Earlier this year, the rumour mill went into overdrive when website Radar claimed Olivia Newton-John’s body was shutting down. To make matters worse, other news outlets claimed sources close to the iconic entertainer had told them Olivia had just weeks, and not months, to live.
It sparked fear in many fans of the Aussie entertainer, given she had publicly acknowledged her cancer diagnosis in the past.
The 70-year-old star was forced to put the fake news to bed by releasing a video update to show her fans and friends around the globe that despite the reports, she was happy and healthy. Now, in an exclusive chat with Natalie Morales for Today in the US, the Grease star has explained the impact the false reports had on her.
“They were telling me I was dying and I thought, ‘I don’t feel like it, I feel pretty good’. Rumours start and then it gets out of control and I decided no, I’m going to come out and talk about it because I have many friends and family all around the world and I can’t call everyone, so I need to let them know I’m okay,” she explained.
In the video posted at the time, a glowing Olivia explained that the rumours of her death had been “greatly exaggerated” and that she was “doing great”.
In her Today chat, the mother-of-one also explained how she remains positive through her health troubles.
“What you think creates your reality, so it’s a decision,” she explained. “You have to make a decision. You can be a victim or you can be a winner and enjoy your life. It hasn’t been easy, of course.
“I’m human and I go through fear and all things everyone going through cancer or any other difficult diagnosis, but it’s a choice how you deal with it. So I try to always deal with it in a positive way.”
The Xanadu star explained that she is treating her cancer with a mix of eastern and western treatments including herbs, supplements and medical cannabis, radiation, hormone replacement therapy and bone-strengthening injections. She also revealed that she has a fear of dying and explained that death is “probably the hardest thing to accept as a human being”.
Still, she said she was thankful for her life.
“I’ve had a gift of extra time. I’ve lost people younger than me so I’m very grateful. I’m 70 and I’ve had the most amazing life and I’ve had extra time,” she said. “Whatever that is, I’m grateful for it and I will just enjoy every day and that’s all you can do.”
Elsewhere in the chat, she said the decision to release her book Don’t Stop Believin’ was because she knew a movie was going to be released about her life and she wanted to write her own version in case anything false was included in the film.
“That was the inspiration and then when I actually got going with it, it was quite an interesting and cathartic experience for me,” she said.