Elton John’s Ex-Wife Renate Blauel Sues For $3.8 Million Over Film And Memoir
Blauel claimed the release of the musician’s biopic Rocketman and subsequent memoir Me had “seriously misrepresented the nature of their relationship.” Blauel said her inclusion in the memoir went against the terms of their divorce settlement, which prohibited the public discussion of their marriage or separation, barring confidential conversations with legal advisers.
The pair wed in Australia in 1984, divorcing four years later, and Blauel has never spoken publicly about their relationship.
Court filings stated she had changed her identity and gone into hiding in a village following the couple’s divorce, The Guardian disclosed.
She reportedly told friends she was moving to Germany to care for her parents, confiding in just four close friends that she was in fact remaining in the United Kingdom. She changed her name by deed poll in 2001.
She was first alerted to John’s memoir when she saw an advertisement for Rocketman and learned about the subsequent release of the book. She said she had not been alerted about her inclusion in the film, where she is portrayed by Celinde Schoenmaker. Their storyline takes up less than five minutes of screen time, BBC reported.
“Renate is particularly upset by the film,” said her lawyer Yisrael Hiller. “Renate wants the privacy that was promised to her – that is why she is seeking an injunction.”
John had “ignored” her requests to remove any references of her from his book and from Rocketman, according to The Guardian.
“She urgently tried to secure the removal of passages about her but Elton refused,” said Hiller, adding that it was “a complete shock” for her when she learned about her inclusion in the movie.
Hiller said that any monetary relief would cover the damages caused by the breach of the rules. Blauel’s lawyers claimed she had faced mental health issues since the separation and had reportedly received electric shock therapy.
She had experienced a “devastating mental relapse” since the release, including symptoms such as agoraphobia, depression, and anxiety.
Blauel said the film had misrepresented their marriage, and that it depicts their relationship as a sham, which she has denied. She also opposed John’s claims he did not want a family until he met husband David Furnish, who he legally married in 2015. She said they had attempted to have children during their time together.
John, who has two children via surrogate, is said to be “shocked and saddened” by the claims, a source told BBC.
In Me, he described his ex-wife as “someone I couldn’t fault in any way.”
John’s legal team acknowledged the existence of the confidentiality agreement, but denied he had breached it or caused Blauel “psychological harm.”
In March, the singer hosted Fox Presents The iHeart Living Room Concert for America, which paid tribute to healthcare workers fighting the spread of coronavirus.