Spanx founder Sara Blakely is mourning her “idol” Olivia Newton-John.
After news broke on Monday, August 8, that the beloved actress and singer had died, Blakely, 51, penned a sweet tribute to her on Instagram, revealing she has the late star’s iconic leather pants from Grease famed in her office.
Sharing a montage of photos and videos of herself with Newton-John, Blakely gushed: “Olivia was my childhood idol. I loved her so much, I believe I literally manifested her into my life.”
The businesswoman shared that when she was a kid, she visited Newton-John’s home. “I rang her doorbell when I was 8 yrs old and a nice man told me she wasn’t home because she was ‘touring in Australia,'” Blakely wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous as the moment I got out of the rental car and walked up to her gate. I was visiting California with my family and by chance learned where she lived. After 3 days of begging my parents, they drove me to her house.”
Blakely’s adoration for Newton-John continued as she shared: “Fast forward 19 years later … I’m competing in a lip sync contest at Clearwater High as Olivia singing ‘Summer Night,'” she continued.
The Florida native went on to reveal that when she wed husband Jesse Itzler in 2008, the Xanadu star surprised guests with a performance. “Fast forward 19 years later … Olivia agrees to sing at my wedding,” Blakely wrote. “She surprises everyone, including my husband and sang ‘Hopelessly Devoted.’ Jesse was so shocked he kept saying, ‘Sweetie, our wedding singer looks just like Olivia Newton-John’ and I said, ‘THAT IS OLIVIA NEWTOON JOHN!'”
Opening up about another memory, Blakely shared: “Fast forward another 10 years Olivia comes to @Spanx and I interview her for our Speaker Series.” Blakely said it was then the two became friends, joking, “She really had no choice.”
Blakely then revealed: “Fast forward … she puts her famous Grease pants up for auction and I won them! Ok … I didn’t win, I paid the most, but I had to because dreams come true.” She shared that the famous look is “now framed hanging on the wall at Spanx.”
The pants, along with other items from Grease, were auctioned off in 2019. Blakely scored the look for a whopping $162,000. The auction benefited the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center in Melbourne, Australia.
“I was a pretty skinny girl, and they were the perfect fit for me except the zip was broken, so they would stitch me into them,” she told King at the time.
Newton-John died at age 73 following a years-long battle with stage IV breast cancer.
The Two of a Kind actress passed away at her home in California on Monday, according to her husband, John Easterling, who announced the news via Facebook. “We ask that everyone please respect the family’s privacy during this very difficult time,” the announcement read. “Olivia has been a symbol of triumphs and hope for over 30 years sharing her journey with breast cancer.”
After first being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John underwent a partial mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Though she went into remission, the disease returned in 2013 and again in 2017.