Who are the main players, and why is one of them named Mutt?
In 1993, Shania Twain met a famous South African rock producer named Robert John Lange, more commonly known as Mutt, whoâ€™s worked with all walks of rock and pop stars, including Celine Dion, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga. (Sorry, but I donâ€™t know what inspired his nickname.) Anyway, six months after they met, Mutt and Shania got married, and they went on to work together on two of her best-known albums: The Woman in Me (1995) and Come On Over (1997).
Sometime in the â€™90s, Shania and Mutt met Marie-Anne ThÃ©baud, a woman they hired to manage their Switzerland chateau. Marie-Anne eventually took on some personal-assistant duties and became a close friend of Shaniaâ€™s â€” the singer later described her as her â€œconfidante.â€ Shania and Mutt spent a lot of time with Marie-Anne and her husband, FrÃ©dÃ©ric ThÃ©baud.
Where did it all go wrong?
In 2008, Shania and Mutt separated after 14 years of marriage. Shania would later recall that she didnâ€™t know why her husband had left her until the following day, when FrÃ©dÃ©ric (who, remember, was Marie-Anneâ€™s husband at the time) broke the news that Mutt and Marie-Anne were having an affair. Shania recalled this discussion during a 2011 interview with Ellen DeGeneres: â€œOf course I didnâ€™t believe him and I thought for sure he was making it up. It was obviously just denial on my part. But he just said, â€˜You know I have proof if you want it. Iâ€™ve been following it now for a few weeks and Iâ€™ve got hotel bills and all kinds of details.â€™â€
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 subsequently changed her number!! The gall. In Shaniaâ€™s 2011 memoir, she included some emails Marie-Anne sent her while on secret trysts with Mutt. One of them read, â€œI am actually at the spa now â€¦ I really enjoy it!â€ Sickening.
Shania also revealed in a 2011 Oprah interview that she had previously confided in Marie-Anne when she suspected her husband was cheating on her, only to be told that she was being delusional. â€œAll Marie-Anne did through the whole thing was comfort me, telling me everything was fine,â€ Shania said. â€œI believed her and I accepted it as being genuine.â€
In her new Netflix documentary, Twain likened her divorce to the car crash that killed her parents when she was 22. â€œIt was like a death,â€ she said. â€œIt was a permanent end to so many facets of my life. It took a long time to be ready to write and record again.â€ On top of being betrayed by her husband and long- time collaborator, Shania was also struggling with Lyme disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2003. Suffering from short blackouts and dizziness while onstage, she retreated from the public eye. To make matters worse, the illness also caused dysphonia, a vocal-cord disorder that causes the voice boxâ€™s muscles to involuntarily spasm. â€œMy voice was never the same again,â€ she said in the documentary. â€œIn that search to determine what was causing this lack of control with my voice, my husband leaves me for another woman. Now Iâ€™m at a whole other low. I donâ€™t see any point in going on with a music career.â€
So what happened with Mutt and Marie-Anne?
While neither of them publicly acknowledged having an affair, Mutt and Marie- Anne started officially dating after the separation and, as far as we know, are still together. She and Shania have not reconciled, and Shania has not held back in sharing her feelings toward this woman. In 2015, she told the Post she never sees Marie-Anne. â€œI donâ€™t invite that trigger into my life,â€ she said. â€œSheâ€™s not my future â€” sheâ€™s my past.â€ That same year, Andy Cohen asked her what sheâ€™d say to Marie-Anne if she ever saw her, to which she replied, â€œI wish Iâ€™d never met you.â€ Canâ€™t say I blame her.
The last update on the situation came in 2018, when a reporter asked Shania if she speaks to her ex, with whom she shares a 21-year-old son. â€œSure,â€ she said. â€œI mean, we donâ€™t hang out with each other.â€ At the time, she said she lived half a mile from Mutt and Marie-Anne but has never crossed paths with her. â€œSheâ€™s the last person on the planet I want to run into,â€ she said.
You mentioned a happy ending?
Thank God. After her separation, Shania found love again with â€¦ Marie-Anneâ€™s ex husband, FrÃ©dÃ©ric! Starting in 2009, Shania and FrÃ©dÃ©ric, who obviously had also been cheated on, started spending quite a bit of time together.
Shania and Mutt finalized their divorce in 2010, and on New Yearâ€™s Day 2011 she and FrÃ©dÃ©ric got married in Puerto Rico. Hurrah! In her 2011 memoir, Shania called him a â€œromance god.â€ They are still together and appear to be very much in love.
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Apropos of nothing, I wonder what Marie-Anne and Mutt were up to while Shania performed at Coachella with Harry Styles?