Shania Twain Opens Up About Her Difficult Childhood, Heart-Wrenching Divorce and Finding Love Again


Shania Twain Says She Developed Dysphonia After Ex-Husband's Alleged Affair

Twain's breakout album, "Come On Over," released in 1997, was a joint project with music producer Robert "Mutt" Lange, 62. The couple produced many songs together in the years to come and eventually fell in love and married. For Twain, it was practically love at first sight.

"When I met Mutt for the first time, I knew that I loved this person." Twain said. "I felt like I had already loved him."

Shania Twain discussed her past in an interview with "Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden.

But with her punishing tour and studio schedules, Twain said she eventually began to sense that something was wrong with her marriage around the time of her 2004 "Up" tour.

"When I started to get lonely, then I knew that something wasn't right," she said. "I'm married to someone I love, and I'm so lonely...I didn't want to live that way."

Twain said she began confiding heavily in her close friend, Marie-Anne Thiebaud. They were friends for years until Twain confronted Thiebaud and Lange about having an affair, which she said would ultimately end Twain and Lange's 14-year marriage. She divorced Lange in 2009. Both Lange and Thiebaud have publicly denied the affair ever happened.

"Whether she was part of the cause ... of the breakup or whether it was just me leaning on her because it was already breaking up, I really don't know which came first," Twain said. "What I do know is she took advantage of, you know, the weakness in the relationship between Mutt and I."

Twain hasn't spoken to Thiebaud in person since confronting her about the alleged affair. Her ex-husband repeatedly denied it for months after she confronted him, Twain said, and he left a lot of "open wounds" for her.

"I was angry at Mutt for not listening to me and not answering my questions, more than the affair itself," she said.

Since learning of Lange's alleged betrayal, the five-time Grammy winner said she has developed dysphonia, a physical and physiological ailment that doesn't allow her to sing properly.

"The muscles literally constrict the voice box and prevent air from flowing properly," Twain said. "You don't get any volume, which is not very good for a singer."

"It's got nothing to do with the vocal chords, the voice is perfectly fine," she continued. "I would say the envelope around the vocal chords is restricting, and not allowing the vocal chords to do their job."

Without a powerful singing voice, Twain has slowly reinvented a new way to make her voice heard, in part through her memoir, "From This Moment On," and also through a new reality series on the Oprah Winfrey Network called "Why Not? With Shania Twain," which premieres May 8.

"I spent a lot of my life holding back my cries, and I want to change that because it's not good for me," Twain said. "So the journey through the 'Why Not' series is part of that, writing the book is part of that."

"Talking about it now is all part of that, forcing myself to do things that are difficult," she continued. "Take myself out of my comfort zone, face my anxieties and just get more comfortable with my fears."

After going through a vicious public divorce, Twain eventually found love again in a familiar face: Frederic Thiebaud, Marie-Anne's ex-husband. The couple married on New Year's Day 2011.

"I fell in love, I can't believe it because I didn't ever want to know love again," she said. "I've always believed in love. I temporarily lost my hope in love, and it was temporary thank goodness."

Even as someone who wrote some of the most treasured love songs and then went through incredible heartbreak with the same man, Twain said she will always cherish the songs she and Lange produced together.

"I still think they're beautiful," she said. "Nothing of my present or my future will ever take away what I had in the past, ever. I would never disrespect myself and do that. I'm very happy with every love song I ever wrote in my marriage to Mutt, and I'm very proud of the work we did together."

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