After Olivia Newton-John's long-time partner disappeared, her behavior raised some questions. Sources believe he could have faked his death and fled to Mexico.
Olivia Newton-John may be famous for her beautiful voice and outstanding acting skills, but her relationship with Patrick McDermott has been making headlines for decades, especially after his disappearance.
MCDERMOTT AND NEWTON-JOHN'S RELATIONSHIP
After working alongside John Travolta in "Grease," Newton-John's career skyrocketed. Unfortunately, her love life was far from perfect — her first marriage to former actor and dancer Matt Lattanzi ended in divorce.
She started dating McDermott, a cameraman and lighting technician, a while later. They were together for about eight years before he appeared on "This Is Your Life," an Australian talk show, in 2004.
As the cameras rolled, McDermott told Newton-John that she was an incredible and special human being. He added that if people could be "a little bit like [her]," the world would be a better place.
He then pointed out just how much he loved her and affectionately kissed her, which made most people believe they had a beautiful relationship. Unfortunately, things took a tragic turn only one year later.
On June 30, 2005, McDermott went to the 22nd Street Marina in San Pedro, California. At the time, it seemed like part of his routine as he frequently signed up for overnight fishing trips.
According to Frank Liversedge, who ran the place back then, McDermott was a regular, and he would sometimes take his then-teenage son with him. He went alone the night he disappeared, though.
As time went by, a fourth possibility arose: he faked his death and went missing on purpose.
At 10 p.m., McDermott and 22 more fishermen left the marina for what everyone expected to be an ordinary 22-hour trip to relax and fish in the deep sea. On July 11, ten days after the Freedom ship returned, McDermott was reported missing.
One of the aspects of the case that immediately attracted people's attention was that Newton-John was not the person who informed authorities about her boyfriend's disappearance. That would be Yvette Nipar, his ex-wife.
Given that McDermott was supposed to visit their son on July 6 and didn't show up, Nipar got worried and contacted Liversedge at the marina to ask about him.
Before getting her call, Liversedge had no reasons to believe one of the passengers had gone missing because nobody counted the passengers when they disembarked at the time.
He then checked an unclaimed fanny pack left in the lost-and-found section of the marina and discovered a driver's license, wallet, and keys to a car that had been abandoned in the parking lot for all those days. Everything belonged to McDermott.
Authorities started a missing-person investigation right away. Initially, they thought of three possibilities: accidental fall, suicide, and murder. As time went by, a fourth possibility arose: he faked his death and went missing on purpose.
DISAPPEARED ON PURPOSE
The main reason to believe that McDermott didn't fall overboard was his bill at the boat. Only one hour before the Freedom docked in the marina, he ordered (and paid for) a drink and two hot dogs. Liversedge added:
“From that point back to this dock, it’s almost a million to one odds that a guy could fall overboard, jump overboard, be pushed overboard, without half of the boat seeing it.”
According to Liversedge, people would have been on the ship's deck and stood by its back doors at the time. Given that the boat moves forward, nobody could have fallen overboard without being noticed.
As for Newton-John, she was off the radar for over 50 days before she finally said something about her "treasured friend." She confessed she didn't make any public statements out of respect for his family and described the ordeal as a "heartbreaking" experience they chose to deal with in private.
However, it was revealed that Newton-John and McDermott probably were not as close as they once were at the time of his disappearance. They supposedly broke up just weeks before.
[McDermott] was supposedly spotted in Mexico with a "mystery blond woman."
Further investigations shed light on the possible reasons why McDermott could have voluntarily disappeared, and it was all about money and debts.
At the time of the incident, McDermott was behind on his child support payments. While it was impossible to determine precisely how much he had to pay, the amount was estimated to be between $30,000 and $60,000.
Apart from that, private investigator Philip Klein, hired by a network TV news show to find McDermott, revealed he was two months behind in his rent. He was no longer getting disability payments (he had been injured working as a gaffer), either.
Klein pointed out that McDermott probably hit rock bottom and came up with the idea of staging his death so that his son could collect on his $100,000 life insurance policy.
After spending a night at a hotel, they left together in a camper van. Newton-John eventually said she didn't want to buy into the speculation.
Two years later, Klein pointed out that he received a fax that confirmed McDermott was alive and well. The letter stated that McDermott committed no crime and went on to live a new life away from the "hassles of California."
It also included that McDermott had no intentions to hurt anybody and just wanted to be left alone. The letter finished with a threat: if Klein's investigation continued and damaged McDermott's reputation, he would hold him and his company accountable.
According to Klein, the letter was written by a friend or business partner who claimed McDermott was "safe" mentally and personally in a new place. At the time, Newton-John's ex-boyfriend was believed to be hiding in Sayulita, Mexico.
In 2018, another possible sighting took place in Sayulita. It wasn't McDermott, though, but Wes Stobbe, a Canadian pub owner who was building a house there.
Newton-John talked about McDermott again in December 2020. She pointed out that grief had "no time period," and although some believe that they need to get over death after a while, you are "never really over it."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.
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