Olivia Newton-John’s longtime partner Patrick McDermott went missing in 2005 during an ill-fated fishing trip.
And fans were reminded of the incident at the 2022 ARIA Awards on Thursday during a tribute to the late Physical songstress.
During a montage of Olivia’s life and career, Patrick was briefly shown with Olivia’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi at the 2002 ARIAs.
Olivia Newton-John’s longtime partner Patrick McDermott went missing in 2005 during an ill-fated fishing trip, but he briefly appeared during a tribute to the late singer at the ARIA Awards on Thursday night. Patrick and Olivia pictured in 2005
In the footage, Patrick and Chloe give Olivia a standing ovation as she’s inducted into the hall of fame.
The Korean-American cameraman, 48, who dated the late Australian singer for nine years, was last seen alive in June 2005 when he went on an overnight fishing trip off the coast of Los Angeles with 22 other people.
Interest in the case has grown since Newton-John died from cancer in August, and investigators have now uncovered new evidence that sheds light on the mystery.
During a montage of Olivia’s life and career, Patrick was briefly shown with Olivia’s daughter Chloe Lattanzi at the 2002 ARIAs. Pictured
The Spotify crime podcast Casefile Presents: Pseudocide investigates the widely reported theory that McDermott faked his own death.
The six-part series features never-before-heard interviews and addresses the facts and speculation that followed the incident years later.
After McDermott vanished on June 30, 2005, media reports suggested he was in a substantial amount of debt.
He had filed for bankruptcy with more than $30,000 owed.
Interest in the case has grown since Newton-John died from cancer in August, and investigators have now uncovered new evidence that sheds light on the mystery. Pictured in LA in 2001
Private investigator Philip Klein suggested McDermott’s bankruptcy was an important part to the mystery.
He also said McDermott, who was born in Seoul and adopted by an American family at age two, hated the ‘Hollywood lifestyle’ during his relationship with Newton-John, and in particular disliked red carpets.
‘Hollywood’s a place of money, but it’s also a place of very poor people who are trying to make it,’ Klein said. ‘And he just never could make it.’
In another bombshell revelation, Klein claimed McDermott had left Newton-John a ‘heartfelt note’ and a bunch of roses shortly before he went missing.
The note was passed on to Klein when he was investigating McDermott’s disappearance for the U.S. news program Dateline.
‘The note told her that he’d always loved her, always will love her,’ Klein said. ‘But they had been having a lot of problems.’
He added: ‘Patrick was backing out of the relationship because he didn’t like Hollywood – he didn’t like what he was doing.’
After McDermott vanished on June 30, 2005, media reports suggested he was in a substantial amount of debt. He disappeared at sea while on an overnight fishing trip on the boat ‘Freedom’
According to one unproven theory, McDermott is hiding out in Mexico, on the run from crushing debts and living on a yacht off the coast at Sayulita
The letter could be interpreted as McDermott’s ‘final farewell’ to Newton-John, and perhaps suggests he knew something bad was about to happen.
Many questions still surround McDermott’s disappearance, with wild theories he may have faked his own death for a new life in Mexico to avoid paying taxes.
He disappeared while on board the fishing boat ‘Freedom’, and his absence wasn’t noticed until the boat returned to dry land. He was 48 at the time.
‘I don’t think I will ever really be at peace with it,’ Newton-John admitted to Women’s Weekly magazine in 2009.
‘I think there will always be a question mark.’
‘He was lost at sea, and nobody really knows what happened,’ Newton-John told 60 Minutes in 2016
The Grease star began a nine-year on-off romance with McDermott following her 1995 divorce from her first husband Matt Lattanzi.
Newton-John was on a promotional tour in Australia when McDermott disappeared.
Crew on his fishing boat had found his car keys, passport and wallet on board the boat and his car was found parked at the San Pedro marina in Los Angeles.
But still no one realised he was missing until he failed to appear at a family event on July 6, with police finally called in on July 11.
Newton-John died on August 8 at age 73 after a long battle with cancer. Pictured Olivia and her husband John Easterling
By then though, the trail had gone cold – and investigators turned up nothing.
Prior to dating Newton-John, McDermott had been married and fathered a son, and was court-ordered to to pay $8,000 in backdated child support.
A Coast Guard inquiry admitted at the time they ‘did not find any evidence of criminal action, suicide, accident or hoax in the disappearance of McDermott’.
A three-year probe into the ‘Freedom’ fishing boat found it didn’t carry out any head counts on the day of the trip, causing McDermott’s disappearance to go unnoticed.
Both probes concluded McDermott was likely lost at sea during the night and had likely drowned. He has been presumed dead ever since.
WHAT HAPPENED TO OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN’S LOST LOVER?
Theories have raged for almost two decades about the fate of Olivia Newton-John’s on-off lover, movie cameraman Patrick McDermott, 48.
He vanished on an overnight 22-hour fishing trip on the boat ‘Freedom’ out of San Pedro marina in Los Angeles on June 30, 2005.
The boat’s crew found his car keys, wallet and passport on board after all the other passengers disembarked the following day, and his car was found parked nearby.
The crew hadn’t done a headcount so no-one noticed he was missing for another week when he failed to turn up for a family event, with police alerted almost a week later..
Since then speculation has raged about what happened to him, with investigators unable to find any evidence of a crime, suicide, hoax or an accident on the fishing trip.
Officials believe he simply fell overboard and drowned, but conspiracy theorists insist he may have had another boat lined up to meet him offshore.
Others believe he may have planted his belongings on the boat before slipping off, possibly before it even left port, without any noticing.
Private detectives set up a website FindPatrickMcDermott.com to try to trap the missing American into giving himself away, identifying the location of everyone who accessed the site.
Olivia Newton-John kept in touch with McDermott’s ex-wife Yvette Nipar (pictured)
A flurry of web traffic from the Sayulita area of Mexico’s West Coast sparked a hunt for him there without any success.
Others say they spotted him living on a yacht off the coast of Acapulco, 1,000km further south.
One investigator claimed to have found him and spoken with him in 2009, claiming he just wanted be left alone but the claim was unsubstantiated.
Another claimed to have categoric proof he was alive and was on the verge of revealing it – but never did.
Over the years there has been at least 20 sightings of him in Mexico and Central America, but many have proved false.
One set of pictures of a couple alleged to be the distinctive looking McDermott – who was half-Korean and adopted at the age of two – turned out to be a Canadian couple.
His ex-wife Yvette Nipar, the mother of their son Chance, begged for the speculation to end for the sake of their child.
She pleaded with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to block the publication of a book by private eye Philip Klein about her ex’s disappearance.
‘My son has been through enough emotional torment over this,’ Nipar wrote, branding Klein a ‘serial liar’.
‘He has yet to be able to move on due to Mr Klein’s continual effort to keep him in the public eye. Let him rest in peace.’
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