The story behind Shania Twain and Frederic Thiebaud’s relationship is definitely not the traditional fairytale love story. The Canadian country singer was left heartbroken after going through an extremely public divorce that involved her then-husband, music producer Robert Lange, leaving her for her best friend. Twain then disappeared from the limelight but has been slowly making a comeback in both her career and love life. The Grammy Award-winning artist is now remarried to the Swiss businessman and they’ll be celebrating their seven-year wedding anniversary as they ring in the new year, so here’s a list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about their relationship!
10. Long History
The “Don’t Impress Me Much” singer might have only married her now-husband, Frederic Thiebaud, five years ago in 2011, but she’s known him for a long time. Before they started dating and eventually married, he was married to her former best friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud. When the two got together, they dated for three years until they got married, but when they did marry, Twain made sure to remind people that their relationship was no rebound and was definitely not a quick whirlwind romance: “It’s three years now since our separations, and we had a good year of just suffering together as friends. And don’t forget I’d known him for many years before. So it was that, then another year of falling in love. It didn’t feel like a whirlwind at all, to be honest.”
9. Broken Marriages
Shania Twain and Frederic Thiebaud’s relationship blossomed from painful breakups. In an ironic twist of events, Twain and Thiebaud got together after they were both left by their spouses for each other’s spouses in 2008. The Canadian country singer was married to music producer, Robert “Mutt” Lange, for 14 years when he abruptly left her for Twain’s close friend and Thiebaud’s ex-wife, Marie-Anne. They essentially swapped partners! It seems like a great solution now, but at the time, it was devastating for Twain and Thiebaud because neither one of them wanted their marriages to end.
8. Frederic Thiebaud Broke News of the Affair
In her memoir, From This Moment On, Twain revealed that she found out about her ex-husband’s affair through Frederic Thiebaud. It was a few days after Lange told her he wanted a divorce when Thiebaud came to her and revealed he found that his now ex-wife, Marie-Anne was having an affair with Lange which is why they were asking for a divorce. “He had the classic evidence in the form of phone bills, hotel information, and receipts, and the memory of a garter belt and lingerie he saw packed in her luggage [when] she was meant to be going away for time ‘alone,'” she wrote.
7. Beginning of their Relationship
The scorned partners were brought together through their shared hurt and pain. In August 2009, nearly a year after her marriage fell apart, Shania Twain spoke out about her relationship with Thiebaud after the two were spotted vacationing together in various places like her cottage in Canada, New York City and Florida. Rumors swirled about the status of their relationship until Twain finally addressed them on her website. Although she never confirmed their relationship at the time, it had become quite clear where this was headed: “He has been the most constant companion and support for both Eja and I. And having gone through the suffering of his family splitting apart at the same time and under the same extreme circumstances, he understands me better than anyone. We leaned on one another through the ups and downs, taking turns holding each other up. We’ve become stronger and closer through it all, as have our children, Eja and Johanna, Fred’s 8-year-old daughter,” she wrote.
6. Didn’t Want to Move On
Now that Shania Twain has recovered from her divorce and is happily moved on, she’s opening up about that dark time in her life and has been pretty honest about how she felt at the time. Twain admitted back in 2011 that she had some pretty low moments when she found out her husband was leaving her for her best friend, Marie-Anne. In her memoir, she wrote about how she even went as far as to write an email to Marie-Anne begging her to give her husband back and described herself as feeling “ready to die.” When her relationship with Thiebaud started she wasn’t necessarily ready for another relationship so she tried to push it away. “I rejected it initially. But I couldn’t control Fred’s love for me and how easy he is to love,” she said.
5. How She Knew He Was the One
Considering what Fred and Shania both went through before their relationship began, it’s not surprising to learn that Twain was hesitant to move on. So how did she know that he was the one? “I got to observe Fred going through the same thing I was, and I admired how he handled it. That is where I fell in love with him, because he was so exemplary in every way…you see all their anger, how they handle their grief, their desperation. And he did it beautifully and was able to give me support at the same time. I admired him first. I think that’s very important,” she said in an interview with Redbook magazine.
The happy couple announced they were engaged in December 2010: “I am excited to share some personal news with you; I’m in love! Frederic Nicolas Thiebaud has been a true gift to me as a compassionate, understanding friend and over time, an amazing love has blossomed from this precious friendship.” Twain and Thiebaud married on New Years Day, January 1, 2011, in Puerto Rico. The sunset ceremony was small with only 40 of their closest friends and family in attendance. Twain bought her gown at a boutique in Switzerland, near the home she shares with Thiebaud. Her son, Eja, walked her down the aisle. After they wed, Twain took to her website to share a happy note with her fans: “Love, peace and happiness is taking me into 2011 and I’m feeling refreshed and optimistic about the future. I’m looking forward to what the new year has in store.”
3. Too Good to be True
In an interview with Redbook magazine, Twain gushed about her new love. “Fred is not only nice, he’s incredible. He’s attentive, brighter than God should ever allow any one man to be, funny, romantic, and cute as heck. Most of all, he shows what he feels, and that’s a quality that could come in any shape or size and be admired — it just so happens that Fred has a very gorgeous shape. He’s too good to be true, only he’s real! Good for me, is all I can say, and I’m loving every minute of it.”
2. Inspired her Television Show
In 2011, Shania Twain took a leap of faith and decided to share her story of heartbreak and healing by starring in a reality series on the Oprah Winfrey Network. According to her, the whole idea came from Frederic who started taking videos of her on his phone. “It was Fred’s birthday, and we’d gone to Italy for the weekend. He started filming me on his phone camera, and looking at the video, I thought, I’ve never seen myself like this before. I’ve never seen myself so devastated. And I realized I didn’t want to run away [from what I was experiencing] anymore. I wanted to face it. I thought, I have to document everything. I need to know myself better, dig deeper,” she said.
1. Nicknames For One Another
It’s pretty clear from the way Shania Twain talks about Frederic in her memoir and to the press that she’s absolutely head over heels in love. This was never more clear than in her interview with Redbook magazine, when she commented on their “silliest couple habit,” and said, “We stare at each other a lot and call each other lovey names. I’m Sunshy, short for Sunshine, and he’s Beauty Man, because he’s so darn beautiful!”