Olivia Newton-John Reveals the Reason She Did Not Make Her Cancer Battle Public

Olivia Newton-John waited to go public with the news of her third cancer diagnosis in three decades because she wanted to heal in privacy.

The 70-year-old Grease star told the Today show in an interview on Friday that she wanted to avoid "speculation" about her disease.

"I just decided I wanted to go through it myself. And I did a lot of natural healing and a lot of herbs that my husband [John Easterling] made for me," she explained.

She remembered the public reaction from when was diagnosed, when reports circulated that she was on her deathbed.

"They were telling me I was dying, and I thought, 'Well, I don't feel like it. I feel pretty good!" she recalled. "But, you know, rumors start and then it gets out of control."

Newton-John, whose new memoir, Don't Stop Believin', hits bookstores next week, decided to take control over the situation by releasing a video. "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," she said, borrowing a famous quote from Mark Twain.

"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," she said of her public response. "So I needed to let them know that I'm OK."

She said she doesn't see herself as fighting cancer. Instead, she said she's "thriving" against it and said she has a new way of referring to her battle.

"Winning over," she said. "I think, you know, what you think creates your reality. So it's a decision. You have to make that decision. You can be a victim, or you can be a winner and enjoy your life."

Her positive outlook is important to her. "We're all going to die," she noted. "I mean, that's probably the hardest thing to accept as a human being, that we know that. So I kind of consider 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."

"I had extra time, so whatever that is, I'm grateful for it," she said, adding, "I'll just enjoy every day — that's all you can do."

Newton-John revealed in September 2018 that she was battling the illness for the third time in three decades.

“I’m one of millions in this fight … in this journey,” she said on Australia’s Sunday Night at the time. “A lot of people see it as a fight, and [however] you choose to see it, that’s your prerogative. … I see it as part of my mission.”

She explained that a tumor was found on her lower back in 2017 and that she was using natural treatment methods.


“A lot of cannabis, my husband grows for me. In California, it’s legal to grow a certain amount of plants for your own medicinal purposes,” she noted. “He makes me tinctures … and they help with pain, they help with sleep. So, I’m very lucky that I live in a state where it’s legal and that I have a husband that is a plant medicine man.”

The actress previously battled breast cancer in 1992 before undergoing a partial mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. She was diagnosed with the illness gain in 2013.