Sir Elton John’s ex-wife Renate sues star for £3 million over alleged breach of marriage deal
Sir Elton John’s former wife is suing him for £3 million after the star wrote about her in his memoirs.
Renate Blauel claims the singer breached an agreement not to talk about the marriage.
The couple divorced in 1988 after four years together.
Papers filed to the High Court in London reveal the couple signed a contract which prevented either from talking about the marriage and its reasons for ending.
Ms Blauel has acted over alleged “repeated and flagrant” breaches of the agreement in Sir Elton’s 2019 memoir “Me” and in the biopic film “Rocketman”.
In the documents, seen by the Press Association (PA), Ms Blauel’s legal team said she tried to “shed her identity” by taking steps to conceal her life from the public.
She changed her name and appearance.
Her claim reads: “As a result of the above breaches, (her) right to privacy and autonomy have been shattered.
“She, and the marriage, have become the subject of widespread press scrutiny and discussion.”
Ms Blauel has asked for an injunction to prevent future public disclosures as well as damages and costs said to be around £3 million.
In defence papers Sir Elton’s legal team deny breaching the agreement.
It argues the details in the book and film are public knowledge and that the contract “applies only to private and confidential matters”.
Five scenes from Rocketman are referenced in Ms Blauel’s claim.
They include scenes about their wedding day as well as sleeping in separate bedrooms.
Another depicts Sir Elton in a group therapy session discussing the failure of his marriage “on account of his unhappiness and in particular his sexuality,” the claim reads.
Sir Elton’s legal team said that Ms Blauel’s claim does not argue it was a breach of the privacy agreement for Sir Elton to come out as gay.
They add that this reason for the pair’s separation is no longer private and the scenes would be understood by the audience as a portrayal of a gay man in a heterosexual marriage.
The singer’s defence reads: “The fact that the defendant is gay is now very widely known; it may be one of the most widely-known facts in the world of entertainment.”
Ms Blauel also referenced passages of Sir Elton’s memoir Me, which contained details of Sir Elton’s decision to propose, the couple’s wedding, as well as the reception and references to their divorce.
Her claim also said she was particularly upset by Sir Elton writing he did not wish to have children in the marriage, while she said the pair did attempt to conceive.
Her legal team claim the alleged breaches were obvious and that Sir Elton knew they would negatively impact her “jealously guarded” privacy.
In his defence, Sir Elton’s team argued his wedding, which was attended by several celebrities, was subject to widespread coverage and was a matter of public record, as was his divorce.
Ms Blauel claimed the alleged breaches had prompted renewed attention into her life, “destroying her privacy and causing her to suffer severe psychological consequences”.
Sir Elton’s legal team said the singer was unaware of any mental health issues she had.
A source close to Sir Elton told PA: “Elton is shocked and saddened by Renate’s claim after 30 years of a mutually amicable and respectful divorce, especially as he has only ever praised her publicly.”
The source added no mental illness had ever been discussed in the years of friendly correspondence between the pair.