Olivia Newton-John’s heartbreak when husband Matt Lattanzi ran away with babysitter Cindy Jessup

Olivia Newton-John’s first marriage ended in heartbreak when her husband ran away with the couple’s young babysitter as the singer battled breast cancer.

Dancer Matt Lattanzi has split from Newton-John after being confronted about his “very close” relationship with Cindy Jessup, then 23, while on a cancer charity bike ride.

The Australian legend divorced in 1995 and Lattanzi, then 40, married his young lover two years later – but Newton-John refused to be bitter over the split.

“She’s delighted,” a friend insisted to reporters at the time of the wedding.

“It looks bad because Cindy often babysat her daughter and she was a friend of hers and Olivia’s – but at that time there was no romance.”

Olivia Newton-John’s first marriage ended in heartbreak when her husband, Matt Lattanzi (right), ran away with the couple’s young babysitter, Cindy Jessup (left), as the singer was battling breast cancer.

Newton-John married American Lattanzi – 11 years younger than her – after the couple met on the set of Xanadu in 1980, when she was 32 and he was 21.

Despite the age gap, they immediately had chemistry, Newton-John revealed, and dated for four years before getting married in 1984 and having daughter Chloe in 1986.

But the marriage hit the rocks after the singer was diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and she put her career on ice to focus on her recovery.

The couple moved from their home in Malibu, California to the tranquility of their farm near idyllic Byron Bay in northern New South Wales, but the move ultimately killed their marriage.

“When I had breast cancer I thought this would be it,” she admitted to the Daily Mail in 2005.

“I went to my farm near Byron Bay and seriously thought about retiring.”

Newton-John married American Lattanzi - 11 years younger than her - after the couple met on the set of Xanadu in 1980, when she was 32 and he was 21.

Newton-John married American Lattanzi – 11 years younger than her – after the couple met on the set of Xanadu in 1980, when she was 32 and he was 21.

Lattanzi was starring in Australian soap opera Paradise Beach in 1993 when the busy couple hired Jessup to help look after Chloe and she quickly became part of the family.

Jessup cycled from Sydney to Perth in 1994 in aid of Newton-John’s charity, supported during the three-month trip by the singer and her husband.

But Newton-John began to have suspicions about Jessup and Lattanzi’s relationship – and reportedly confronted him in an agonizing showdown.

The row led to Lattanzi moving in with Jessup and divorcing the singer in 1995 before marrying her former babysitter in 1997, when he was 40 and she was 28.

“I’m so lucky,” he said at the time. “I couldn’t ask for a better result.”

Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi hired Cindy Jessup (left) to help care for daughter Chloe and she quickly became part of the family

Olivia Newton-John and Matt Lattanzi hired Cindy Jessup (left) to help care for daughter Chloe and she quickly became part of the family

Newton-John continued to blame her battle with cancer for what she said was the inevitable end to her marriage, not her husband’s love of the babysitter.

“I think our marriage would have ended eventually, but it happened earlier because of cancer, which was a good thing,” she told the Daily Mail.

“It was very painful, but we were never at odds with each other.

“We tried to stay friendly because we have a child and we made a pact that she was the most important thing in our life and we would never fight for her.

“What happened between us was between us, and we wouldn’t allow it to affect him.”

She added: ‘Divorce is never right. Everyone wants the happy ending and the white picket fence, especially me.

Olivia Newton-John continued to blame her battle with cancer for what she said was the inevitable end to her marriage, not her husband Matt Lattanzi's love for their babysitter

Olivia Newton-John continued to blame her battle with cancer for what she said was the inevitable end to her marriage, not her husband Matt Lattanzi’s love for their babysitter

“My own parents divorced when I was 10 and maybe because of that I kept postponing the wedding.

“When I got married, I wanted it to last forever, but it didn’t.”

It wasn’t to last for Jessup and Lattanzi either, as the couple split after 10 years of marriage in 2007.

Jessup’s acting career was also brief and uneventful, appearing in little-known hour-long videos Prescription for Peril in 1999 and Tied Up All Night in 2000.

Lattanzi’s career – which saw him appear in Grease 2, starring Michelle Pfeiffer in 1982, the flop followed by Newton-John and John Travolta’s worldwide hit original – also came to a halt following his split. with Newton-John.

He never worked on screen again after his stint in Paradise Beach in 1993 and is now 63, has remarried and lives in Oregon in the United States.

His third wife, Michelle, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014, but is in remission and the couple now run the 115-acre Laughing Dog medicinal cannabis farm.

Matt Lattazni, seen here with his daughter Chloe, now runs a cannabis farm in Oregon with his third wife Michelle, who was also diagnosed with cancer in 2014

Matt Lattazni, seen here with his daughter Chloe, now runs a cannabis farm in Oregon with his third wife Michelle, who was also diagnosed with cancer in 2014

Michelle Lattanzi paid tribute to her husband’s ex-wife on social media on Tuesday, saying the world had lost an icon.

“Today we lost one of the greatest in the world, Olivia Newton-John,” she posted on behalf of the couple.

“Matt and I are so overwhelmed by 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 some truly lovely stories and memories from people near and far, and I honor each of you where those feelings and memories come from.

“Nothing will replace the icon we have lost, but her legacy lives on in our hearts and memories, along with her contributions to our global culture, her beloved daughter Chloe Lattanzi and her cancer research center and wellness in Melbourne.

“Please honor your sadness and then celebrate the joy that Olivia’s heart and lifetime’s accomplishments have brought to our world.

‘Sending all kinds of love.’

About Laurence Johnson

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