Well, that solves the biggest Elton John-based mystery of 2020. Last month, Elton’s ex-wife Renate Blauel filed an injunction against him and she didn’t state why. We only knew her lawyers were probably trying to prevent Elton from publishing or talking about something that was meant to stay private. The legal move happened less than a year after Elton released his memoirs, Me, in which he spoke about their marriage. Page Six is saying that’s exactly the reason why Renate sued him.
When Renate married Elton on Valentine’s Day in 1984, she was a not-famous German sound engineer. After they split, she happily retreated from the spotlight, where her public existence was limited to old Getty photos and a blip on Elton’s Wikipedia page. She apparently liked it like that. But then Elton released Me, where their marriage was dug back up and discussed. Elton’s marriage to Renate was also featured in the 2019 biopic Rocketman (Renate was played by Celinde Schoenmaker). Renate’s lawyer argues that when she split from Elton in 1988, Elton agreed that he wouldn’t go breaking her heart by publicly discussing their marriage. By talking about it in his memoirs and recreating it in Rocketman, she argues that he breached their agreement. Her lawyer writes:
“The case is about restoring the privacy that she felt was agreed to be protected when she and Mr. John entered into a divorce in 1988. This was the only option she had left…She wants to ensure her privacy going forward, that in turn has a big impact on her mental health issues.”
The part about Elton’s memoirs impacting Renate’s mental health might feel like a lawyer throwing in a little extra drama for drama’s sake, but Renate is serious about her privacy. Legal documents claim that Renate really didn’t want to be famous for being Elton’s ex-wife, and she had been living in the UK under a different name. Renate doesn’t love that Elton brought up the marriage in Me, but he did so in a respectful way. Like, it wasn’t in a chapter called, “Remember When I Married A Woman? Gross!”. In fact, he wrote about her desire to be left alone.
“I’d broken the heart of someone I loved and who loved me unconditionally, someone I couldn’t fault in any way. Despite all the pain, there was no acrimony involved at all. For years afterwards, whenever something happened to me, the press would turn up on her doorstep, looking for her to dish the dirt, and she never, ever has: she told them to leave her alone.”
Her lawyer states that while she’s pissed Elton mentioned the divorce in the book, the part that really stings was her portrayal in Rocketman. Her lawyer writes:
“In her mind, the film seeks to portray their marriage as a sham, which she wholeheartedly disputes and considers a false and disrespectful portrayal of their time together.”
Elton hasn’t responded to the lawsuit, but I’m sure he’s got his lawyers on it. Because Renate is seeking £3 million, or $3.8 million, in damages. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that at least a handful of those dollars would be used to legally change her name. Possible options include Lea Vemealone and Noteltons Exwife. One thing is for sure. Madonna is probably laughing so hard at all of this. “I don’t blame her! I’d change my name and pretend I didn’t know him too!”