our past, and now we can’t do any­thing about it.

“I keep re­mind­ing my­self how loved Mum is in Aus­tralia, and we have both been through so much, we won’t let a made-up ver­sion of our lives ruin how far we have come.”

Chloe will de­fend her “Mama Bear” at all costs.

She por­trays Livvy’s cancer bat­tle in the show. Delta as Olivia play­ing Sandy in Grease.

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