Elton John's Ex-Wife Renate Blauel Sues Singer Over Memoir and 'Rocketman' Movie

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Elton John and Renate Blauel
Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

Elton John's ex-wife, Renate Blauel, is suing the singer over writing about her in his 2019 memoir, Me, Elton John, as well as including their marriage in his biographical musical film, Rocketman.

John and Blauel married on Valentine's Day in 1984 and divorced in 1988. Court documents obtained by ET claim that John broke a divorce agreement the two made in 1988 to not publicly discuss their marriage or the reasons for their separation.

"Those breaches have devastated the Claimant, destroying her privacy and causing her to suffer severe psychological consequences," the documents read.

ET has reached out to John's rep for comment. The BBC reports that John's defense has acknowledged that he and Blauel both signed a divorce agreement, but denied any breaches or causing "psychological harm."

In the court documents, examples are shown of Blauel and John's marriage being portrayed in 2019's Rocketman, which starred Taron Egerton as John.

"The Claimant and Defendant are depicted, possibly on their wedding night, as leaving separate rooms, suggesting that they slept in separate bedrooms and thereby implying a general lack of physical intimacy between them," the documents read about one particular scene in the film. "The depiction of the marriage suffering serious problems is further reinforced by a portrayal of the Claimant and Defendant having breakfast whilst sitting at opposite sides of a table, facing each other."

As for his memoir, the documents quote passages from his book when John writes about her, including about their split after four years of marriage.

"She could have taken me to the cleaners, and I wouldn't have blamed her: everything that had gone wrong was down to me and me alone," the quotes read. "But Renate was too dignified and too decent for that. 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 just told them to leave her alone."

According to the documents, after her divorce from John, Blauel took steps to conceal her identity in order to live as privately as possible and to "shed her identity as the Defendant's former wife." But after the release of both John's memoir and Rocketman, the documents claim that a journalist has been trying to locate her in her local village, which has "caused her great anxiety."

"As a result of the above breaches, the Claimant's right to privacy and autonomy have been shattered," the documents read. "She, and the marriage, have become the subject of widespread press scrutiny and discussion."

Blauel's lawyer -- Yisrael Hiller, litigation partner at Asserson Law -- tells ET in a statement that his client's claims are about John's promise to protect her privacy for life when the couple divorced in 1988. He also claims that John refused to remove the passages about her in his book when she asked him to, and didn't ask her for permission to include her in Rocketman.

"In 1988 Elton agreed to respect her privacy but has since repeatedly ignored this promise; the lawsuit only deals with his breaches over the recent past but there have been many other breaches," Hiller claims. "When Renate learned, only days before the publication deadline, that Elton was writing an autobiography, Renate urgently tried to secure the removal of passages about her but Elton refused.  Elton didn't even bother to ask her for permission to include her in the film and it came as a complete shock to her that Elton decided to feature her in it."

"Renate is particularly upset by the film which is inaccurate, misleading and insulting," Hiller further claims. "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. All of these breaches have caused her tremendous harm, suffering and damage and she has had enough. Renate wants the privacy that was promised to her - that is why she is seeking an injunction.  Any claim for monetary relief is secondary, and would just cover damages and future expenses caused by Elton's breaches."

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