While the late Xanadu star and Easterling had been friends for almost 20 years after meeting at an environmental show in the ‘80s, the twosome didn’t turn their relationship romantic until around 2006.
The pair’s bond first began to deepen when Easterling spent the night at the “Physical” singer‘s guest house while he was in California for business. The following morning, the businessman got into a car accident while driving to the airport, fracturing his lower spine. After refusing painkillers at the hospital, he returned to Newton-John’s house to rest.
About a year later, Easterling made it to one of the Grease star‘s performances in Miami, where he was living at the time.
“The lights went down and I heard this Peruvian music, and she stepped out and sang ‘Pearls on a Chain’,” he recalled to Australian Women’s Weekly in April 2018. “[It’s] a very healing song — and that’s when I recognized who she was. I thought, ‘She’s a healer, and this is her medium of healing’. All I could think was that I wanted to introduce her to other healers who work in the Amazon.”
After the Grammy winner said “Yes” to the Amazonian adventure, Easterling knew she was the one.
At the time of their trip, the Florida native was CEO and chairman of the Amazon Herb Company, which he cofounded in 1990 with famous plant scientist Dr. Nicole Maxwell. The South American voyage created the perfect chance for the pair to bond over their love for the jungle and the healing powers of nature.
“We’d see each other every year at functions, and the more I got to know her, I thought, ‘Oh, she’s a really nice person. She really does care about people and animals and the rainforest,” Easterling — who sold his Amazon Herb Company in 2012 — shared with Australian Women’s Weekly in 2018. He went on to found the organic gardening company, Happy Tree Microbes shortly thereafter.
The pair went on to tie the knot on June 2008, in a private, Peruvian ceremony.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John’s illness returned in 2013 and for a third time in 2017. The natural health businessman’s research into Amazonian medicinal and therapeutic plants coincided with the “Let Me Be There” singer, who shared a similar preference for holistic medicine and well-being. He even helped her manage her cancer symptoms with medicinal marijuana he grew himself.
“Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer,” he wrote. “Her healing inspiration and pioneering experience with plant medicine continues with the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, dedicated to researching plant medicine and cancer.”
Keep reading to find out what we know about the late star’s husband.