Shania Twain has certainly lived a life full of ups and downs, but on her 58th birthday, she proves that living well is the best revenge. From her early days as a struggling artist to her rise to fame, Shania has always been a fighter. And when her personal life took a turn for the worse, she didn’t let it break her.
In 2008, Shania’s world was turned upside down when her husband of 14 years, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, asked for a divorce. To make matters worse, he had allegedly been having an affair with her close friend and personal assistant, Marie-Anne Thiebaud. But instead of letting this betrayal destroy her, Shania found a way to turn the pain into something positive.
“I was ready to die,” she wrote in her 2010 memoir, From This Moment On. “I was disgusted that another woman’s lust for a lifestyle upgrade was worth the devastation of my family.”
But despite the heartbreak, Shania refused to let it define her. She focused on her music and her son, Eja, and eventually found love again with Marie-Anne’s ex-husband, Frédéric Thiébaud. The two were married on New Year’s Day in 2011.
Now, as she celebrates her 58th birthday, Shania is living proof that living well is the best revenge. She has sold millions of albums, won countless awards, and has even launched a successful Las Vegas residency. And with the support of her husband and son, she continues to inspire fans around the world.
So here’s to you, Shania, on your special day. Thank you for showing us that no matter what life throws our way, we can always rise above it and come out stronger on the other side. Happy birthday!
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Shania Twain has been married twice in her life. Oddly enough, the ending to her first marriage led her directly to the relationship that would turn into her second marriage that has lasted over ten years now.
Twain met her first husband, music producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, in 1993 when the two decided to collaborate on her 1995 album, The Woman in Me. Both of them had already made a reputation for themselves in the music industry – Shania had just released her self-titled debut album and Lange had worked with iconic rock bands like AC/DC and Def Leppard.
Six months after meeting, the couple tied the knot and would be married for 15 years, welcoming their only son, Eja, in 2001.
Throughout their relationship, they worked on two projects together and became a sort of musical power couple as singer/songwriter and producer romantic duo. But their marriage came to a messy end in 2008 when they split up after Lange had allegedly had an affair with Shania’s assistant and best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud.
Marie-Anne was married to Nestle executive Frederic Thiebaud, whom Shania and Robert met in Switzerland in the 90s. The two couples grew very close, a source telling People at the time of the scandal, “Their two families would vacation and spend holidays together. Shania considered Marie-Anne one of her best friends.”
With Shania and Frederic both being victims to the same affair, they sought healing through each other as they both understood exactly what one another were going through.
Three years later, Frederic and Shania were married.
During their time of “hanging out”, Shania never revealed when or if they were dating, but she was open to talking about how they spent time together to try and get through the pain of being cheated on.
“The person to comfort me was Fred because he’s been through the exact same thing,” Twain told Oprah in 2008. “Fred was safe. So it was really a beautiful and perfect friendship.”
By 2009, the two were still spending a lot of time together, but Shania still never revealed any deeper of a relationship than a friendship that was between them.
“Having gone through the suffering of his family splitting apart at the same time and under the same extreme circumstances, he understands me better than anyone,” she wrote on her website.
Finally, in December 2010 – following the finalization of her divorce to Lange – it was confirmed that her and Thiebaud were engaged.
A day after the news broke, Shania wrote on her website, “I am excited to share some personal news with you; I’m in love! Frederic Nicolas Thiebaud has been a true gift to me as a compassionate, understanding friend and over time, an amazing love has blossomed from this precious friendship. Fred and I are happy to announce, our ENGAGEMENT!”
Not even two weeks later, on New Year’s 2011, they wed in Puerto Rico in a small ceremony that included only family and friends.
In the following months after their marriage, Shania was finally able to open up about her their friendship turned romantic.
“We slowly became very, very good friends,” Shania said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “We had many months of just trying to make sense of everything, holding each other up. It was a very difficult time emotionally for both of us. I would say he was probably stronger than I was. He was a tremendous support — we were a support to each other — and really found something beautiful in the end and unexpected.”
Days after she was on the show, Frederic talked to People about his feelings towards Shania.
“To express my love, words are not enough,” he said. “I’m more in love with her every day. What happened between us really came as a complete surprise. We never, ever expected anything like this. It’s just really a beautiful love story.
More recently, Shania talked with People last December, reflecting on her experience after the affair and how her and Frederic’s love grew stronger each day they spent together.
“That is a really strong bond that builds over time, that is rare, that you don’t have in every relationship if you don’t have those deep scars in common,” she said of Thiebaud. “We were a big part of each other’s healing.”
“When I got divorced I said, ‘I’m never getting married again,’” she added. “I was definitely one of those people that could have written a million songs about, ‘I’m never going to fall in love again’. But Fred was such an undeniable love.”
As for her relationship with Lange, she’s “found peace” and, in a sense, “forgiveness”.
“I found peace a long time ago,” she said, “and maybe peace is forgiveness, you know? I’m able to have more appreciation for [Lange] again, not for what happened in our marriage but for all that he contributed to such a great part of my career and my life. We have a beautiful child from it. The resentment is gone.”