Pop star Lulu accused of betraying her best friend
In an EXCLUSIVE interview with TV Blackbox, Bonnie Lythgoe reveals the truth about her feud with singer Lulu, what happened backstage during that alleged affair between Beau Ryan & Lauren Brant and how her ex-husband Nigel got her fired from the US version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’
Bonnie Lythgoe is one of those rare people in the entertainment industry — genuine and fiercely loyal. When you sit down with her (preferably over a glass of champagne), you can’t help but get caught up in the stories she happily tells and the honesty that pours out.
Unfortunately, her kindness hasn’t always been rewarded from those closest to her. Her husband Nigel (or Nasty Nigel as he was known on Popstars) put his own career ahead of hers and her best friend Lulu turned her back on their friendship to date him.
To this day Bonnie is still trying to process why Lulu made that decision;
“It hurt me because she was my friend and I don’t know if I have the right to say this, but it was personal to me because I didn’t understand why she would go out with Nigel when she was my friend and to be honest it really didn’t help us; it didn’t help Lu, it didn’t help me and I just didn’t understand why that relationship had to happen because I don’t ever see her any more.”
Bonnie and Lulu became firm friends during the shooting of To Sir With Love. The 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier bonded them until Lulu started dating Bonnie’s ex-husband, Nigel.
“We’ve never spoken since”
Despite having an opportunity to confront Lulu many years later when she saw the singer at the same hairdresser, Bonnie couldn’t face her and walked out.
When talking to Bonnie, there still seems to be some lingering doubts over when the relationship between her ex-husband and ex-friend started.
“It was probably after our marriage, I don’t know, I just felt it was the wrong thing to do.”
In 2016 Lulu appeared on The Australian morning TV show Studio 10. During the discussion she was talking about To Sir With Love and was asked about Bonnie, a regular contributor to the program.
Lulu was dismissive and pretended to only vaguely remember Bonnie.
“She played a part in it I think. Wasn’t Bonnie Lythgoe in it?” - Lulu (Studio 10 - 2016)
The comments infuriated Bonnie due to the close friendship the two had once had.
“I need more from a friend and I think that’s what really hurt me”
You can listen to the entire interview below:
While Bonnie’s relationship with her ex-husband has certainly had its fair share of bumps, the two have become close friends since their divorce, although during their marriage Bonnie had to accept her role as second-fiddle to his growing fame.
Her frustrations grew after season 2 of the US version of So You Think You Can Dance when she was informed she would only be working behind the scenes of the show and not as on air talent. She still suspects Nigel was the cause of her demotion.
“I think he might have planted that seed. I went to Simon Fuller and he said ‘I don’t know Bonnie, speak to Nigel’.”
Bonnie became disillusioned with the relationship and the two were spending more and more time apart until Bonnie finally made the decision to end the marriage, with the support of her two sons.
“How I ever got the guts to say ‘I’m going Nigel, this is it’ I will never, never know”
And as if her own relationship dramas weren’t enough to deal with, Bonnie was unknowingly part of one of the biggest scandals of 2015. During the production of Aladdin and His Wondrous Lamp, it’s alleged footy star Beau Ryan and former Hi5 star Lauren Brant began an affair. Ryan is married with one child and Brant was engaged at the time.
News of the affair came out after production of the panto had completed.
“I’ve got to tell you that I had no idea. On my life, on my children’s life I had no idea this was going on”.
It’s not unusual for the director of a show to keep some distance between themselves and the cast. Bonnie says if she had known it would have become a bigger issue that would have been dealt with;
“If I’d have known the real truth, somewhere along the line I would have said something.”
When pressed and asked whether she would have told the two to stop it, Bonnie answers with some hesitation;
“Would I have said ‘stop it’? Yeah, it would have gone to the company manager and the company manager… if there was any suspicion of that I would have spoken to her”
While her own relationships and those around her might seem like a rollercoaster ride, there is one relationship that will remain strong until the very end. Sir Cliff Richard and Bonnie have been friends since she was 15 and remain so today. Each year they catch up on various continents and she was a very public supporter of his when accusations of impropriety made headlines around the world.
“I knew he had done absolutely nothing wrong.”
Bonnie says Sir Cliff went through the worst time of his life defending himself.
“That man was distraught. That man couldn’t sleep and all because of this awful allegation and I was going to support him to the ends of the earth and would always do because I just knew there was nothing in it”.
We could all do with a friend like Bonnie.