Renate Blauel has claimed she took an overdose after the singer allegedly told her their marriage ‘wasn’t working’ just three days into their honeymoon and she claims didn’t visit her in hospital afterwards.
Elton John’s ex-wife Renate Blauel tried to kill herself after he told her their marriage wasn’t working only three days into their St Tropez honeymoon, according to court documents.
Ms Blauel, who was married to Sir Elton between 1984 and 1988, says she took an overdose of valium tablets after he allegedly told her he wanted her to leave the honeymoon and go home.
She claims she was rushed to hospital to have her stomach pumped and claims that Sir Elton, who she had married less than six months earlier, did not even visit her during her stay before having her driven straight to the airport with her luggage from the hospital door.
The claims emerged today in documents filed by Ms Blauel as part of her multi-million pound damages claim against Sir Elton over his public discussion of their marriage.
The former couple had agreed not to discuss their marriage in public following their split, with Ms Blauel saying she had sought to shed her identity as a rock wife and live a quiet life in privacy.
And she says his discussion of their relationship in his book Me, Elton John – as well as scenes in the ‘Rocketman’ biopic – led to renewed public interest in her.
According to court documents, Ms Blauel claims Sir Elton should have known that she could suffer psychiatric harm, due to previous mental health issues she had suffered.
However Sir Elton, in his defence to her claim, has denied knowing she was susceptible to mental health problems and claims that nothing he has said was in breach of the agreement.
But in fresh court filings at the High Court, Ms Blauel’s barrister Adam Wolanski QC says Sir Elton knew of her struggles with “depression and anxiety” – citing her alleged suicide attempt and an anxiety attack in front of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
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“The defendant knew that the claimant had attempted to commit suicide during their marriage,” says the barrister.
“Approximately five to six months after their wedding, the claimant and the defendant went on their honeymoon to a villa near to St Tropez.
“They were joined on the trip by Bob Halley – the defendant’s personal assistant who stayed in the honeymoon property with the couple – and John Reid, who was staying at a nearby villa.
“Three days into the honeymoon, and without any forewarning, the defendant told the claimant that the marriage was not working and that he wanted her to leave the property and return to England.
“The claimant was extremely upset. She immediately left the property to go on a walk and, upon her return, obtained Valium tablets from the luggage of Mr Halley, which she knew that he carried in case any member of the party had trouble sleeping.
“She went into a spare bedroom and wrote a note to the defendant, before taking an overdose of…Valium tablets.
“She quickly lost consciousness and was discovered by Mr Halley. He alerted the defendant, who became extremely angry.
“Mr Halley then drove the Claimant to a hospital in St Tropez where she had her stomach pumped. The defendant did not visit her during her two-day stay in hospital.
“Upon being discharged and, it is to be inferred, on the instructions of the defendant, Mr Halley met the claimant at the hospital with her luggage and drove her straight to the airport where she boarded a flight back to London.
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“After approximately one to two weeks, she was permitted to re-join the defendant on the honeymoon.”
Mr Wolanski says that Ms Blauel sought help from a Harley Street psychiatrist and was given medication, but struggled during the marriage with anxiety.
“In or about 1985, the claimant and defendant hosted a lunch for members of the Royal family including the late Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew,” he continues.
“During this visit, Princess Margaret asked the claimant about a painting belonging to the defendant. The claimant was unable to recall any details about the painting and this caused her to panic and become very anxious.
“She interrupted the defendant’s conversation with the Queen Mother to ask for assistance before removing herself to another room.
“Although she did not explain to the defendant why she had done this, it must have been obvious to him that she had absented herself because of her anxiety.”
Elton John’s Legal Counsel Jenny Afia responded to the claims by saying the singer has ‘always respected Renate’s privacy and will continue to do so.’
Ms Afia said: “It is well documented that their marriage was completely respectful and the relationship both Elton and Renate had after they divorced continued to be kind, respectful and honorable for the 30 years following. It will be established in the case that there were multiple affectionate correspondences from Renate direct to Elton during this time.
“We also find it baffling that this claim is centred around privacy when at every stage of these proceedings Renate has chosen to file these claims in the public domain (when she could have chosen to keep them confidential) about supposed experiences that happened during their marriage which completely goes against the entire grounds of the case.
“This only goes to show the true purpose of this claim which is to extract a large sum of money from Elton and tarnish his name publicly with falsehoods.”
Sir Elton and German-born Ms Blauel had met in 1983 while the star was finishing his Too Low for Zero album, which included the hit singles ‘I’m Still Standing’ and ‘I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues’.
They were married at a star-studded ceremony in Sydney, Australia, in February 1984, but divorced four years later, after which Ms Blauel tried to distance herself from her life with Sir Elton, she says.
She bought a new home in a friend’s name, hid her identity from removal men and told most people she knew she was leaving the country, when she was in fact staying in the UK and changing her identity.
In earlier court papers, Mr Wolanski claimed that – following the release of the ‘Rocketman’ movie – Ms Blauel had found herself back in the public eye due to renewed interest in her.
Numerous articles were written, with titles like ‘Who Is Renate Blauel, Elton John’s Former Wife?’, while an unidentified journalist had managed to track her to her local village, he claimed.
“She has, since the release of the film, suffered recurring nightmares, agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, fear, and has had to relive her past constantly,” he said.
But in defence papers, Sir Elton’s barrister Colin West QC says the singer denies breaching the terms of the divorce agreement or knowing she 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 previously been “warm and friendly.”
The clause in the divorce agreement could only have been intended to prevent discussion of confidential matters, not common knowledge like Sir Elton’s sexuality, said the barrister.
“Given the fact that the defendant is gay has entered the public domain without any breach of the agreement, the reasons for separation have to that extent also entered the public domain without any breach of the agreement and have thereby lost any confidential character they might otherwise have had,” he says.
“None of the disclosures about which the claimant complains concern matters which are in fact – or are any longer – private and confidential.”
He added: “The defendant has at all times acted with due and proper regard for his former wife’s feelings, as well as his contractual obligations towards her, notwithstanding the fact that they were divorced over 30 years ago.”
The case has not yet reached court.
Source: The Mirror, UK