Olivia Newton-John said denial about her cancer was a 'good thing'

Olivia Newton-John said denial about her cancer was a 'good thing'

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Denial is a really good thing!’ Olivia Newton-John admitted she didn’t think about her cancer a lot because she refused to see her health issues as a battle – just two years before her death

  • Olivia Newton-John spoke candidly about her outlook on life in an interview with DailyMail.com at the G’Day USA benefit in Beverly Hills in January 2020 
  • ‘Life is a gift and I’ve had an amazing life and I intend to keep going with it and I want to help other people with cancer of course,’ she said at the time 
  • Newton-John, who was first diagnosed in 1992, confessed that she was in ‘denial’ about her cancer because she refused to label her health struggle as a ‘fight’  
  • ‘I don’t think about it a lot, to be honest. Denial is a really good thing and I’m getting stronger and better all the time! I am doing well,’ she added 
  • At the time, Newton-John also admitted that the tumors were ‘receding,’ which for Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer ‘was pretty amazing’
  • However on Monday, husband John Easterling announced the tragic news that his wife had lost her battle at the age of 73 

Late music icon Olivia Newton-John confessed that she had been in ‘denial’ about her cancer battle in recent years – and refused to label her struggle to live as a ‘fight.’

In one of her last poignant red carpet appearances, the Australian star admitted that she refused even to think about cancer on a daily basis.

The fun-loving singer and actress, famed for her role as Sandy in 1978 film Grease, as well as her stellar music career, called life ‘a gift’ no matter the outcome.

A statement from her husband John Easterling posted to her Instagram revealed the singer died peacefully at her Southern California ranch Monday morning. She was 73.

Newton-John had always remained positive about her health even during the worrying times of the pandemic.

Olivia Newton-John spoke candidly about her positive outlook on life amid her long battle with cancer, in an interview with DailyMail.com at the G’Day USA benefit in Beverly Hills in January 2020. She is pictured with her niece, Australian actress Tottie Goldsmith

Husband John Easterling accompanied his wife Olivia at the G’Day USA event when she spoke of her denial over cancer

Just two years before her passing, she spoke candidly about her outlook on life at the G’Day USA benefit in Beverly Hills alongside former co-star John Travolta. 

‘Gosh, life is a gift and I’ve had an amazing life and I intend to keep going with it and I want to help other people with cancer of course,’ she told DailyMail.com in the January 2020 interview. 

‘I have my wellness center in Melbourne and I want to see an end to cancer in my lifetime so other people don’t have to suffer.’

Newton-John was first diagnosed with the disease in 1992 but announced she had overcome the cancer in 2013, the year after her Wellness Center first opened.

But in May 2017, she was told cancer had metastasized and spread to her bones.

Reflecting on her fight to beat the condition, she admitted: ‘I don’t see it as a battle. I don’t think about it a lot, to be honest.

‘Denial is a really good thing and I’m getting stronger and better all the time! I am doing well!…I am feeling wonderful.’

She also admitted that she had hope for her future. 

‘I’m winning over and living with it well and that’s how I see it,’ she added. 

Just days before her death, Olivia Newton-John posted a heartwarming photo to Instagram with her husband John Easterling

Newton-John’s husband announced her death on her Facebook page on Monday. She was 73 

Newton-John also reflected on her delight at still being remembered for Grease over four decades after its release.

She confessed: ‘We did something very special together. That movie is still loved.’

She recalled how caring Travolta was during the filming of the musical romantic film. 

Asked about her favorite memory on set, she relied: ‘His kindness to me. When there was one scene in the movie – it was my close up, when Rizzo pulls me forward in the bonfire scene – and in the middle of my take, he stopped it and came over to me and whispered in my ear: “I think you can do better.”

‘So that’s really generous. For an actor to do that for another actor. I wasn’t as experienced as him. He was very nurturing and sweet.’

During that same event, lifelong friend and Grease co-star Travolta praised her positive outlook on life, despite her health worries.

He said: ‘Olivia is a survivor and she’s smart and she’s got a lot of life in her and I think she looks at it from the glass half full always and that’s her beautiful, natural approach towards life and I think we all need to do that.’ 

At the time, Newton-John also said that tumors were ‘receding or they’re going away, which on a Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer – that’s pretty amazing.’

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in the iconic 1978 movie Grease that catapulted her career. He was among the first to pay tribute to her on Monday 

John Travolta was among the first to pay tribute to Newton-John on Instagram. Their joint performance catapulted both of their careers in 1978 


Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta at the 40th Anniversary of Grease in 2018 (left) and (right) promoting their 2012 Christmas album 

However on Monday, husband John Easterling announced the tragic news that his wife had lost her battle. 

‘Dame Olivia Newton-John passed away peacefully at her ranch in Southern California this morning, surrounded by family and friends,’ he said in a statement. 

‘We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time. 

‘Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.

Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.’

Newton-John balanced her career with spending the last 30 years as a bold advocate for cancer patients and survivors.

She admitted in 2020: ‘I live in the most beautiful place in the countryside and I just play with my animals and get out in nature. That’s my healing place. But I never feel kind of overwhelmed with helping people if I can.

‘I have a little group of women that I stay in touch with who are going through metastatic breast cancer also and we stay in touch and communicate.

Newton-John famously resisted the part of Sandy in the 1978 movie Grease. She was 28 at the time and thought she was too old to play a fresh-faced high school student

Olivia’s iconic sweet-to-sexy transformation was recreated for years to come in costumes and tributes  

‘And I’d love to take that to a broader audience so people can share their experiences and share the things that they are doing that are helping them.

‘I’m in a very happy place. My baby has been born, the foundation has been born and now we can move forward and raise the funds so that we can find the best scientists and researchers to do the studies.’

She often promoted the use of cannabis and gardening as key to fending off cancer symptoms.

‘My husband’s a plant medicine man so he grew cannabis for me and made tinctures for me to take for pain and inflammation and so many other things that cannabis can do.

‘It’s been a maligned plant all these years and it really is a magical miracle plant.’

Olivia said using marijuana was a ‘no brainer.’ rather than popping pills and taking steroid creams.

‘It helped me a lot with pain, because, you know, I don’t like taking prescription drugs, so it’s kind of a no-brainer.

‘It is kind and it’s compassionate. It’s what should be available for everybody to use.’ 

Olivia Newton-John’s home in southern California where she died peacefully Monday surrounded by family 

Born in Cambridge, England, Newton-John spent the majority of her schooling in Melbourne, Australia, where her family moved when she was six years old.

In high school, she carved a name as a talented singer, before returning to the UK as their representative at the Eurovision song contest, losing out to Swedish pop legends ABBA in 1974.

As her career grew, she first landed the role of Sandy in the Broadway musical Grease, before being cast opposite Travolta in the blockbuster film.

It turned her into a global star leading her to huge music and movie success.

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