She’s the music icon who thrills fans on Instagram with her sassy posts and flawless fashion, but Celine Dion’s friends are reportedly worried she’s being too heavily influenced by her backup dancer, Pepe Munoz.
According to reports, the 51-year-old My Heart Will Go On singer has been attached at the hip to 34-year-old Pepe, since her beloved husband, René Angélil, passed away at the age of 73 in 2016, after battling with throat cancer.
He’s been described as her ‘boy toy’, but Celine herself has said he is gay and her ‘best friend’.
Now, Page Six is reporting that some people in Celine’s inner circle fear Pepe is ‘isolating’ the star from her friends and ‘taking over’ her life.
“Pepe is like her boy toy who is really trying to take over. He’s isolating her and people are feeling it,” an anonymous source told the publication.
“She’s in love with this guy and listens to everything he’s saying.
“People go to him when they have questions. He’s fully taken over.”
Celine shuts down dating rumours
Celine shut down rumours of a relationship between her and the 34-year-old New Yorker last year.
“Pepe is gay,” she told Extra. “At first, I think some people did not know that.”
“The thing is that he’s my best friend and we dance together and he did so much for me and even just holding my hand… it’s something that I haven’t had for a long time.”
She went on to say that she bonded with Pepe immediately and he really helped her after the death of René, whom she had three children with.
“He did so much for me, for my mental health, my spirituality, my strength ― my inner strength,” she continued.
She further defended their close bond to The Sun’s Dan Wooten in January, reiterating the fact that they’re just good friends.
"The press said, ‘Oh my God, René just passed and now there’s another man.’ Yeah, there’s another man in my life, but not the man in my life," she said. "We’re friends, we’re best friends."
“Of course we hug and hold hands and go out, so people see that. I mean, he’s a gentleman. He’s giving me his hand to go out.”
She went to say she doesn’t care that people think they’re dating, because he’s ‘handsome’ and they’re just friends.
‘Scarily thin’ Celine Dion
Fans aired their concerns for the icon back in January, with many worried about her thin frame, which caused Celine to defend herself against body-shamers.
The singer hit out at those who believe she’s too slim, saying if they don’t like the way she looks, they should just “leave [her] alone”.
Celine opened up about her weight loss and said she was “doing this for me”.
“I want to feel strong, beautiful, feminine and sexy. If I like it, I don’t want to talk about it,” she said on The Dan Wootton Interview podcast. “Don’t bother. Don’t take a picture. If you like it, I’ll be there. If you don’t, leave me alone.”
In April, Celine told People magazine that her dance practice with Pepe is to thank for her new slimmer frame.
“I do this four times a week,” she said. “People say, ‘She’s a lot thinner,’ but I’m working hard. I like to move, and [weight loss] comes with it.”
Celine recently revealed she will be ending her famous Las Vegas residency and announced she’ll be heading back on tour and releasing a new album.
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