It’s been 16 years since Olivia Newton-John’s boyfriend Patrick McDermott vanished under baffling circumstances from a fishing charter.
His body has never been recovered and there have been several alleged sightings of him with a new girlfriend over the years in Mexico.
For Olivia, Patrick’s murky disappearance has become yet another tragic layer in her troubled life.
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“The whys and what-ifs of Patrick’s disappearance have troubled Olivia for years,” says a source.
“She’s never really had closure – or lost hope.”
Now, Woman’s Day can reveal that a semblance of peace isn’t far away for the 72-year-old singer, with her close friend, Patrick’s ex-wife Yvette Nipar, writing a memoir detailing the fallout of the 2005 incident.
Titled What Are The Chances, a play on the name of Yvette and Patrick’s now 28-year-old son Chance, Yvette says, “[This is a] memoir that’s been screaming to ‘get out of me’ for many years now, so I decided to put it all out there. I’m not alone, and that’s what keeps me going.”
Woman’s Day understands that the book – which doesn’t have a release date – is being written with the help of Olivia, who reported Patrick missing when he failed to return from the Freedom vessel when it docked in LA’s San Pedro harbour.
“Yvette and Olivia have become very close over the years,” says a source. “They’re bonded by their grief and confusion over the whole thing.”
Sharing a never-before-seen picture of a young Chance with Patrick to her book’s Facebook page in 2019, usually fiercely private Yvette wrote, “14 years ago today, I discovered my son’s dad was missing. I could never have imagined what that would do to my insides as a mum. It’s been a long and brutal road, but we are still standing.”
According to fellow fishermen on his charter, the then 48-year-old was seen on board just 30 minutes before the Freedom docked, had even settled his food and drink bill, and left his passport and personal effects on his bed.
While 21 Jump Street star Yvette, 56, has long insisted she believes United States Coast Guard findings that Patrick is presumed drowned, some claim he is alive and well and hiding in Mexico, reportedly with a blonde girlfriend.
In 2009, a Dateline special reported they had more than 20 logged sightings of Olivia’s boyfriend both south of the border and in Central America.
During the current affairs program’s research, private investigator Philip Klein alleges he was contacted by a “credible representative” of Patrick’s, asking on his behalf to be left alone.
Around the time of his disappearance, Patrick had reportedly filed for bankruptcy and owed around $11,000 to Yvette – whom he was married to for 15 months until 1993 – in child support.
Chance has followed his cameraman father’s footsteps into Hollywood as a musical score composer.
Industry insiders expect there will be huge interest in Yvette’s book due to Patrick’s relationship with Olivia – and predict it could spark a whole new generation of interest in the case.
A Netflix source, speaking to Woman’s Day on the condition of anonymity, predicts Yvette’s memoir could open the mystery up to a big-bucks documentary.
“The streaming services are seeing a huge spike of interest in unsolved crimes and spooky documentaries, in the same vein as The Night Stalker and The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel,” says the insider.
“Patrick’s disappearance, given he was dating one of the world’s biggest stars at the time and vanished under such strange circumstances, has all the makings of a blockbuster, especially once Yvette has finally put her side of the story on paper.”