The former fiancé of music icon Elton John has spoken out about being jilted by the Rocket Man singer and the night she found trying to commit suicide, 45 years after she split from the star.
Linda Hannon met the future pop star in 1968, and the pair were weeks away from tying the knot when he dumped her in the middle of the night.
Hannon, who still has the engagement ring, told the Mirror: “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.”
John, still known by birth name Reginald Dwight, had been out on his stag do with songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and blues singer Long John Baldry. When back at home he woke Linda in a drunken stupor to end their engagement. Linda explained: “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.”
The now 75-year-old met 21-year-old Reg at a club in Sheffield in the late 1960s.
She said of the meeting: “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.
“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.”
Hannon began to notice a change in her fiance’s moods and was none the wiser about his sexuality. She said: “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.”
The couple carried on with their plans to marry: “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 then out of the blue, just weeks before the ceremony, the romance was over, and Hannon has not spoken to the star since. Just months after the split, Elton John had his first hit, and the rest, as they say is history.
Linda is still a fan of Elton’s music and went to see him in concert for the first time nine years ago. She also plans to watch Rocketman, the biopic of Elton John starring Taron Egerton.