Elton John’s jilted bride: ‘The wedding cake was ready…I thought he loved me’ – Mirror Online

Elton John’s jilted bride: ‘The wedding cake was ready…I thought he loved me’ – Mirror Online

The wedding cake was ordered and the register office booked, but Linda Hannon’s plans to marry Elton John screeched to a halt when the singer ended their relationship weeks before their big day.

Linda was jilted by Elton, then known as Reg Dwight, months before he had his first big hit with Your Song in 1970.

He went on to become one of the biggest-selling chart stars of all time, with an estimated fortune of £300million and lavish homes around the world.

Meanwhile Linda, now 75, is a divorced mum-of-three making an estimated £35,000 a year as a doctor’s office manager in Dallas, Texas.

Linda, who still has her engagement ring, says: “We were a month away from the wedding when he drunkenly woke me up and told me it was off.

“Then he called his stepfather to come and get him. He walked out and that was it. I was so shocked. I loved him very much, and I thought he loved me.”

Linda with a photo of her ex-fiance Elton John

The upcoming film Rocketman, which stars Taron Egerton as Elton, explores the star’s struggles with substance abuse, depression and sexuality at that time.

Sir Elton, now 72, went on to marry Renate Blauel in 1984 but divorced in 1988 when he came out as gay.

In 2014 he converted his long-term civil partnership with David Furnish into a marriage, and the happy couple have children, Zachary, eight, and six-year-old Elijah.

In retrospect, Linda realises all the warning signs had been there before he called off their wedding.

Weeks earlier, Elton had made a half-hearted suicide attempt.

Linda found him with his head in their oven – but he had left the kitchen window wide open and set the gas knob to low.

At the time Elton said it was a cry for help due to his music career moving too slowly.

But after his stag do with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and blues singer Long John Baldry, he dumped Linda.

Elton with his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin

She says: “John Baldry and Bernie took Reg out for drinks at the Bag O’ Nails club in Soho and got him roaring drunk.

“They told him to call off the wedding, insisting he was going to ruin two lives, his own and mine.”

Years later, the openly gay Baldry said he had told Elton: “You love Bernie more than you love this girl. Put a stop to it now.”

Linda was still reeling from their split five years on when Elton released the 1975 single Someone Saved My Life Tonight, about their break-up.

The lyrics by Bernie Taupin include the line: “You almost had your hooks in me, didn’t you dear? You nearly had me roped and tied, altar-bound, hypnotised.”

Even 45 years on, the words still sting. She says: “It’s painful to hear that song.”

Edinburgh-born Linda met 21-year-old Reg at a Sheffield club in 1968, when he came to her table.

Elton with husband David Furnish

“Was there an instant spark? I don’t know, but he had never been to Sheffield before so I offered to show him around.

“It quickly became romantic when he asked me to visit him London.

I went to stay with him at his mother’s place.

He was an absolute mummy’s boy but I was three years older and more worldly wise. He was definitely a virgin. He was very affectionate.”

Linda left Sheffield and found a flat in North London. Elton moved in and Bernie did too, but when the couple got engaged they found their own flat.

They had little money, and it was a far cry from the fabulous homes Elton now has in the US, France and Italy as well as London and Windsor.

Linda says: “We had furniture on hire purchase. We didn’t have much money. I paid for everything. We went everywhere by bus.

“We were happy, or so I thought. I don’t think Reg actually proposed, we just discussed getting married and talked about wedding plans. I went out and bought my own ring. Reg was absent. I still have the ring, it’s a garnet, which is my birthstone, with diamonds around it.”

When Elton wed Renata Blauel in 1984

Then Elton’s moods darkened. Linda says: “He’d be silent and moody. I didn’t have a clue he was struggling with his sexuality. A few weeks before Reg left, Bernie and I found him lying with his head in the gas oven with the window wide open.

“At the time he said it was because his music career wasn’t taking off as quickly as he hoped. He was in one of his big depressions.”

But the couple forged ahead with their wedding plans. Linda says: “The register office was booked. And his mum had ordered the cake.

“We weren’t planning a huge affair. It was going to be family, a few close friends.”

But after Elton’s 4am bombshell the wedding was off and all contact was severed.

Linda says: “Reg and I have never been in communication since he woke me up to say he was leaving.

“His stepfather arrived with a truck and moved him out. I read somewhere that Elton paid me off. I’ve never received a dime from him. If we’d married, maybe I wouldn’t be sitting here in Dallas, still working as a doctors’ office manager at 75.”

Elton on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour

Nine months after they split Linda wed James Bowens, but admits: “I was still in love with Reg. We weren’t married long.”

She then met Tony, father of her three sons James, Oliver and Alex.

While pregnant with James, Linda contacted Elton’s management to ask if he would be god-father.

She says: “The message came back that he was out of the country and could not do it and that was the end of that.”

After splitting from Tony she met William Hannon, who was in the US military, and moved to America. But they split too.

Linda is still a fan of Elton’s music and saw him in concert for the first time nine years ago.

She says: “I tried to contact Reg’s people through the stadium and through the local press but I never heard a thing.

Linda says she is still a fan of Elton’s music

“I choked up a bit when I saw him walk on stage. It was hard to imagine the Reg I knew as the man up there in the arena.”

Linda says she will go and see Rocketman, which hits UK cinemas on May 24. But she says: “No one from the film production company has been in touch with me.

“Maybe I’ve been forgotten or written out of Reg’s life. I have no bitterness now and his biographer told me Reg regretted the way he’d dumped me.

“It was such a long time ago and I prefer to think of the happy memories.

“I never imagined he’d be as popular as he is. But to me he’ll always be just Reg.”

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