The beloved performer will do anything to protect her family
The Olivia Newton-john biopic couldn’t have come at a worse time for the star, who is worried how she’ll be portrayed while continuing to make her health a priority during her breast cancer battle.
Sources close to Olivia, 69, say anxiety over the Seven production starring Delta Goodrem has been keeping her awake at night. She’s especially fearful about the effect the series might have on her family, in particular her fragile daughter Chloe.
“Olivia’s seen the trailer and hated it. She’s a very proud woman and the last thing she wants is for her life to be raked over by some cheesy made-for-TV production,” says a source. “She hasn’t slept properly since she saw it, and her hubby [John Easterling] is worried about how it’s affecting her.”
Industry sources say Olivia, who revealed last year that her breast cancer has come back and metastasised in her spine, has been fighting tooth and nail to have the production stopped for years.
From coping with bankruptcy when her clothing line went under in 1991, followed by her shock breast cancer diagnosis in 1992, to divorcing her husband Matt Lattanzi in 1995 and dealing with their daughter Chloe’s addiction issues for years, there’s plenty of juicy fodder for a biopic.
“Olivia has had some really rotten times in her life and she doesn’t want them aired again for entertainment purposes,” confirms the insider. “She fears this is going to bring back painful memories she’s been trying to shut down.”
Insiders say Olivia sent aggressive legal advice to Seven to ensure there would be no mention of 32-year-old Chloe’s struggles, including depression, anorexia, and a $130-a-day cocaine addiction, for fear it might upset her daughter, who has battled with her demons for years.
“Chloe is finally in a good place and her relationship with Olivia is better than it’s been since she was a little kid,” says an insider. “Olivia doesn’t want anything to impact that. Chloe is still fragile, and Olivia is petrified something like this could really upset her.” It’s believed Seven agreed to leave Chloe’s troubles out of their production. They also heeded Olivia’s warnings not to go into too much detail about her ex-boyfriend Patrick Mcdermott, who vanished, presumed dead, from a fishing boat in 2005. He has since been accused of faking his own death and stealing away to Mexico. The mystery surrounding his death has reportedly left Olivia heartbroken for years, and friends say focusing on it would be the ultimate betrayal.
GIVE & TAKE
“Producers had to compromise with Olivia because they want this to be a celebration of her life, and they don’t want the negative publicity of a court battle,” says a source.
“They’ve made everyone involved sign confidentiality agreements in the hope it eases her worries further, but Olivia’s still dreading it.
“She can’t believe people would want to profit from the ups and downs of her life, and sees it as a total betrayal after she’s represented Australia so well for most of her life,” the source says.
TAKEN TO TASK
Chloe – who lives in Oregon, US, and has become extremely protective of her “mama bear” since the latest cancer diagnosis – is on the warpath too, and has Delta Goodrem in her sights.
“Chloe absolutely hates that they cast Delta to portray her mum. In her eyes, no one lives up to Olivia, not even Delta,” says a source from her hometown. “Chloe tells anyone who’ll listen Delta isn’t up to the task of filling Olivia’s shoes.”
Adds a show insider, “Delta is devastated Olivia and her family are uncomfortable with her casting. She thought this was the role of her career and it’s been her dream to play Olivia since she was a little girl. Delta feels sick that it’s turning out this way.”
Olivia got mentions of ex-boyfriend Patrick downplayed in the biopic…
…and word is she’s not convinced about Delta’s role.