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Apr. 5 2010 - 10:13 am | 647 views | 0 recommendations | 4 comments

Patrick Kim McDermott’s Return from Xanadu

Patrick McDermott

Patrick McDermott

Here’s a little tip for those of you planning to vanish and start new lives in a different country:

Don’t be dating an international superstar when you decide to vanish.

You’re welcome.

As Patrick Kim McDermott (who?) is learning, the Mounties have nothing on the tabloids, the tee vee, and the gossip blogs when it comes to getting their man.

Poor, hapless Patrick was a mild-mannered lighting technician/photographer (depending on your source) who had the good or bad luck (your choice) to be presentable enough to catch the eye of Seventies Superstar Olivia Newton-John. They dated for nine years, although they never cohabitated, and of course there are entertaining Alice-Down-the-Rabbit-Hole theories galore as to just why.

So far, so “normal” as far as celebrity stories go. There was the predictable appearance of the “Beard Theory” and many others, until June 30th, 2005, when something truly remarkable happened: Patrick vanished, never to be seen escorting has-beens on the red carpet again.

From TabloidBaby:

Our coverage of the mysterious disappearance of Olivia Newton-John’s alleged boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, has gotten international attention—and stirred up rival factions in various Olivia Newton-John fan clubs, which, for some reason, are using our comment sections to duke it out. It’s bizarre, it’s wild, it’s totally off point– and fascinating. For accusations of perversions, molestions and stalkings and more— click here or here, or pick any Olivia Newton-John story, and look at the comments. There are hundreds.

This disappearance of an on-again-off-again-not-famous-in-his-own-right-lover would not normally be of much interest to the Celebrity-Industrial Complex, except that Ms. Newton-John’s fame is of the truly enduring variety thanks to her turn as Sandy, the good girl gone just bad enough in Grease (opposite the fragrantly hetero John Travolta) and her string of inexplicably massive easy-listening hits that practically defined the late 70’s before eventually mutating into that great graveyard of musicality: Disco.

Thus, this powerful secondhand fame meant that the story of the missing boytoy became an immediate, worldwide scandal, and there was nothing either of them could do about it. Particularly when the “surviving” member of the pair neglected to report him missing.

Did he fall overboard on a fishing trip? Given the passengers who said they’d seen him disembark after the trip, it’s unlikely but the thrilling possibility refused to allow itself to be ruled out on shows and in papers that were, let’s face it, far more interested in the story than in the health of Patrick McDermott.

Did he fake his own death to get out of paying $800 a month in child support? You’d think if you were sleeping with a celebrity you could come up with a few bucks now and again, but then back in the dark days of 2005 bonking somebody who hadn’t had a hit in thirty years wasn’t a guaranteed reality series and clothing line at Walmart like it is now.

Did he stage the whole thing so his kid could get his $100,000 life insurance policy? Again, see above, and note that at least one source claims the money hasn’t been touched.

Well, now he’s turned up, picking (with brilliant timing) Baja California to hide away. Oh yes, God is apparently not pleased with this one little bit.

I could be a little jaded (d’ja think?) but it seems to me that the man simply wanted to pull a Jimmy Buffet. Who wouldn’t? His new life as a deck hand on a luxury tour boat apparently includes a lot of yachting, a bit of boozing, a little labor, a surfeit of sunning, and all the bikini babes you can shake a Margarita rimmer at. No monkey suit required.

‘Pat has asked that I portray to you his innocence. Pat has committed no crime. Pat simply wishes to be left alone. Let him live his life in peace and harmony. He is safe and has started anew again in a new place both physically and mentally. Stop this search immediately.’

A local fisherman, Jesus Rodriguez, said of him: ‘He was a very tranquil man. He kept himself to himself and didn’t mess with people in his community.

‘Sometimes he would have a few drinks in the bar, but he would be relaxed and not cause trouble. I was very surprised when I heard he had been in some kind of trouble. But then we heard it was just because he was the boyfriend of some American film star or something.’

And why has this finally come out, when rumors to this effect have been circulating since shortly after he vanished?? Oh, you know, the usual: an unquenchable desire to uncover the truth, dauntless dedication to the hunt…

a book deal:

“This firms intentions, if the information is found true, will produce such to his family first, the US Coast Guard second, and lastly we will produce to the public in the form of a upcoming book : THE HUNT FOR PATRICK KIM MCDERMOTT – THE TRUTH BEHIND THE MAN”

Before they go printing up a million copies, perhaps they should hire a copy editor. Oh, who am I kidding? The audience for this book can’t even watch tv without moving their lips.

Our condolences go out to Patrick, whose peaceful, anonymous new life is now over. With our condolences, we’ll send a little advice as well: next time, pay your bills, settle your debts, and be six months publicly clear of the celebrity bedmate before you even think about becoming a civilian again.

If it weren’t for his ex, Patrick Kim McDermott would be a free, and carefree, man. Instead, it’s Farewell to Xanadu.

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  1. collapse expand

    I agree that Patrick McDermott showed a huge lapse of judgement and responsibility by “going missing”, but please try to understand that Patrick was an orphan, adopted during the post-Korean war era, most likely the child of an impoverished mother, in a country were racially mixed children suffered much prejudice from full-blooded Koreans and were “adopted out” of the country. Although this is not an “excuse” for his irresponsible actions which caused much pain and sadness for his loved ones, Patrick’s early history is a sad and painful story too. I believe that, in general, people do not suddenly become “creeps”. Many times, poor behavior develops from a history of trauma, separation, loss and/or lack of love. My prayers go out to all affected by the sad story of this troubled man and all those affected by his disappearance.

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