Pop star Shania Twain has inspired her fans over the years through her gifted songwriting, her story of survival after her mother and stepfather were killed in a car accident, and more recently, her strength after her public divorce and subsequent marriage to Frederic Thiebaud.
In her revealing new memoir, From This Moment On, the 45-year-old mother-of-one opens up about the impact of her mother and stepfather’s abusive marriage and how her 9-year-old son Eja helped her move on from the devastation of her husband, rock producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange’s affair.
After 14 years of marriage, the five-time Grammy award-winning singer learned that her husband was having an affair with her friend and confidante, Marie-Anne. She opened up to Parade about this painful discovery.
“[It was the] most shocking and painful truth of my life since the death of my parents twenty years earlier….For the first week after finding out about the affair, I was ready to die–to go to bed forever and never wake up. Or to hurt someone,” Shania shares. “I was ready to do something desperate, but in reality, there was nothing to do but to suffer through it.”
Thankfully, her son Eja gave her the strength to go on.
Fortunately, when you’re a mom, the responsibility of caring for your child can keep you going,” Shania said.
Shania also opens up about falling in love with Frederic Thiebaud, the ex-husband of the friend who betrayed her. “Three years after our hearts were broken, together, I feel more love now than any other emotion I’ve felt since that time. I consider myself the luckiest woman on the planet that I have Fred to share the rest of my life with.”
As a child, Shania witnessed intense domestic violence and spousal abuse between her stepfather and her mother. In the book, Shania recalls one particular fight.
“My mother was a featherweight and so easy to push around. Jerry had her on the bathroom floor by the toilet, and, grabbing her hair, he slammed her head against the side of the basin, knocking her out cold. I could see Jerry repeatedly plunge my mother’s head into the toilet bowl, then pull it out again. I remember wondering, ‘Why is he trying to drown her when she’s already dead?’ I wanted to scream, ‘Stop, you already killed her!’ I wanted to stop him, but I was too afraid…The enormity of that helplessness transferred to me, and I felt as limp as she was.”
From This Moment On is available May 3, 2011. Shania will appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show on Tuesday, May 3. Her docu-series on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network will debut on May 8.