Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF
In July, Netflix released Shania Twain: Not just a girl, a documentary about the life of one of Canada’s top musical exports. In it, Shania speaks candidly about her abusive upbringing, the sexism she experienced in the country music industry, her life with Lyme disease, and also her divorce. Which is a great opportunity to revisit the absolutely bonkers saga that is Shania Twain’s divorce. Have you heard of this? Basically, it involves Shania and her best friend swapping husbands. If you’re confused, same. Here’s everything Shania said about the situation (which, thankfully, has a happy ending).
In 1993, Shania Twain met a famous South African rock producer named Robert John Lange, more commonly known as Mutt, who worked with all walks of rock and pop stars, including Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. (Sorry, but I don’t know what inspired her nickname.) Anyway, six months after they met, Mutt and Shania got married, and they went on to work together on two of her most popular albums. known: The woman in me (1995) and Come here (1997).
In the 90s, Shania and Mutt met Marie-Anne Thébaud, a woman they hired to manage their chateau in Switzerland. Marie-Anne eventually took on duties as a personal assistant and became close friends with Shania – the singer later described her as her “confidante”. Shania and Mutt spent a lot of time with Marie-Anne and her husband, Frédéric Thébaud.
In 2008, Shania and Mutt separated after 14 years of marriage. Shania would later recall that she didn’t know why her husband had left her until the next day when Frederic (who, remember, was Marie-Anne’s husband at the time) broke the news that Mutt and Marie-Anne had an affair. . Shania recalled this discussion during a 2011 interview with Ellen DeGeneres: “Of course I didn’t believe him and I thought he was making it up. It was obviously just denial on my part. But he just said “You know I have proof if you want it. I’ve had it now for a few weeks and I have hotel bills and all kinds of details.
This is where things start to get dark. According to Shania, she confronted Marie-Anne about the affair, who pretended not to know what she was talking about and then changed the number!! The gall. In Shania’s 2011 memoir, she included emails Marie-Anne sent her during secret meetings with Mutt. One read: “I’m currently at the spa…I really like it!” Disgusting.
Shania also revealed in a 2011 Oprah interview she had entrusted to Marie-Anne when she suspected her husband of cheating on her, only to be told that she was delirious. “All Marie-Anne did during all of this was comfort me and tell me everything was fine,” Shania said. “I believed it and accepted it as genuine.”
In her new Netflix documentary, Twain compared her divorce to the car accident that killed her parents when she was 22. “It was like a death,” she said. “It was the permanent end of so many facets of my life. It took a long time to be ready to write and record again. Along with being betrayed by her husband and longtime collaborator, Shania was also at struggling with Lyme disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2003. Suffering from short blackouts and dizziness on stage, she withdrew from the public eye.To make matters worse, the disease also caused dysphonia, a vocal cord disorder that causes the muscles in the voice box to spasm involuntarily. “My voice has never been the same,” she said in the documentary. “In this search to determine what was causing this lack of control of my voice, my husband leaves me for another woman. Now I’m on a whole different low. I don’t see any point in pursuing a music career.
Although neither of them has publicly admitted to having an affair, Mutt and Marie-Anne began officially dating after the separation and, to our knowledge, are still together. She and Shania did not reconcile, and Shania did not hesitate to share her feelings for this woman. In 2015, she told the Job she never sees Marie-Anne. “I don’t invite that trigger into my life,” she said. “She’s not my future, she’s my past.” That same year, Andy Cohen asked her what she would say to Marie-Anne if she ever saw her, to which she replied: “I wish I had never met you. I can’t say I blame her.
The latest update on the situation dates back to 2018, when a reporter asked Shania if she was talking to her ex, with whom she shares a 21-year-old son. “Of course,” she said. “I mean, we don’t hang out together.” At the time, she said she lived half a mile from Mutt and Marie-Anne but had never passed her. “He’s the last person on the planet I want to meet,” she said.
Thank God. After her separation, Shania found love again with… Marie-Anne’s ex-husband, Frédéric! Starting in 2009, Shania and Frederic, who had obviously also been cheated on, started spending quite a bit of time together.
Shania and Frederic!
Photo: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for ZFF
From their account, it appears they grew closer while mourning their respective marriages. “After we both got thrown off the same cliff together, we kind of caught each other in the air and it broke the fall,” Shania later told Oprah. In August 2009, she and Frédéric were photographed wearing rings while on a sexy little vacation in Canada with their children. (Shania and Frédéric share children with their exes.) Shania’s rep told the press that they weren’t married or engaged, but Frederic also appeared in a short travel vlog that Shania made that year, in which they rode camels together in Egypt and cycled together in London. Who among us hasn’t bonded with a camel friend’s ex-husband?
Shania and Mutt finalized their divorce in 2010, and on New Years Day 2011 she and Frederic were married in Puerto Rico. Hooray! In her 2011 memoir, Shania called him “the god of romance”. They are still together and seem very much in love.
By the way, I wonder what Marie-Anne and Mutt were doing while Shania was performing at Coachella with Harry Styles?