At the height of her career in 2002, with five Grammys and her album Come on Over became the best-selling album, Shania walked away from it all. She and Mutt moved into a Swiss chateau to live a quiet life with their young son. Unfortunately, wealth and fame couldn't shelter Shania from pain in the public eye. Six years later, she made headlines when her 14-year marriage fell apart and she says she discovered Mutt was having an affair with her closest friend.
Growing up in Ontario, Canada, Shania had a tumultuous childhood. Her mother and stepfather struggled to pay the bills; it was Shania's mother who pushed her into singing gigs, seeing it as a way for the family to earn money. "I think she really did see something genuine there, but she grabbed onto it as though it was a lifeline for her," Shania says.
Shania says she remembers the first time she witnessed violence between her mother and stepfather: She was just 4 years old. Despite the abuse she witnessed at home, Shania says she did love her stepfather. "My father was a beautiful man. He took us children in as his own. There were three of us girls, and he gave us so much."
When Shania was 22, her parents were killed in a car crash and Shania was left to take care of her brother and two sisters. Growing up in poverty and watching her mother being abused, Shania says, "You dream more realistically." Little did she know that her realistic dreams would soon lead to fame and fortune?
By 2008, Shania appeared to be leading a fairy-tale life with her husband, Mutt, and their young son. "I was very lonely, to be honest," she says. Her closest friend and confidant at the time was her assistant Marie-Anne. What was painful and shattering was when she was told Mutt and Marie-Anne were allegedly having an affair.
Shania says, "There were days when I really just was like, You know, I just don't even really care if tomorrow comes." Even though Shania says she'll always be sad about the way her marriage ended, she has been able to move on. Since Shania and Mutt share a child together, she still sees Mutt, but she refuses to see Marie-Anne.
With her marriage over and her confidence shattered, Shania lost her ability to perform. Shania attributes her voice closing up to the fears she's been living with her whole life. "I've just trapped my own voice, and now I've got to unwind all that."
After her marriage fell apart, Shania turned to the one person she thought could understand: Marie-Anne's ex-husband, Fred. Over time, Fred and Shania's shared pain evolved into something more. Shania says. On January 1, 2011, Fred and Shania married on a beach in Puerto Rico. "I really can't complain. I've got a beautiful man; I have everything I could ever want in life," Shania says.
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