She was the young blonde babysitter blamed for the break-up of Olivia Newton-John’s first marriage after striking up a flirtation with the actress’s husband while they raised money together to fight her first cancer battle in 1994 only to marry him in secret years later.
And in today in an exclusive interview, Cindy Jessup tells DailyMail.com how she is mourning the ‘angel’ star following her death at the age of 73.
Jessup was just 23 when she met Olivia and her then-husband Matt Lattanzi. A beautiful young cyclist from New Zealand, she was invited into the family’s home near Byron Bay, Australia, to look after their seven-year-old daughter Chloe. Two years later, Olivia and Matt split, leaving Olivia – 48 and single – battling breast cancer for the first time. Four years later, Jessup, then 28, married Lattanzi quietly in California.
Now, DailyMail.com can reveal how their marriage broke down years later, and how Jessup moved on to marry a successful California transplant surgeon.
The pair have two young kids, attend music festivals including Burning Man, and are great lovers of the outdoors.
Today, going by her new married name of Cindy Fisher, the once vilified blonde is now a trainee relationship therapist and masseuse.
Speaking from her$2.7million San Diego home, Jessup paid tribute to Olivia – who ultimately embraced her marriage to Lattanzi despite her personal heartache for the benefit of her daughter.
‘The world has lost a true angel. Olivia cared so deeply about people and the planet. She was such a force for goodness, always helping others,’ Cindy, now in her early 50s, said.
Cindy Jessup today, in her early 50s, left, and with Olivia Newton-John in 1994, at the star’s farm in Australia. Cindy performed a charity cycle to raise money for breast cancer research after Olivia was first diagnosed with the disease. She often looked after Olivia’s daughter, Chloe, and ended up marrying Matt Lattanzi four years after he and Olivia divorced
Cindy Jessup with Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi preparing for her charity cycle in 1994. Olivia and Matt insisted their split was amicable in 1995, making no mention of his blossoming romance with Jessep, who was then in her mid twenties
Olivia Newton-John with husband Matt Lattanzi and their daughter Chloe in 1991 in California. Olivia and Matt were married for 11 years
Online, she describes her work as helping ‘clients attune to their innate inner wisdom and find meaningful connection to themselves and with others.’
Cindy often babysat Olivia and Matt’s daughter, Chloe (shown as a child with her mother)
Jessup’s name was thrust back into the spotlight this week after Newton-John’s death.
The pair first crossed paths in the 1990s while Newton-John and Lattanzi were living near Byron Bay.
She had met Matt in 1993 and bonded over their mutual love of cycling, but were just friends.
The family invited her into their farm to look after their daughter Chloe, then just seven.
A year later, when Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer for the first time, Cindy offered to cycle from Sydney to Perth to raise money for Breast Cancer Research.
The pair posed proudly together for press photographers.
Joined by Lattanzi in some of the shots, the trio looked playfully at a map for the photographers’ lenses and shared jokes amongst themselves.
In others, she posed with Newton-John’s nephew, Emerson, and with Lattanzi alone. Cindy was just 23 at the time.
The following year, Matt and Olivia parted ways. She was 40, and he was 36.
And four years later, in 1999, Lattanzi married Cindy, by then 28, in a quiet ceremony in Malibu, California.
At the time, the National Enquirer reported that the only people who knew of the nuptials ahead of time were Olivia and her daughter, Chloe.
An unnamed friend of the couple insisted that their friendship only turned romantic after Olivia and Matt’s marriage had ended.
‘It looks bad, because Cindy would often babysit his daughter and she was a friend of his and Olivia’s — but in those days there was no romance.’
Jessup, who is originally from New Zealand, stayed in the US after splitting from Lattanzi. Now, she is happily remarried to a transplant surgeon. The pair live in Encinitas, near San Diego
Jessup and her transplant husband (left at Burning Man) have two young kids. She is a qualified masseuse and is in training to be a family and couple’s therapist
Matt, thrilled not only with his new bride but with the fact Olivia had embraced her, said: ‘I am so fortunate. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.’
Olivia didn’t remarry again until 2008, when she wed John Easterling. They remained together until her death.
She had been hesitant to get married the first time.
‘Olivia had delayed marrying until the age of thirty-six because she was desperate to get it right after being scarred since the age of ten by her own parents’ divorce.
‘She married Matt full of hope for a lasting union, but after a golden few years where they seemed to live in a perfect world, their marriage had been buffeted by events and circumstances often beyond their control. Inevitably, they had both changed. At forty-eight, Olivia was alone again.
‘Matt and Cindy eventually set up home together in Malibu so he could continue to be an attentive father to Chloe.
‘In June 1999, Cindy became Matt’s second wife,’ Olivia’s 2011 biography reads.
Olivia moved on with second husband John Easterling. They married in 2008 and remained together until her death this week. Matt Lattanzi married a third time. He lives in Oregon with his wife Michelle (right), where they run a medical cannabis farm
Michelle, Matt’s current wife, gave this heartfelt tribute to Olivia on Facebook this week after her death
It’s unclear what ultimately led to the breakdown of Jessup and Lattanzi’s marriage in 2007.
Lattanzi moved on to his third wife, Michelle. The pair live together now in Oregon, where they grow marijuana on a farm.
Michelle paid tribute to Olivia this week on social media, writing: ‘Today we lost one of the world’s greats Olivia Newton-John,’ she posted on behalf of the couple.
‘Matt and I are so overwhelmed with the love and gratitude shared with us by friends, family and a deeply loving community of fans who will all miss Olivia’s presence in this world.
‘I have heard truly lovely stories and memories from people near and far, and honor in each of you where those feelings and memories come from.
‘Nothing will replace the icon we lost, yet her legacy is alive and well in our hearts and memories, as well as her contributions to our global culture, her beloved daughter Chloe Lattanzi, and her cancer research and wellness center in Melbourne.
‘Please honor your sadness, and then celebrate the joy that Olivia’s heart and lifetime achievements endowed in our world. Sending all kinds of love.’