IN AN EXCLUSIVE TWO-PART INTERVIEW BOTH SIDES REVEAL THE TRUTH BEHIND THEIR MARRIAGE SPLIT.
As Jane Seymour introduces the new man in her life, pop singer Peter Cetera, the failure of her 10-year marriage to David Flynn, once touted as “perfect”, remains under intense press scrutiny.
Despite the difficult past few weeks since her separation from David became public knowledge, the couple have for the most part chosen to maintain a dignified silence over the reasons behind the split. But with the serious allegations of David's drug and alcohol dependency and rumours of his affairs, the couple have decided to put the record straight.
Speaking exclusively to HELLO! from their Californian homes, both Jane and David have given their own separate accounts of the story. This week, Jane Seymour frankly reveals the true reasons behind the marriage break-up in her first in-depth interview since the news was announced. She also talks about her new relationship with Peter Cetera.
Next week, David Flynn gives his own side of the story exclusively to HELLO!
Jane, you've recently been seen out in the town with your new boyfriend, Peter Cetera, of the pop group Chicago. Is this a serious relationship?
“Well, it's new. I've been seeing him, but at the moment I'm just dating; there's nothing more to it. He's somebody that I like a lot and who I enjoy being with. I enjoy his company. He's somebody I laugh with a lot. He's somebody who's fun and very good – a nice person to be with.”
How much time do you spend together?
“Not much. It's very difficult, because he lives in Idaho and I live in Santa Barbara .”
So is it more of a close friendship than an intense relationship?
“I don't really want to damn any future relationship by describing it in a magazine. It's a new friendship, and it's very early to see beyond that at this stage. I'm still married.”
Did you feel scared of getting too close to someone again?
“Oh yes, I didn't think I'd ever be happy.”
Yet you are happy with Peter.
“At the moment I'm very happy.”
Although you have been seen out with Peter, it is only relatively recently that the news broke of your marriage break-up.
“The papers and the public only found out about it recently. But in fact, David and I separated in November, so we've had quite a long time to come to terms with it.”
Why did it take so long before you made it public?
“Well, I never intended to make it public, because I just don't like making my life public. But, what happened is, two ex-employees of ours sold some stories to The News Of The World .”
As you are now so keen to set the record straight, can you tell us when things started to go wrong?
“I don't think you can say things started to go wrong so much as you can say that marriage is always difficult. I thought the world of David; I thought he was terrific and a great guy. But, as time went on, I discovered, as he did eventually, that he had a problem with alcohol.”
Why do you think that he drank too much?
“I don't know. That's something you can only ask him. But they say some people are predestined to be alcoholic. It's something that happens genetically – if one of your parents is an alcoholic or it runs in the family, the chances of you becoming an alcoholic are very high. Also, people ‘hit the bottle; through a feeling of low self-esteem. Alcoholics generally medicate themselves against feelings. They can't handle feelings.”
You first noticed the problem about four years ago. Did it get progressively worse as time went by?
“Yes, it got very bad about two-and-a-half-years ago, and at that point I made it clear to him that I could no longer tolerate it, that it was a real problem for me and that I felt that it was a problem for the whole family.”
Did you nearly split up at that stage?
“I didn't actually say, ‘If you don't do this, we'll split up,” but I did say, ‘I feel that you should do something about this for yourself and for the sake of the children and, in the meantime, we'll wait and hear from you.'”
So he went away at that stage.
“He went into a hospital and got into a treatment programme for the first time, on which they detox you and teach you about alcoholism.”
Was that your idea or his idea?
“The first time it was my idea. I did what they call ‘intervention' where I pretty much forced him to go and his doctors put him in there. But that doesn't work. You can't make an alcoholic stop drinking, so he stayed for a few days and checked himself out. But, a few months later, he realised that he couldn't do it by himself and that he really needed a full treatment and he put himself back into the hospital, the same hospital, and stayed for the full length of the programme. He has stuck to the programme ever since, so it's been about two years that he's been sober.”
If he has been improving so much, it seems sad that things have now gone so wrong.
“Well, there's a lot of things that go with alcoholism that you don't find out about.”
What kind of things are you taking about here?
“Very private things that the two of us don't wish to discuss publicly, and they are as a direct result of the illness. They're things that happen to all kinds of people in any walk of life that end up alcoholic.”
Do you think that one day you will reveal these things?
“I don't think that they're that important. They're important to me, but I think it's very unfair on all the children and on people concerned for me to air my dirty linen in public.”
Apart from David's alcoholism, allegations have been made in the newspapers about him taking drugs. To what extent is that true?
“To a very minimal extent, but I have no idea about it. He was involved in a motoring offence known as ‘DUI' (driving under the influence) and he was charged with possession. I believe they found a very small amount of cocaine in the car at that time. For this he is now the famous ‘drug-taker', so that's very unfair, because it's not the case. I mean, David's drug of choice, as it were, which is the way they refer to it in Alcoholics Anonymous, is alcohol. It is not drugs. He's not a drug addict and never has been a drug addict. So to read that phrase in the newspapers is somewhat sensational.”
What was your reaction?
“The only thing that worried me was the fact that it happened. I mean, it happens to a lot of people we know, particularly famous people. It's unfortunate but actually I'm kind of grateful that it happened, because it shocked him into taking care of the problem forever.”
But was this the final straw as far as your marriage was concerned?
“No. That's not the reason for the break-up of the marriage. The only problem I had with that was that I didn't know about it, and that other information was concealed from me. It was then that I realised that my perception of our life together was quite different from the reality, and that was stunning to me, so these revelations made it impossible for me to live with him any more.”
It must have been an extremely difficult time for you when you both finally did decide to separate.
“It was the worst time that I can ever remember, especially from November to the middle of January. I was based out here but I had some work in England. It's been the lowest time in my life.”
Your sadness has not all been connected to your marriage, has it?
“No, last year we spent the whole year battling with David's father who had cancer, literally watching him die very slowly. Then my father was diagnosed with cancer before my father-in-law died and so we had two of them at the same time battling similar cancers. You know, to lose your father is one of the most terrible things in the whole world, but to lose our two fathers within two months to the same disease, was just unbelievably difficult.”
How have you coped with all of this?
“I think I've learned an enormous amount in this last year, probably gone through more changes in one year that I have in 20 years, just dealing with that loss and the loss of my father. The fact that I'm able to talk about it and feel okay about things now, is unbelievably surprising to me because, if you'd have asked me two months ago, you'd just have heard sobs, I think, sobs and anger.”
How are the children now?
“They're great. They're absolutely terrific. They see Mummy happier than she's been in a long time, they see Daddy happier than he's been for a long time, and they see the two of us friendlier together, which they haven't seen for a long time, so, therefore, they're happy about that.”
How much do they understand?
“They understand quite a bit.”
Where is David living now?
“He's just down the road.”
It's been claimed that David's alcohol problems have drained you of your financial resources, forcing you to sell your property?
“The situation is that David's business is developing real estate, which means that when you buy a house, you fix it up and you sell it. Those are the houses that are for sale. There is nothing that is for sale that wasn't going to be for sale long before November.”
You've started a new relationship fairly quickly. Do you find it rather difficult to be on your own?
“No, actually I quite like being on my own. That's the challenge. I haven't jumped into a rebound situation or anything like that. I'm seeing somebody who doesn't even live in town, so we see each other very occasionally.”
Is this the first boyfriend you've had since your legal separation?
How does David feel about it?
“He's okay. He has girlfriends.”
Do you think that you'll ever marry again in due course?
“I don't know. Before this, when I was asked that question, I said, I wouldn't get married unless I had children. I guess that's the only feeling that I have about that at the moment. I like the idea of commitment. I'm not the sort of person who runs around with a dozen people.”
What are you hoping for now?
“I hope that David and I can remain really close and have a good friendship, so that we can give the children a sense of security and a felling that they're loved and respected, and so they'll know at any time it would always be cool with Mummy and Daddy and they don't have to choose between us. That's my dream; that's my hope. That's what we're both looking towards. I would love to see David happy, really happy.”
INTERVIEW: PETER ROBERTSON.
MAIN PHOTOS: PETER KREDENSER.
HELLO! MAGAZINE: ISSUE 147 APRIL 6 TH 1991.