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Singer’s missing boyfriend had financial woes

McDermott owed child support, had filed for bankruptcy
/ Source: The Associated Press

The missing boyfriend of singer Olivia Newton-John had filed for bankruptcy in 2000 and was embroiled in a legal dispute over child support, court documents show.

Patrick Kim McDermott, 48, was taken to court this spring by his ex-wife over late child support payments for their 13-year-old son, according to the documents.

His ex-wife reported him missing in early July, about a week after he was last seen on an overnight fishing trip off the California coast. Newton-John drew attention to his disappearance earlier this week; she said she waited out of respect for his family.

According to the Coast Guard, McDermott was last seen on the fishing boat June 30, but no one saw him leave, and his wallet and other belongings were found onboard.

The Coast Guard is investigating his disappearance as a missing person case, but is also looking into all possibilities, including that McDermott might have staged his disappearance, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nathan Henise.

“That’s part of their investigation. Until the investigation is concluded, we can’t really say anything about his (financial) situation,” Henise said.

According to a 1994 divorce filing, McDermott owed $800 a month in child support for his son, and as recently as April was ordered by a court to make all outstanding payments.

It wasn’t immediately clear how far behind he was in the payments. He had filed for bankruptcy in 2000 while owing about $31,000 to creditors.

McDermott and his ex-wife, actress Yvette Nipar, had also fought over visitation rights, according to court documents. Nipar, who has had regular roles on soap operas, alleged in a 2002 petition that McDermott had a “lack of parenting skills,” encouraged their son to “play hooky” and had trouble controlling his anger.

Newton-John, who starred in the 1978 movie “Grease,” issued a statement earlier this week that said: “For those of us who know and love him, it has been a truly heartbreaking experience and we have chosen to deal with it privately.”