Elton John's drunk proposal to Renate and wedding 4 days after jilting boyfriend

Elton John shocked the world in 1984 when he publicly married a woman – despite openly sleeping with men for 14 years during the height of his fame.

But four years later, their marriage lay in tatters as self-destructive Elton self-medicated with booze and drugs in order to cope with his many fears.

Now ex-wife Renate Blauel has reportedly filed a High Court injunction against the singer, believed to be over her appearance in his 2019 autobiography, Me.

In the book, Elton opened up about how he came to meet and marry Renate – despite knowing he was always gay.

Elton John and his ex-wife Renate in September 1987, a year before their divorce

He had first laid eyes on her when she was promoted to sound engineer in his studio, and even though there was no sign of romance between them, decided to try out a straight relationship.

Describing her as “smart and kind”, “very, very funny” and “very beautiful”, Elton admitted he was in the depths of his cocaine addiction when he popped the question to Renate.

“We were both drunk in a restaurant called the Chicken Shake when I first mooted the idea of getting married,” he wrote in the book.

“Renate understandably laughed it off, assuming it was a joke. Up to that point, there hadn’t been any hint of actual romance between us, not so much as a kiss. If I’d had any sense, I wold have left it at that. But by now I’d absolutely convinced myself that this was the right thing. This was what I wanted; it was going to solve all my problems at a stroke. In my own way, I was infatuated: with the idea of getting married, with Renate’s company. I missed her when she wasn’t there. It felt remarkably like I was in love.”

Elton admitted knowing that marrying Renate would not solve his many problems

He proposed again properly when he and his entourage moved to Sydney to prepare for his upcoming Australia tour, and this time he meant it.

There was just one small problem: Elton’s boyfriend at the time, a blond man named Gary, had joined his entourage but quickly found himself single again.

“I loved her and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. We should get married. We should do it right away, here in Australia. It was 10 February 1984 – we could get married on Valentine’s Day. I could make this happen. It was insanity but it sounded romantic. Renate said yes,” Elton recalled.

The next few days were a blur of organising the church service, the marriage licence and the enormous star-studded reception, which Elton buried himself in to distract from the nagging doubts.

Elton and Renate on their wedding day, February 14 1984

He rang his mum and stepdad who did nothing to stop him from going ahead – “there was no point” because “at that stage in my life, what I said went and if anyone tried to challenge me, people got screamed at and inanimate objects got thrown and smashed”.

Elton asked his manager-turned-lover John Reid and writing partner Bernie Taupin to be his best men, and just four days later he and Renate married at St Mark’s Church. The bride wore white with flowers in her hair and the diamond and gold pendant her new groom had bought her as a wedding present. The church was studded with stars who had flown in at the last moment, from Janet Street-Porter to Tony King.

Elton had drunkenly proposed to Renate over a chicken dinner – before they’d even so much as kissed

The reception was wild and sprawling – Elton had demanded white roses be flown in from New Zealand, and guests feasted on expensive lobster, quail and venison, washed down with vintage wine and champagne, before starting on the five-tier wedding cake.

The party then moved to the newlyweds’ hotel suite, where cocaine and booze were spread around.

“At this point I should say that Renate and I agreed when we divorced that we would never publicly discuss the intimate details of our marriage,” Elton finished.

“And I am respecting that. The truth is I don’t have anything bad to say about Renate at all. Nor does anyone else who met her.”

Elton and Renate divorced in 1988, and she made it a term of their settlement that they’d never publicly discuss what happened in their marriage

Renate is believed to have won between £5million and £10million in their divorce settlement, and made it a condition that they would not speak publicly about what went on inside their marriage.

She’s now applied for a High Court injunction and seeks “an official ruling” on a potential breach of their non-disclosure divorce deal.

An ex-pal of the singer told the Sunday Mirror: “It’s good that someone takes him to task. No one else has been brave enough.”


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