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Legal battle between Elton John and ex-wife Renate Blauel could be settled out of court

Sir Elton John and his ex-wife Renate Blauel are trying to settle their £3 million legal battle in private, court documents have revealed.

German recording engineer Ms Blauel filed a £3million damages claim against Sir Elton, 73. She alleged he broke the terms of their divorce by mentioning their failed marriage in public. 

Now the case – which became increasingly acrimonious as weeks went by – is set to be handled out of the courts if their lawyers can make a deal in time.

If the pair’s lawyers don’t come to an agreement by 4pm on October 13, the case could hit the open court – and therefore into the public realm – documents seen by The Sun have revealed. 

Sir Elton’s legal counsel Jenny Afia told MailOnline that they believed the ‘true purpose’ of Ms Blauel’s claim was ‘to extract a large sum of money from Elton and tarnish his name publicly with falsehoods’.  

Sir Elton John and his ex-wife Renate Blauel (pictured on their wedding day in 1984) are trying to settle their £3 million legal battle in private, court documents have revealed

But Ms Blauel hit back, with her legal counsel, Yisrael Hiller of Asserson, issuing a fiery statement on her behalf: ‘It is sad that Sir Elton appears to now be seeking to belittle and discredit Renate by issuing damaging and baseless slurs about her through his lawyers. 

‘Our client reiterates that her case has never been about money, nor about tarnishing reputations. It is about Sir Elton’s broken promise and the suffering this caused our client.

‘The recent disclosure of very personal details about our client has only come to light because Sir Elton’s team demanded the information. 

‘Being forced to reveal these very private aspects of her life in a public forum is very painful for our client. Renate remains hopeful that Sir Elton will accept that he has breached their agreement and undertake never to do so again so that Renate can live without fear of further invasion of her privacy.’

German recording engineer Ms Blauel filed a £3million damages claim against Sir Elton, 73, (pictured with his husband David Furnish)

German recording engineer Ms Blauel filed a £3million damages claim against Sir Elton, 73, (pictured with his husband David Furnish)

Ms Blauel says that her former husband’s 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.

‘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 approximately 36 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.

Now the case - which became increasingly acrimonious as weeks went by - is set to be handled out of the courts if their lawyers can't make a deal in time. Pictured: Sir Elton and Ms Blauel in 1984

Now the case – which became increasingly acrimonious as weeks went by – is set to be handled out of the courts if their lawyers can’t make a deal in time. Pictured: Sir Elton and Ms Blauel in 1984

Ms Blauel was depicted in the film Rocketman (above) by Celinde Schoenmaker, while Taron Egerton played Sir Elton

Ms Blauel was depicted in the film Rocketman (above) by Celinde Schoenmaker, while Taron Egerton played Sir Elton

‘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.

‘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.’

Sir Elton John with his then-wife Renate Blauel attend a show together at the Strand Theatre in London in May 1988

Sir Elton John with his then-wife Renate Blauel attend a show together at the Strand Theatre in London in May 1988

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.

Sir Elton John performs during the Oscars show at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 9 this year

Sir Elton John performs during the Oscars show at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood on February 9 this year

‘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. 

Ms Blauel says Sir Elton's discussion of their relationship in his book 'Me, Elton John' led to renewed public interest in her

Ms Blauel says Sir Elton’s discussion of their relationship in his book ‘Me, Elton John’ led to renewed public interest in her

‘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. 

‘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.

In a statement issued separate to court proceedings, Sir Elton’s legal counsel Jenny Afia told MailOnline: ‘Elton has always respected Renate’s privacy and will continue to do so. 

‘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 honourable 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.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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