An oficial report into the disappearance of Olivia Newton-John’s lover Patrick McDermott has uncovered new evidence and puts the couple’s eight-year romance under the microscope.
Revelations include that Patrick bought a gun just before he vanished, he had received death threats from a man infatuated with Olivia, and he had previously attempted suicide. It also details mysterious attempts to hack into his computer after he went missing. The 200-page US Coast Guard report – packed with never-before-released information – has been made available exclusively to
New Idea almost five years after Patrick vanished on a fishing trip off the coast of Los Angeles.
It states that Patrick was on Olivia’s payroll for doing work around her Malibu mansion, yet he had substantial debts and was $8000 behind in child support payments. On the day he vanished he had $US755.01 in savings and $US19,004.56 in credit card debt. Olivia told investigators she had no idea about his money crisis. In the report she says: ‘I have no knowledge of any financial problems, social problems or anything that would make him want to disappear.’Sudden Change
About eight months before he vanished on an overnight fishing trip on June 30, 2005, Patrick enquired about having his life insurance policy drastically increased from $US100,000 to $US500,000.
The report says he did not pursue the increase after being told: ‘… because he was broke and did not have any information on family medical history, the insurer would look at any reason not to pay off that policy if something happened to him within two years of the policy being written.’
Olivia made numerous statements to US Coast Guard special agents probing the case.
‘The last time Newton-John saw McDermott was the day she departed for Australia, some time in mid June 2005,’ investigators noted in the report. This was shortly after the pair ended their relationship – again.
‘During that visit, Patrick came to the residence [in Malibu] to say goodbye, he gave me flowers and a card, but left prior to my departure to the airport,’ she says in the report. ‘Patrick thought it would be good that we separate while I was in Australia for two months. We both mutually agreed on the break-up. This had happened in the past and normally we got back together because we missed each other too much. Patrick seemed to have a good attitude [to the break-up]… we parted on good terms.’Left heartbroken
But it was a statement from one of Olivia’s staff members – whose name has been suppressed – that reveals how hard she took the news. 'After Patrick left the residence, Olivia became upset,’ the report states. According to staff, Patrick had moved into the house a few months earlier and things had changed for the better in their on-again, off-again relationship. They become closer as Olivia battled to cope with her daughter Chloe’s problems with anorexia.
But the break-up signs reappeared just before he abruptly ended their relationship.
‘While I was in Australia, we did not telephone each other because of the break-up, but we did exchange emails about the projects he was working on at the residence,’ says Olivia in the report.Shocking Discovery
Olivia discovered Patrick was missing when her god-daughter was seriously injured in a car crash and she asked her assistant to tell Patrick the bad news.
After repeated attempts to contact him, the assistant drove to Patrick’s home. ‘I know where he kept the hide-a-key so I used it to get inside,’ she told investigators.
‘I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary… the dishes were done and his bed was made. I did not find any suicide note…’
After taking a call from Patrick’s ex-wife, actress Yvette Nipar, who was also having trouble contacting him, the assistant called Olivia in Australia and told her that he was missing.
Despite Yvette and Patrick’s difficult relationship, it was Yvette who reported him missing.
On the day he vanished Patrick left a message for his teenage son Chance and ‘sounded chipper or happy’.
Investigators learnt he actually detested the spotlight that came with being the partner of a high-profile star. A friend of Patrick’s told the US Coast Guard: ‘He found his daily life at Newton-John’s house very chaotic and disorganised. He told me that he was just not into this stuff. He told me that he did not believe Newton-John realised people were taking advantage of her.’ In addition, Patrick received death threats from a man who was infatuated with his glamorous girlfriend and who bragged ‘that he was going to be Newton-John’s boyfriend as soon as he took care of McDermott’.
Patrick had plans to kick-start his career with reality TV show Video Quest, through his curiously named company Twice-Alive Productions. Three months before he vanished he bought a .357 magnum which has never been found. And he’d also attempted suicide around the age of 17, according to the report.
In one of his last acts, Patrick destroyed all of his emails. Numerous letters were deleted, including correspondence from Olivia. But a file recovered from Patrick’s personal computer contained information on how to set up a fake identity.
Forensic investigators later found someone had attempted to access Patrick’s computer between the time he disappeared and when it was seized. However, the unknown user couldn’t log on and entered an incorrect password.Despite the extensive investigation, the question still remains: where is Patrick today?
While it’s claimed he’s been hiding in Mexico, working as a deckhand and sailing between paradise ports, the US Coast Guard has branded his disappearance a ‘Deadbeat Parent’ case – under which the US State Department remains on the lookout, but not actively searching, for someone who has absconded from life’s responsibilities.
JUNE 23, 2005
Patrick last speaks to his ex-wife, according to her first statement to the US Coast Guard.
UNE 24 TO 30
Patrick permanently deletes ‘numerous’ letters (emails) from his America Online account.
He drops off his son at Yvette’s home for the last time.
He leaves a message for his son. ‘He sounded “chipper” or happy,’ Yvette tells authorities. Patrick boards the boat Freedom for an overnight fishing trip.
Patrick doesn’t turn up for his planned visitation with his son.
Trying to locate Patrick, Yvette speaks to two members on board Freedom, who confirm a bum bag – with a cell phone, wallet and car keys – was left behind.
At 2.55pm and 6.05pm, Patrick’s home computer is accessed.
Law enforcement officers search Patrick’s home in California and seize his Apple iMac computer.
US Coast Guard investigators send the computer for forensic testing. Forensic investigators note the iMac has been tampered with.
Forensic investigators determine ‘no communication related to suicide’.
AUGUST 10, 2006
US Department of Justice decides not to criminally prosecute any persons or entities, including crew members and owners/operators of Freedom.