Did Olivia Newton-John's Ex Fake His Own Death?

Patrick McDermott was thought to have drowned after he went missing on an overnight fishing trip off the coast of California on June 30, 2005 — but some people believe he may have faked his own death.

By: Crime Feed Staff
Actress Olivia Newton-John poses with her boyfriend Patrick McDermott at the 10th Annual Human Rights Campaign Gala, February 17, 2001 in Los Angeles, CA. (

Patrick McDermott was thought to have drowned after he went missing on an overnight fishing trip off the coast of California on June 30, 2005 — but some people believe he is faking his own death.

Photo by: Getty Images

Getty Images

Patrick McDermott had been dating Olivia Newton-John for nine years when he disappeared after an overnight fishing trip off the coast of California on June 30, 2005. The U.S. Coast Guard declared him dead in 2008, even though not one of the 22 passengers on board the Freedom fishing boat reported seeing him go overboard.

In November 2017, McDermott, who was 48 years old and working as a cameraman at the time he went missing, had reportedly been found alive in Mexico. A photograph emerged apparently showing a shirtless McDermott lounging next to a mystery woman on a beach in the fishing town Sayulita.

Some investigators believed that McDermott, who owed several thousand dollars in backdated child-support payments, may have staged his own death to escape his financial woes.

Coleman-Rayner news agency found a picture last month on a noticeboard at the El Palmar del Camaron beach campsite that bears a striking resemblance to McDermott. The photograph is reproduced in an Australian magazine called New Idea.

Charlie Parker, who exposed con man Fredric Bourdin for impersonating missing teen Nicholas Barclay, believes that the photograph is very likely Patrick McDermott.

“The widow’s peak is exact. The eyes are very similar, and the ears extend down on the head in the same distance. I believe it’s him,” Parker says. He also found a 90 percent match between the new photo and old photos of McDermott.

There have been several suspected sightings of Newton-John’s ex-lover in Sayulita, where he is reportedly living with a German lover.

Private investigator John Nazarian had previously claimed he believes McDermott took money out of a bank account and obtained a new passport under his birth name Patrick Kim.

Newton-John died on Aug. 8, 2022 after a long battle with breast cancer. Before her death, she stated that she found the mystery of McDermott’s disappearance hard to accept, and often thought about whether he was still alive. The Grease actress married her second husband, John Easterling, in 2008.

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