Molly Meldrum's ex-fiancé tells all

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It’s the first time Joy – a Melbourne-based designer, tattoo artist and mother-of-two – has spoken out about her colourful affair with Molly Meldrum. It was a relationship that made headlines around Australia and even featured in the recent Molly mini-series.

‘You know, I didn’t have another serious relationship for about a decade after Ian,’ confides Joy, who was engaged to the Countdown legend for two crazy, tumultuous, tender years in the early 1980s.

‘He was probably the sweetest, most generous and gentlemanly boyfriend I ever had – but he was also completely mad, of course!’

Joy and Molly on their vacation in Egypt. Photo: Supplied.
Joy and Molly on their vacation in Egypt. Photo: Supplied.

Joy and Molly on their vacation in Egypt. Photo: Supplied.

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Talented, sassy Joy was in her early 20s when she met Molly, who was already a celebrated journalist, broadcaster and record producer – and 20 years her senior.

And then there was the question of his sexuality.

‘Oh, I totally thought he was gay,’ Joy reveals candidly.

‘That’s why I was confused when I first met Ian and he asked me out.

‘But he once told me: “If I love someone, I love them as a person, irrespective of whether they’re male or female.” And the sex was great! It was passionate and lovely.’

Joy, now aged 54.
Joy, now aged 54.

Joy, now aged 54.

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But their love was not destined to go the distance, and the pair ended up going their separate ways.

She later went on to marry, have two daughters – Maggie, 18, and Bella, 16 – and divorce. But she wants to see her old lover once again, and introduce him to the children she regards as her ‘greatest accomplishment’.

She confesses ruefully: ‘I want [Ian] to know my feelings for him were always genuine. I wasn’t just a young girl enamoured of his lifestyle, I truly loved him.’

To read the full story, check out this week's issue of New Idea.

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