Interview for Fabulous

Anastacia’s unlikely marriage

“I couldn’t help falling for my BOYGUARD”

Singer Anastacia speaks for the first time about her marriage to her minder - and reveals why she lied about her age for 10 years.

By Chrissy Illey

Feisty singer Anastacia didn’t think she needed a man. She certainly didn’t need a cocky beefcake of a bodyguard bossing her around. But the friction between the singer and her minder Wayne Newton quickly turned to the crackle of sexual chemistry. If her story sounds familiar, it’s because Hollywood already wrote the script to this particular romance - for the 1992 blockbuster the Bodyguard starring Whitney Houston.

“I’d be saying to myself: ‘What are you even thinking? This is your bodyguard!’” Anastacia tells us.

They had worked together since 2004 and it certainly wasn’t love at first sight.

“I didn’t even like him,” she says. “I was going to sack him because I thought he was far too cocky for me. He’s worked with Madonna, Mariah – all the divas. He had a well-respected career and then he found me. Of course nothing like this had ever happened before with him.”

So did the relationship creep up on her? “No, it was more a slap in the face,” she explains. “I’d never thought about Wayne romantically. For a start, he was working for me. That’s a no-no. “And, in the beginning, he was in a relationship with the mother of his boys, who are now 12 and five.”

“I wasn’t thinking about a boyfriend, I was just concentrating on me. But all of a sudden I’d get butterflies when I saw him.”

They eventually got together, but their romance hasn’t been without its dramas. Days after they went public with their relationship, stories emerged that Wayne had left his partner of 11 years, Lorraine Elson, and their two sons for the singer. So what does she make of the home-wrecking claims?

“His relationship ended before ours began,” she insists. “I knew all about his ex-partner and his kinds. He talked about it all in an honest way, not to get into my panties.”

Just six months later, Wayne proposed. “It was coming up to my birthday in September 2 years ago and he was acting a bit weird,” she muses. “Then he said: ‘Can I have a dollar?’ I went to look in my purse and there was a little box in it. I unwrapped it and it was a beautiful ring. He looked at me and said: ‘Will you get married to me?’

I was crying, snot coming out of my nose. He was crying. There was double snot, double tears. It was a shock, and I was floating.”

They got married on a Mexican beach in April last year.

With his tall, muscular physique, Wayne, 41, is the perfect guardian angel for 5ft 3in Anastacia. And because of him she is now happy to be herself, which is partly why she is telling the truth about her age for the first time in 10 years.

“I’m turning 40,” she confesses. “And I’m happy to tell Fabulous because I’ve always lied about my age.”

Since her late 20s, she’s gone along with a ‘showbiz age’, which made her four years younger, after her record company insisted it would improve her chances of success in the youth-obsessed music industry.

“Every interview I did I had to rethink when I was born, how old my brothers and sisters needed to be,” she says.

And the fib had a huge impact when Anastacia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. Although she was 35, her fans thought she was 31, making the story of her illness even more shocking.

“At that point I thought I really didn’t care that it was a lie,” she says, “because people thought that being young meant you didn’t get cancer, but there were tons of young women who wrote to me and had cancer. I felt I needed to be the voice for that.”

After beating the disease, Anastacia tried to correct her age. “I would just say I was in my 30s. But that became embarrassing because people would wonder what I was hiding. I’m thrilled I can finally be 40.”

She freed herself from the lie after signing a new record deal and unveiling a softer look to promote her fifth album, Heavy Rotation. Anastacia, who turns 40 on September 17, may be embracing the truth, but she isn’t so keen to welcome the ageing process.

“I’m a believer in saying: ‘If you want to get maintenance, get it,’” she says. “If Botox and fillers make you feel better, just make sure you go to a good doctor.”

And it looks like she practises what she preaches.

“I got Botox six months ago,” she explains. “And I had a laser peel to get rid of freckles on my face as I think they make you look older.”

Anastacia has had many personal battles to focus her mind away from love. As well as beating breast cancer, she’s battled Crohn’s disease – a chronic bowel disorder – since she was 13. The drugs she needed to take left her fat and bloated and a scar on her abdomen is a reminder of an operation she had to remove part of her intestine.

When I tell her that she’s a superwoman, she adds: “I’ve also been diagnosed with a heart condition – supraventricular tachycardia. I was having palpitations. They told me I could take a pill or have an operation. I said: ‘Enough operations for me, I’ll take the pill.’”

Anastacia is a woman who proved she didn’t need a man to help her through life’s choppy waters, yet, as she talks about Wayne, she’s clearly surrendered that idea. “Once it happened, it felt wonderful. It felt like: ‘Where have you been my whole life?’”

She says marriage has changed her. She’s moved from her native America to Richmond, Surrey, and relishes being looked after.

“Marriage has a great effect on everything,” she reflects. “Wayne really does look after me. He’s an unbelievable father. It makes me even more in love with him, seeing how great he is as a dad.”

Does this mean she is broody for her own children?

“No. I love children, and at different parts of my life I have wanted to have a child, but now my life is full,’ she says. “In fact, when we married, that was the deal for both of us. Wayne would have given me a child but I said: ‘You can ask me in any language but the answer would be no.’”

Will she change her mind?

“No, I’m a deliberate kind of chick,” she laughs.

So would anything make her life even more blissful? “To be honest I really feel like I have it all. In my world right now I’ve got everything as perfect as it can be. I don’t want to ruin the recipe.”

Anastacia’s new album is released October 27, featuring the single I Can Feel You.


5 questions

1 In what sport would you win an Olympic gold medal?

2 If you could be invisible for the day, what would you do?
I’d sin in Osama Bin Laden’s lair and find out what his next move is.

3 What job would you do if you weren’t famous?
I’d love to be a psychologist or social worker for children with problems.

4 If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your 13-years-old self?
I used to think I’d never have a boyfriend, so I’d tell myself there are plenty coming, and not to worry.

5 How do you rate yourself as a celebrity - A, B or C-list?
Right now I’m hoping to stay A-list for as long as possible. Eventually you’ll see me on I'm A Celebrity!

Photos: Claire Nicholls for Fabulous magazine