Celebrity News

EXCLUSIVE: Chloe Lattanzi’s touching tribute to mum Olivia Newton John

'After going through a denial phase, I was angry that such a wonderful, kind, amazing, generous woman had to go through hell again.'
Loading the player...

My mum is my hero, always has been and always will be.

From as far back as I can remember I knew Mum was special, not because of who she was, but because of the life and love she gave me.

From before I was even born, Mum’s pet name for me has always been Little Weasel – when I was in her tummy I never stopped moving and darting round. And I’ve been keeping her on her toes ever since!

READ NEXT: Olivia Newton John is ‘clinging to life’ in her battle with cancer

Chloe’s hero is her mum, Olivia Newton-John. (Image: Getty)

To most people she is Olivia Newton-John, the star, but to me she is simply my mum and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. When I think back to my childhood, it’s full of magical memories she helped create.

The first birthday I can remember was when I turned five. Mum threw me a princess birthday party and she organised for a man to dress up as Prince Charming.

Christmases were always a little challenging for me as a kid, as back then Mum loved to throw big gatherings and invite lots of people – and I hated it. I wanted Mum all to myself and resented having to share her.

We’d still have fun though, and one year when I was eight we made a Christmas movie together called A Christmas Romance.

We’ve always loved doing goofy things like that.

WATCH: Olivia Newton-John appears on Countdown in 1980. Post continues…

Loading the player...

Bedtime memories

These days Christmases are just me, Mum and the people we really love. We like to keep it small and intimate, and that makes me happy.

Mum didn’t work regular hours and was always travelling, but when she could, she would always make time to read to me at bedtime. Our favourite books to read together were Hello, Moon! and The Giving Tree.

READ MORE: Olivia Newton-John: “When they told me they were doing the TV biopic, I was horrified”

I was just five when I realised she was famous. One day we got into the car and suddenly thousands of people were jumping all over it, screaming her name.

I started to have a panic attack and the fear I felt is as vivid today as it was back then. Mum would try her best to shield me from the prying eyes of the public, but it was almost impossible.

We both struggled – me with addiction, anxiety and anorexia, and Mum with feeling helpless during my darkest hours.

Olivia was protective of her growing daughter. (Image: Getty)

The healing power of love

I hated that my life was broadcast all over the world. It was horrifying to me. For my mum, it was also a terribly hard time. She felt powerless and didn’t know what to do.

We were just talking about it and she said to me, “I did everything I could. I sent you to every specialist, every person I thought might be able to help.”

I told her, “You know Mum, all I really needed was you.”

She looked at me and finally realised the power she has – that her love is the most powerful healing tool in the world.

WATCH: Olivia Newton-John opens up about her daughter’s struggle with addiction. Post continues…

Loading the player...

While I struggled growing up in the limelight, there were also many positives. Thanks to Mum I got to travel all over the world.

Our first trip was to Hawaii when I was just three-months-old, and from that moment, wherever she had to fly for work, I often went with her.

Not only did I get to travel alongside Mum, she also introduced me to amazingly talented people – the kind of stars most people never get the chance to meet.

Like the time I met Michael Jackson when I was four. We were at a video shoot Michael was doing where my mum was guest starring, and he did some dance moves just for me.

John Travolta is another amazing person that’s been part of my life, thanks to mum.

Chloe has met a number of Olivia’s A-list pals. (Image: Getty)

Facing cancer

I was just six the first time she had cancer and Mum never told me.

Then we moved to Australia when she was in recovery and one of the kids at school ran up to me and said, “Your mum has cancer and she is dying, haha.”

It was awful. I went home in tears and confronted my mum and said: ‘Why didn’t you tell me, I could have taken care of you?’

Mum having cancer instilled a fear of loss in me at a very early age – I was scared I might lose her at any moment.

I became extremely protective of Mum and became almost like a little parent worrying about her.

Now Mum is battling cancer again, but this time I am not a kid, I am an adult. I felt like my whole world was collapsing in on me. After going through a denial phase, I was angry that such a wonderful, kind, amazing, generous woman had to go through hell again.

It is terrifying and unfair, and it makes me mad that such a beautiful woman has to face this.

But my mum has taught me the power of positive thinking and enjoying every moment. We both try to protect each other. Mum stays positive and I do my best to stay positive, too.

There is no instruction manual on how to deal with all of this, and still today Mum and I find it very difficult to talk about what she is going through.

I don’t want people to think we have all this figured out.

WATCH: Olivia Newton John opens up about her cancer. Post continues…

Loading the player...

Mum and I have never been as close as we are today – we’re both learning how to protect each other and how to talk about this without being scared.

What cancer has done for Mum and me is to remind us to take every moment we can to enjoy each other.

We love doing normal mum-and-daughter stuff together, like movie nights and cooking together.

Chloe and Olivia share a very close bond. (Image: Getty)

In talking more we have realised just how similar we are. Even in some of our darkest times, laughter is often the glue that bonds Mum and I together – laughter, clothes and shopping.

Our absolute favourite thing to do together is shop!

Seeing me with my fiance James [Driskill] has brought Mum a lot of joy. She is thrilled I have found my soulmate, and loves that I have someone that adores and takes care of me.

Olivia is thrilled about Chloe and fiance James’ relationship. (Image: Getty)

And she’s ready to be a grandmother! (Image: Getty)

Grandma Olivia

Mum can’t wait for us to get married and one day be a grandma.

Having a baby has been on my mind a lot lately, and when I’m ready I know Mum will be the best support system.

We’ve been through a lot together, but not a day goes by when I’m not happy and proud to call her my mum.

Related stories