Ex-partner who has avoided limelight since divorce is seeking high court injunction
Jim Waterson Media editor
Elton John and Renate Blauel on their wedding day in 1984. Photograph: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images
Sir Elton John’s ex-wife, Renate Blauel, has launched legal proceedings against the singer at the high court, in a rare intervention by a woman who has been avoiding publicity for decades.
Blauel filed the legal paperwork last week and is seeking an injunction against her former partner, according to filings seen by the Guardian.
The German-born sound engineer met John while he was recording his comeback album Too Low for Zero in 1983 and they married the following year while on tour in Australia. The relationship ended in divorce in 1988.
John later announced he was gay and went on to meet his future husband, David Furnish, and have children.
Blauel has rarely been heard from in public since the divorce, although there was renewed interest in her relationship with John after it was briefly depicted in last year’s biopic Rocketman, in which she was played by Celinde Schoenmaker. John is named as the defendant in the legal filings. His representatives declined to comment on the case.
The reason for the injunction application is unclear, but the approach is often taken in relation to privacy matters or to prevent publication of material.
Blauel’s lawyer confirmed she had filed the paperwork. He declined to expand on why she had felt the need to seek a high court injunction against her ex-husband after decades of silence, but said she was “hoping to resolve it amicably”.
In his autobiography, published last year, John describes his agony at his divorce from Blauel and his struggle to accept his sexuality.
“I’d broken the heart of someone I loved and who loved me unconditionally, someone I couldn’t fault in any way,” he wrote. “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 told them to leave her alone.”
In the book he said he had very limited contact with Blauel following the separation. “I saw her once after we divorced … When I had children, I invited her to [John’s home] Woodside because I wanted her to meet them; I wanted to see her, I wanted her to be part of our lives, and us part of hers, in some way,” he wrote. “But she didn’t want to, and I didn’t push the issue. I have to respect how she feels.”
It had been a whirlwind romance for the singer and Ms Blauel, who had met in a London recording studio.
It wasn’t until 1988 that Sir Elton announced he was openly gay – around the same time the couple divorced.
Blauel has kept a low public profile since the split, but in Sir Elton’s 2019 autobiography he revealed the pain he felt separating from Blauel as he struggled to accept his sexuality.
He wrote: ‘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 told them to leave her alone.’7
In 2014 Sir Elton married long-term partner David Furnish, who he had been in a civil partnership with for nine years.
(pictured: Elton John performs at Mt Smart Stadium on February 16, 2020 in Auckland, N)
Left to right: David Furnish, Elijah Furnish-John, Zachary Furnish-John, and Sir Elton John attend the 23rd Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party on February 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California
The couple have two sons – Zachary and Elijah. Earlier this year he insisted he would never shout or hit either son if they misbehaved, and instead always endeavour to use calm words and discussion.
Sir Elton, whose temper was a feature of the 1997 documentary Tantrums & Tiaras, said he did not want the boys, aged nine and seven, to endure the ‘fearful’ childhood that he experienced as a boy.
Sir Elton wrote that he did not have much contact with Blauel after the separation, but when he became a parent he invited her to his home so she could meet them, but she declined.
‘I didn’t push the issue,’ he wrote. ‘I have to respect how she fe