Shania Twain Opens Up to Oprah
"I didn't want to kill myself, but I didn't want to live," a somber Shania Twain said in an interview that aired today (May 3) on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' "Our lives were intertwined in every respect, and I really was completely shocked."
The country music superstar was, of course, talking about her mindset in the aftermath of finding out her husband of 14 years, Robert "Mutt" Lange, was having an inappropriate relationship with one of her closest friends, Marie-Anne Thiébaud, who was also a secretary at the couple's Switzerland chateau. (Both Mutt and Marie-Anne continue to deny the claims.)
Shania revealed to Oprah that she took what she calls a "pathetic" measure to repair her marriage, writing a letter to Marie-Anne and asking, "Why are you torturing me? Let it go, please. Find love somewhere else from someone else."
When the letter went unanswered, Shania wouldn't give up. "By not understanding and not knowing the details your imagination is left to run wild," she explains. "I never got the details. I phoned Marie-Anne and did everything I could to get the details out of her, and she changed her number and that was it."
But in a twist of fate that plays out like a movie, Shania found love with the other jilted party in the affair -- Marie-Anne's ex-husband, Frédéric Thiébaud. It was he, the handsome Swiss Nestle executive, who helped the singer get back on her feet and see the split as "a very positive thing."
"Frédéric Nicolas Thiébaud has been a true gift to me as a compassionate, understanding friend," Shania writes in a letter to fans on her website, "and over time, an amazing love has blossomed from this precious friendship."
Shania and Frédéric were married in a beach-side, sunset ceremony in Rincon, Puerto Rico on New Year's Day 2011.
Now that her personal life is back on track, fans are chomping at the bit for new Shania Twain music. The Canadian songbird retreated from the spotlight long before her personal turmoil began, moving to Europe to raise her son, Eja, and concentrate on being a wife and mom. She hasn't released new music since 2002's 'Up!' and hasn't performed publicly in five years.
"I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back up on that stage," she admitted back in March at the Juno Awards. "I'm preparing for it. I'm already in the studio working. You're going to hear new music soon ... When that will become an album? It's all happening as we speak."
That album has also been a long time coming due to a medical condition Shania recently discovered, dysphonia, which she explains causes the muscles in her throat to squeeze her voice box. She blames the condition on traumatic events in her life, including the death of her parents in a car accident when she was a teenager and witnessing domestic violence as a child. But this is a hurdle Shania fully plans to jump.
"I've trapped my own voice, and now I've got to unwipe all that," she insists. "I really can't imagine not singing again."
In the meantime, Shania is keeping busy with a whirlwind media tour supporting her new book, 'From This Moment On,' and new show, 'Why Not? With Shania Twain,' to air on Oprah's OWN Network.
"I actually created the concept myself," she says of the TV series. "It's not a reality show, it's a documentary type thing about an isolated experience in my life documented in real time. I actually went to Oprah, to be honest, and asked, 'What do you think of this idea that I have?' She loved it and that was the end."
'Why Not' premieres May 8 at 11:00 PM ET on OWN.