After selling for a whopping $405,700, the famous leather jacket Olivia Newton-John wore for her iconic role of Sandy during the Grease finale has been returned to its rightful owner.
A media tech entrepreneur (who wishes to remain anonymous) purchased the costume piece in an auction to raise money for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Center in November, but recently gifted it back to the 71-year-old actress to put on permanent display at the Melbourne, Australia-based research institute.
The video clip above captures the moment the man surprised the Grease star — who was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time in 2017 — with the valuable piece of film memorabilia.
“The odds of beating a recurring cancer using the newest emerging therapies is 1,000 fold greater than someone appearing out of the blue, buying your most famous and cherished icon, and returning it to you, which is what I’m going to do right now,” the man tells Newton-John.
“Are you serious?” she responds, fighting back tears. “That is the sweetest thing anyone’s done for me. Thank you.”
The man continues: “This jacket belongs to you and the collective soul of those who love you. Those for whom you are the soundtrack of their lives. It should not sit in a billionaire’s closet for country club bragging rights.”
“For this reason, I humbly and respectfully return it to its rightful owner, which is you,” he says. “Godspeed for a quick recovery.”
Newton-John squeals with excitement, as she opens the fuchsia pink package and rips through matching wrapping tissue paper: “Where are you, my friend?!” the singer says.
Newton-John then turns to the media entrepreneur — red fabric-lined leather jacket in hand — and says, “I’m so grateful, thank you. It’s the most beautiful present.”
Today, nearly 40 years after the classic teen rom-com was released, the jacket is still considered one of the most iconic film fashion pieces of all time.
Last month leading up to the auction, the actress told Lorraine, “[The leather jacket] was in my closet for many, many years. Someone’s going to enjoy them, and this has a purpose.”
Newton-John founded the ONJ Cancer Centre during her first battle in 1992. She overcame cancer again in 2013, but in May 2017, she was told cancer had metastasized and spread to her bones.
However, she keeps a positive outlook on life — in an interview with Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning, the actress said she doesn’t like to dwell on the statistics of the disease.
“In my opinion, if they give you a percentage, or you know, ‘This many women get this and they live this long,’ you can create that and make it happen,” Newton-John said.
She added: “It’s almost like — I think I know what the statistics are. But I put them away. But I’m gonna live longer than that. I’ve made that decision. And I don’t buy into the statistics ‘cause I think they can make you really nervous.”
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