Shania Twain’s husband Frédéric Thiébaud has given the country star a “beautifully twisted” relationship. Even though she’s one of the most iconic country singers in the world, she was not spared from heartache.
The Canadian singer and songwriter has served up many memorable performances and songs will still sing today. In fact, she is the bestselling female artist in country music. She has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame and Canada’s Walk of Fame, she has won plenty of Grammy awards and is the only female artist with three consecutive studio albums certified Diamond by the RIAA. So I guess we can all agree that this woman is a powerhouse.
Today, Shania stays busy in several areas of life including her marriage to Frédéric Thiébaud. But do you know that the two had to take a very unusual route to end up together? The 54-year-old singer even describes her relationship with Frédéric as “It’s twisted. But so beautifully twisted.”
Well, that’s what we are about to find out now!
Who is Frédéric Thiébaud in the Life of Shania Twain
Frédéric Thiébaud was born in Switzerland on August 1, 1970, and is now 49 years old, and this makes him 5 years younger than Shania. He works as a business executive at Nestle, a Switzerland-based company.
He used to be married to Marie-Anne Thiebaud, Shania Twain and her husband, producer-songwriter Robert “Mutt” Lange’s personal assistant. She managed the couple’s château in Switzerland and was considered by Shania as one of her best friends. In fact, in 2006, Marie-Anne was Shania’s de facto date at the Red Cross Ball, the two has been seen posing for photos alongside in matching plunging necklines.
But things suddenly went south in the year 2008, when Shania and her husband announced they were separating after 14 years of marriage. Mutt was allegedly having an affair with Marie-Anne. Can you imagine how devastating that was to Shania?
Shania met Mutt at the beginning of her career. Mutt was impressed by Shania’s first album and offered to work with her. The two immediately felt their connection and married in 1993. In 2001, they welcomed their son Eja Lange.
Shania moved with her husband to Switzerland in the year 2000 because privacy and to be out of the limelight were important to Mutt so it also became important to her. A friend close to Shania revealed that the more isolated lifestyle took some adjusting for Shania, “She’s very warm, she likes to socialize and have people around. She gave up everything for him,” Shania’s friend said.
“[Shania] moved to Switzerland without knowing much about the community; she didn’t know many people at all.” And then Marie-Anne became her employee. They were of the same age and shared the same interests. Eventually, they became very good friends. According to an insider, the two became very close that Shania would often do Marie-Anne’s makeup if they were going out to an event.
Mutt has initially denied the allegations. He told PEOPLE magazine then, in an exclusive interview, then an affair was “absolutely not the reason [for the breakup],” he explained. “It’s literally just a growing apart, that’s all.” He also denied that he has a romantic relationship with Marie-Anne, who by that time, was in the process of divorcing Frédéric after eight years of marriage. Marie-Anne also told PEOPLE that the alleged affair is not true.
But someone has finally spilled the beans and it was no other than Frédéric Thiébaud. He was the one who exposed the affair to Shania. “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,'” Shania wrote in her memoir From This Moment On.
Discovering that her long-time husband and the father of her son had an affair with her best friend Marie-Anne was to Shania “the most shocking and painful truth of my life since the death of my parents twenty years earlier”.
“For the first week after finding out about the affair, I was ready to die–to go to bed forever and never wake up,” the singer writes. “Or to hurt someone. I was ready to do something desperate, but in reality, there was nothing to do but to suffer through it. Fortunately, when you’re a mom, the responsibility of caring for your child can keep you going.”
She was even begging, pleading and sending Marie-Anne e-mails. One read, “If you could see me crying and suffering, maybe you would have pity. Find love somewhere else from someone else that isn’t hurting two families so much.” She says, “I’ll never be okay with how my marriage ended. But you have to accept that’s what was meant to be.”
In 2017, Shania chose to use the betrayal she experienced to churn out in her album, “Now”. However, few of the tunes did not make it to the final cut due to their cruel and profanity-laced lyrics.
“If I’m really angry, I’ll say ‘f–k’ a lot. And, if I’m writing, that word will be in every line,” she confessed. “There was one song I wrote about my cheating friend and there was a lot of f–ks in there. I hated her, so that’s the best word to use when you hate somebody.”
Shania explained that it’s hard to let go of those feelings because Marie-Anne was the person she turned to when she suspected that Mutt was being unfaithful. “I do really nasty things in my dreams to her,” she further revealed. “I’m always cutting her hair or shaving it off.” Well, I must say Shania really showed a surprising amount of restraint.
After the divorce Shania said that she went into a deep depression. “There were days I didn’t really care if tomorrow came,” the signer said.
What’s even worse was that Shania lost the ability to sing. As if the breakup of her family wasn’t hard enough, she was diagnosed with dysphonia (a condition in which the muscles around the voice box constrict it), she attributes the problem to the stress she’s had in her life, especially due to her divorce.
“I’d lost my voice,” Shania shared in her recent interviews. “I had to start over with my voice. I got Lyme disease at the end of the Up tour. The vocal chord nerves were damaged each side. I had to get an open throat surgery. The chords are fine but they just don’t have the strings. The nerves are just weak. They don’t flow symmetrically which is an absolute nightmare for a singer. So I had to literally start over.”
Luckily, Frédéric Thiébaud was there for her as a shoulder to lean on. Frédéric and Shania, unexpectedly bonded over the shared pain and the betrayal and this leads to engagement in 2010 and marriage in 2011 in an intimate ceremony in Rincón, Puerto Rico.
“It was a very difficult time emotionally for both of us. I would say that he was probably stronger through it than I was,” she shared with Ellen DeGeneres. “He was a tremendous support; we were a support to each other and really found something beautiful in the end and unexpected.”
However, according to Shania, they did not immediately see each other as romantic partners. Everything has gradually happened. As a matter of fact, it was their children who first noticed that they were becoming more than just friends.
In one of her recent interviews, she recalled her days before falling in love with Frédéric Thiébaud. “I didn’t love life during that period, I have to say,” Twain said. “This is why ‘Life’s About to Get Good,’ I was like okay, come on. You’ve got to pick yourself up. You’ve got to find a way to carry on. You’re in this ‘I’m never going to love again, I’m never going to marry again.’ I just felt like I had to start from zero on so many levels.”
“I didn’t want to love again-it was the last thing on my mind,” she also told People. “It’s just amazing how life works.”
Shania shared in her previous interview with Parade, “I describe what happened to Fred and me this way: we were two people who had been jettisoned from our lives as if we’d been shoved off the edge of a high cliff. Thankfully, we managed to grab onto each other on the way down in midair and break each other’s fall.”
“My closest friends and family say they haven’t seen me this free-spirited and happy in years,” she said in another interview. “And it’s true. It’s definitely true.
Frédéric Thiébaud and Shania Twain After the Storm
In 2015, Shania was asked by Andy Cohen what she would say to Marie-Anne if she were to run into her. Shania’s response was: “I wish I’d never met you.”
She also shared that hat she had run into Marie-Anne since that nightmare. “I had a total panic attack,” Shania said of the incident. “I just told her that she was a bad person—that’s all I could get out!”
Upon sharing, she realized that though she wishes she had never known her, she can’t say she would necessarily be “better off” having not known “the other woman.” Shania told Andy Cohen, “I think I’ve learned a lot from all that. I don’t regret it, but I think that’s how I would’ve answered the question.”
In the end, Shania was a survivor. Of course, through the help of her loving husband Frédéric. “Survival is everything,” Shania reflects about her experience. “I was in quicksand. I panicked, like everybody does, but I didn’t surrender. I found a way out.”
“Sometimes I get overwhelmed coping with things, but experience also teaches you how to manage. When you get older, you have so much experience at falling and getting up,” she said. “You’re not going to stop falling. But you will get better at getting up and brushing yourself off. I believe that. I’ve lived it.”
The singer, songwriter also admitted that her relationship with Frédéric Thiébaud is totally different from her previous ones. “It’s a passionate love on every level. I used to be very monotone in my relationships… I don’t think Mutt ever knew me. That’s the difference.”
Shania said that there are two things make her marriage to now-husband, Frédéric Thiébaud work and these are faith and love. “I’m so grateful I found the faith and courage to love again — because the last thing you want to do when you’re crushed is love again,” the country star told People.
“When you have a great loss, you lose faith; you get very discouraged. I’m sure a lot of people say, ‘I’m never going to love again. I never want to fall in love again.’ Songs have been written about that. I’m really glad that that got turned around for me, and that’s what this relationship is.”
According to a recent interview she had with L’Illustré, Shania and Frédéric live with their pups in La Tour-de-Peilz. On an Instagram post last year’s Holiday season, she shared that she’s back in Switzerland. The caption says “Home” with the Swizterland flag emoji. She continued with “now it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit.”
A dashing Frédéric even made a rare appearance with Shania during the American Music Awards. Though Frédéric didn’t join Shania on the AMA red carpet, he cheered on his wife from the front row during her energetic performance.
Even before they were married, Shania shared how supportive Frédéric Thiébaud to her. “[He] has been the most constant companion and support for both [my son] 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,” she wrote on her website.
“We leaned on one another through the ups and downs, taking turns holding each other up,” she added. “We’ve become stronger and closer through it all, as have our children, Eja and Johanna, [Fred’s daughter].”
Indeed, Shania’s marriage to Frédéric has become a beautiful ending to a heartbreaking season. We can’t help but be happy seeing Shania kicking ass with a really sweet man by her side.