The Disappearance Of Patrick McDermott Explained

In 2005, Olivia Newton John's boyfriend Patrick McDermott vanished without a trace. Reports say that he was on a charter fishing boat off the coast of California at the time of his disappearance, and no body or any leads have ever been uncovered. Authorities and search parties jumped into action immediately after the fact, but all these years later, the loved ones of the missing man have only rumors to cling to (via Celebrity Nine).

Patrick McDermott made a living as a Hollywood cameraman. In addition to the Australian actress and singer, McDermott left behind an ex-wife and two children, all of whom have endured his inexplicable disappearance to the best of their ability. A source spoke to inquirers about the aftermath and the effects his tragic absence has had on those who were closest to him (per Now To Love): "Yvette [McDermott's ex-wife] and Olivia have become very close over the years. They're bonded by their grief and confusion over the whole thing."

Further notions

Despite the lapse in definitive understanding surrounding Patrick McDermott's disappearance, there is a body of speculation surrounding the matter. Sources shared that McDermott was undergoing relatively significant financial strain at the time, owing $11,000 in child support back pay to Yvette Nipar, the mother of his children (via Now To Love). He'd also filed for bankruptcy shortly before the incident. It isn't out of the realm of possibility, investigators agree, that he could have faked his own demise in an effort to thwart his significant debts. Fellow fishermen aboard the vessel say they observed McDermott paying his food bill just 30 minutes before they'd arrived at their final destination, leaving his passport and personal effects onboard before disembarking.

Several others claim to have encountered the missing 48-year-old in Mexico numerous times since his puzzling disappearance in 2005. Statements from the persons in question assert that he was (and is) living south of the U.S. border with an unidentified blonde woman presumed to be his girlfriend. Nonetheless, the postulations remain nothing more than scattered theories, and Patrick McDermott remains, for all intents and purposes, entirely untraceable (per Celebrity Nine). 

An on again, off again relationship

Patrick McDermott's disappearance takes on a whole new dimension when seen through the lens of he and Olivia Newton-John's relationship. While we have some scattered, factual details about their relationship, much of what we can glean falls under the umbrella of speculation, and should be taken with a grain of salt.

At the time McDermott vanished, he and Newton-John had actually stopped seeing each other. They'd been together for a total of nine years, as Celebrity Nine explains, but in an on-again, off-again capacity rather than a dedicated, ongoing relationship. Shortly before McDermott vanished, he and Newton-John had recently, officially broken up. This doesn't mean that Newton-John wasn't wracked by "grief and confusion," as Now to Love quotes, but it does perhaps lend credence to the idea that McDermott more or less gave up on life and booked it to Mexico to start over.

It took all the way until 2021 for Newton-John to open up about the incident. Now to Love says that Newton-John has "never really had closure," continuing, "the whys and what-ifs of Patrick's disappearance have troubled Olivia for years."

The aftermath of loss

In the aftermath of McDermott's disappearance, both Olivia Newton-John and McDermott's ex-wife, actress Yvette Nipar, bonded over the incident and shared the tragedy together. Neither one appears to hold any ill will against McDermott, and Nipar, in fact, is fully convinced that her ex-husband is dead. Newton-John and Nipar were forced to endure further, renewed grief in 2009 following an investigational "Dateline" special that reported an alleged 20+ sightings of McDermott "south of the border and in Central America," as Now to Love puts it. 

One private investigator in particular – Philip Klein — drew Nipar's ire. As Celebrity Nine reports, Nipar said that Klein was a "serial liar [who] is simply looking to be famous at the expense of an unfortunate tragedy in our lives." For his part, Klein went so far as to state that he was informed by a "credible representative" that McDermott was not only alive but directly requested to be "left alone" per Now to Love. 

Nipar is currently writing a memoir about the entire McDermott disappearance incident, as her personal website says. The memoir is titled "What Are the Chances?" — a spin on the name of her and McDermott's adult son, Chance. "[This is a] memoir that's been screaming to 'get out of me' for many years now," Now to Love quotes, "so I decided to put it all out there. I'm not alone, and that's what keeps me going."