News, Culture & Society

Elton John’s legal fight with ex-wife Renate could cost him MORE than £3million

Sir Elton John’s ex-wife Renate Blauel claims she repeatedly begged her ex-husband not to discuss their marriage in public after changing her identity following their divorce and has brought a legal claim that her lawyer says could cost the star more than the £3million she is suing him for, MailOnline can exclusively reveal today.

Renate’s quest for anonymity meant that she bought a new home in a friend’s name and told most people she knew she was emigrating to her native Germany when she was in fact staying in the UK under a new name, bombshell legal documents claim.

But after renewed interest in her was sparked by the recent Rocketman biopic movie, John’s own biography and an Instagram post about his husband David Furnish she felt ‘forced to act’. 

Ms Blauel, 67, has told her lawyers she is determined go ahead with the bombshell High Court action launched after Sir Elton allegedly broke the terms of their divorce 1988 by mentioning their failed marriage in public.

Her solicitor Yisrael Hiller, a partner at Asserson Law Offices, told MailOnline today: ‘ ‘The case is about restoring the privacy that she felt was agreed to be protected when she and Mr John entered into a divorce in 1988. This was the only option she had left.

‘She has alleged that she repeatedly asked him not to mention her at all in public.  She wants to ensure her privacy going forward, that in turn has a big impact on her mental health issues’.

Urging the singer to settle the case out of court Mr Hiller said: ‘She hopes to resolve the claim privately and amicably if possible and that remains her wish.’  His words will be a blow to Sir Elton, 73, after a source said yesterday he hoped ‘she would see sense and drop the case’. 

Renate Blauel, pictured on her wedding day to Sir Elton John in 1984, is suing him for £3million, claiming he broke the terms of their divorce by mentioning their marriage in his autobiography – but her lawyer says the case could end up costing the star even more, MailOnline can reveal

One alleged breach of the agreement cited in the documents was a picture posted to Instagram which included a caption stating Sir Elton 'chose Australia for my wedding to a wonderful woman'

One alleged breach of the agreement cited in the documents was a picture posted to Instagram which included a caption stating Sir Elton ‘chose Australia for my wedding to a wonderful woman’

Far from being concerned about her chances, the former sound engineer is ‘confident’ of the strength of her case – and her lawyer Mr Hiller believes the claim is ‘very straightforward’ and stressed they had not yet set a figure for the level of damages. 

In defence papers, Sir Elton's legal team denies breaching the agreement and said he was not aware of the mental health issues

In defence papers, Sir Elton’s legal team denies breaching the agreement and said he was not aware of the mental health issues

Ms Blauel said she changed her identity, appearance and even bought a house under a friend’s name to escape the failed marriage to the gay musician. 

Papers served this week show she is suing the Don’t Go Breaking My Heart singer for breaking the terms of their 1988 divorce deal not to talk about their marriage.

Harrowing claims in High Court papers say she has undergone huge mental health problems and treatment since their split.

Mr Hiller said his client Ms Blauet wanted to sort out the case privately but was willing to go to full trial even if it threw her back in the spotlight.

He told MailOnline: ‘From my client’s perspective her legal issues and her rights are at the centre of things.

‘I think it’s important for anyone that wants to retain a proper scope of privacy can do that.

‘There are certainly some interesting elements to it but we think the claims are very straightforward.

‘I think from my client she has made it clear that as the marriage ended and since she has been very protective of her privacy and has taken extraordinary lengths to do that.’

Renate Blauel, who was married to Sir Elton (the two pictured together) between 1984 and 1988, says passages in the Rocketman star's autobiography, entitled 'Me', breach an agreement that they would never discuss their marriage publicly

Renate Blauel, who was married to Sir Elton (the two pictured together) between 1984 and 1988, says passages in the Rocketman star’s autobiography, entitled ‘Me’, breach an agreement that they would never discuss their marriage publicly

Elton John’s ex-wife first found about 2019 biopic Rocketman through a TV advert, court documents claim

Elton John’s ex-wife first found out about 2019 biopic Rocketman by watching a television advert, according to bombshell new court documents.

Renate Blauel said she saw an advert for the film on May 19, 2019, just days before it was due to premiere in the UK.

She said scenes involving their marriage were a ‘complete shock’.

The film shows Sir Elton’s short-lived marriage to Ms Blauel – played by Celinde Schoenmaker.

The pair were married between 1984 and 1988 and upon their divorce they signed an agreement promising not to discuss their short-lived relationship publicly. 

Ms Blauel says Sir Elton made ‘repeated and flagrant breaches’ of the agreement – including in the film.

High Court documents state that a letter about the film was sent to Ms Blauel on June 2018 but it was not correctly forwarded on to her until June the following year.

By this point, Ms Blauel had already seen an advert on television, the documents state.

An amount of £3million has been mentioned as the sum for damages for the case.

Mr Hiller added: ‘There is no figure or specific sum mentioned in our claim, our claim is primarily for an injunction but also for unquantified damages, damages that are yet to be assessed and quantified.

‘The £3million figure is one that was referred to in the defence recently and was taken from some previous correspondence between the parties and at the time it represented a provisional estimate of what her damages had been and were likely to be.

‘There is some validity to the figure but our claim is clear that damages will still need to be determined.

‘From my client’s perspective it playing out in full in court would be very unfortunate because she would like to have her privacy restored to her as soon as possible, but yes if necessary’. 

It came as it was revealed that Sir Elton John did try to have children with ex-wife Renate Blauel, despite claims in his memoir that he did not want to be a parent until he met his husband David Furnish, according to new court documents.

In High Court papers seen by MailOnline, it is claimed the Rocketman star did try to have children with Ms Blauel, but the pair struggled to conceive.

The claims appear to go against Sir Elton’s suggestion in his 2019 autobiography, entitled ‘Me’, in which he said he did not want to become a parent until he met Canadian filmmaker Furnish – whom he entered into a civil partnership with in 2005 and married in 2014.

The pair have two sons, called Elijah and Zachary, who were born by a surrogate.

The papers come as part of Ms Blauel’s lawsuit against Sir Elton, in which she claims attempts to ‘shed her public identity’ after their divorce have been ruined. She is suing the singer for £3million in damages. 

Ms Blauel, who was married to Sir Elton between 1984 and 1988, claims the singer made ‘repeated and flagrant breaches’ of an agreement which promised that neither party would discuss their marriage publicly. 

Ms Blauel, 67, claims she has tried to fade away from public attention – going as far as to change her name by deed poll and relocating within the UK.

But in the papers she claims the 73-year-old’s mention of her in the book, in which he talks positively of her, has thrown her back into spotlight  – causing ‘recurring nightmares and agoraphobia’. 

She also cites scenes from 2019 biopic Rocketman and a post to Instagram by Sir Elton in 2017 as an alleged breach.

In the post, he shared an image of himself and Mr Furnish and wrote: ‘I’m so excited to be back in Australia for a series of shows. 

‘Many years ago, I chose Australia for my wedding to a wonderful woman for whom I have so much love and admiration. 

‘I wanted more than anything to be a good husband, but I denied who I really was, which caused my wife sadness, and caused me huge guilt and regret.

‘To be worthy of someone’s love, you have to be brave enough and clear eyed enough to be honest with yourself and your partner.’

In defence papers, Sir Elton’s legal team denies breaching the agreement and said he was not aware of the mental health issues, while a friend today told the Sun: ‘He very much hopes she will see sense and drop this case.’

Ms Blauel, a German-born sound engineer who met the singer in 1983 through work, is claiming damages of potentially £3million and an injunction to restrain further commenting on her or the marriage.

Meanwhile her barrister Adam Wolanski QC has written in court documents that the publications caused her mental harm.

‘She has, since the release of the film, suffered recurring nightmares, agoraphobia, anxiety, depression, fear, and has had to relive her past constantly,’ it says in the court documents.

‘The publication of the memoir exacerbated these symptoms. She has needed, and will continue to need, medical intervention and therapy.’

On the matter of children, the 20 page document said: ‘The claimant (Ms Blauel) and the defendant (Sir Elton) did attempt to have children during their relationship but were unable to do so.’

The High Court papers centre around the 2019 autobiography 'Me', by Elton John

The High Court papers centre around the 2019 autobiography ‘Me’, by Elton John

Sir Elton and German-born Ms Blauel 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 her separation from the defendant, the claimant wanted to live as privately as possible and, in pursuance of this objective, to shed her identity as the defendant’s former wife,’ the court documents say. 

Of the new friends she made after the house move in spring 2001, she only told three that she had been married to Sir Elton.

Ms Blauel had also changed her name by deed poll to distance herself from the marriage.

She has since changed it back in order to sue him, but plans to revert to her other name after the case is concluded, says the barrister.

In the court documents it said Ms Blauel had ‘repeatedly requested’ Sir Elton adhered to the spirit of the agreement, which states that the former couple will never ‘discuss the marriage or the reasons for the separation, save under terms of confidentiality within their own immediate families and in privileged circumstances with professional advisers.’

How Elton John’s ex-wife Renate Blauel tried to live a private life, according to court documents

Renate Blauel took various measures to make sure no-one would know she was Elton John’s ex-wife.

These included purchasing a new car, that was not known to the press, and changing her appearance.

On December 12, 2000, Ms Blauel bought a house using her friend’s name instead of her own. In 2002, she put it in her own name.

In Spring 2001, when moving house, Ms Blauel moved any belongings that would suggest she was Elton John’s ex-wife before moving men arrived to ensure no-one would know her new address.

In 2001, she told most people that she was moving to Germany to look after her parents. She only told four very close friends that she was staying in the UK – but she was changing her identity.

The documents add Ms Blauel had been ‘largely successful’ in her attempts to hide her identity, was living ‘quietly and privately’ and would have ‘expected that she would continue to for the rest of her life’.

They say comments referring to Ms Blauel and their marriage on Instagram and in the autobiography breached the terms of the divorce agreement.

The documents state Ms Blauel was only shown certain passages of the book and when she asked for sections of these passages to be removed completely, she was refused.

Amendments to the sections were made, however. 

The document stated that Sir Elton’s responses to the complaints made by Ms Blauel were ‘dismissive and disingenuous’ and he ‘treated the Claimant [Ms Blauel] as unworthy of respect and rejected her concerns’.

It also alleges that Sir Elton showed a ‘cynical disregard’ for Ms Blauel’s feelings.

Scenes in the ‘Rocketman’ movie revolving around their relationship were also breaches, she claims.

The book and film were both hugely successful, the documents state, resulting in widespread interest in Ms Blauel and the marriage.

She had since become the subject of ‘widespread press scrutiny and discussion,’ causing her psychological damage.

But in defence papers, Sir Elton’s barrister Colin West QC wrote that the 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, says 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,’ the defence documents say.

They also say they sought to contact Ms Blauel ahead of the film’s release via a recent email address and through a firm of solicitors known to have acted for her.

Sir Elton wrote in his autobiography, Me, that he regretted 'breaking the heart,' of German sound engineer Renate

Sir Elton wrote in his autobiography, Me, that he regretted ‘breaking the heart,’ of German sound engineer Renate

‘None of the disclosures about which the claimant complains concern matters which are in fact – or are any longer – private and confidential.’

Mr West denies that Sir Elton had any day to day involvement in the movie, while changes to the book were made after taking comments from Ms Blauel.  

The Your Song singer married Renate Blauel in 1984, but they split up in 1988, in a divorce that is thought to have ended with Ms Blauel leaving with a settlement of between £5million and £10million. 

According to The Sun, Ms Blauel, sought an injunction over the release of the acclaimed 2019 biopic, Rocketman. 

Court papers claim Sir Elton had agreed to remove parts of his autobiography before it was published last year.

However in one part of Me, he expressed regret at ‘breaking the heart,’ of his ex-wife.

A source told The Sun: ‘Elton is shocked and saddened by Renate’s claim, especially as he has only ever praised her publicly.’  

Another added: ‘He has always had a very pleasant relationship with Renate, respects her enormously and would never have said anything revealing about their marriage.’ 

It's understood Ms Blauel filed an injunction to do with the release of the film Rocketman (above) in which she was depicted by Celinde Schoenmaker

It’s understood Ms Blauel filed an injunction to do with the release of the film Rocketman (above) in which she was depicted by Celinde Schoenmaker

In 2005 Sir Elton entered a civil partnership with David Furnish, the couple were formally married in 2014, when same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales.

Ms Blauel moved to Germany in 2001 having sold up in Surrey, and she is also understood to have bought a town house in London with her new partner. But other than that, she has simply gone to ground. Until now.

The friend explains her thinking behind this new legal move: ‘She didn’t see the book before publication. She got wind of it and said: ‘Make sure, please, that I am not in it’. She didn’t want to be made to look a fool.

‘As far as I am aware she sent warnings about the book. Maybe they never got shown to Elton, but the book came out and she was in it, and so here we are.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk