Later that day, Newton-John spoke out against claims she was on her deathbed. After reports began circulating that her condition had taken a turn for the worse — with assertions that her body was “shutting down” and that she only had “weeks” to live — Newton-John reassured her fans that she was doing just fine.
In a video posted to her social media account, the singer borrowed the words of Mark Twain and explained that the recent claims were merely “greatly exaggerated” rumours.
“Happy New Year, everyone!” a bright and cheery Newton-John happily exclaimed in the clip. “I just want to say the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated, to quote a very famous quote, and I’m doing great and I want to wish all of you the happiest, healthiest 2019 that’s possible.”
“Thank you all for the wonderful love and support for me and for my Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia,” she added.
Despite her diagnosis with stage 4 breast cancer, a representative for the iconic entertainer told PEOPLE earlier on Wednesday that the recent reports were “ridiculous” and “crap.”
Newton-John’s niece, Tottie Goldsmith, also spoke out on Instagram on Wednesday to clear up the mounting claims about her aunt’s health.
“Just giving you the heads up that Livvy is in good health, so let’s leave that distressing rumor where it belongs,” Goldsmith shared, along with a photo of her posing with Newton-John.
Goldsmith told Australia’s Seven Network that Newton-John had given her permission to speak out about her publicly, and that “you can rest assured she is going nowhere and in really good health. A sick rumor.”
Newton-John was first diagnosed with cancer in 1992 and underwent a partial mastectomy, nine months of chemotherapy and a breast reconstruction. After beating the disease, Newton-John became an advocate for breast cancer research and early detection.
In May 2017, doctors diagnosed Newton-John with stage 4 breast cancer that had metastasized to the sacrum. The star initially postponed the first half of her concert tour because of severe back pain from what she thought was sciatica, but further tests discovered it was actually cancer that spread.
Newton-John’s most recent diagnosis is her third bout with cancer, as she revealed in September that she had faced a return of the disease in private back in 2013.
In August, a tabloid report alleged that Newton-John canceled a handful of speaking engagements due to the progression of the illness — a claim that she herself denied.
“Olivia Newton-John’s two upcoming speaking appearances in Australia were canceled due to scheduling conflicts with her upcoming promotional tour for her new book, Don’t Stop Believin’ and the ONJ Cancer Wellness & Research Centre’s Wellness Walk & Research Run,” read a statement posted on her social platforms. “Not illness as falsely reported.”
In September, a source told PEOPLE that Newton-John had been feeling healthy.
“She’s feeling and looking great and was just dancing with John Travolta at a Grease 40th anniversary event,” the source said. “Everything that’s being reported about her diagnosis is the same news she released last year.”
This article was first published by People.