Bo Derek said she was surprised that Linda Evans agreed to be interviewed for her new Reelz documentary, In My Own Words, nearly five decades after her affair with Evans’ then-husband, John Derek, ended the couple’s marriage.
The 63-year-old model and movie star opened up about the surprising modern-day moment 47 years after she fell in love with the married actor and screenwriter who would go on to become her husband. Bo was just 17 when John, 30 years her senior, cast her in the 1973 movie Fantasies. The two fell in love while filming on location in Greece, thus ending John’s six-year marriage to Evans.
“The last person I would have expected to say yes [to the documenary] was Linda,” Bo told Variety.
“That still breaks my heart, being part of breaking up a marriage is a horrible thing and I still can’t believe I was a part of it. I’ve said it before, but I’ll never forgive myself. I might move on and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again… but I look back at that time in my life as a terrible mistake.”
Bo added that at age 17, she thought she knew “everything.” She also clarified that the relationship wasn’t a #MeToo situation, although she admitted that she feels “very conflicted about it” when looking back on being 17 years old and in love with a 46-year-old man.
“It felt right at the time. I was so in love with him and we ended up together for 25 years,” she said, adding that she is “so grateful” that he was a good person.
The two married in 1976 after John’s divorce from Evans was finalized and before Bo would shoot to superstardom as a cornrow-wearing dream girl in the blockbuster Blake Edwards film, 10.
Evans, now 77, has been vocal about how hurt she was by the affair. In 2011, she told Fox News she “wanted to die” at the time because the worst thing in the world to her was the thought of living without John. She said she felt mad, sad, and a “horrible mixture” of other emotions.
The Dynasty star also said she thought “for sure” John would come back to her after tiring of the teenaged Bo, but that did not happen.
Instead, John took on the role of his young muse’s Svengali-like manager and went onto direct her in Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981), Bolero (1984), and Ghosts Can’t Do It (1990).
Bo remained married to John Derek until his death in 1998. The 22-year-marriage was the filmmaker’s fourth after previous marriages to Hollywood beauties Evans and Ursula Andress and ballerina Patti Behrs.