Olivia Newton-John had been fighting cancer for years, but it was only in the past few days that it became obvious that she might die, her niece says.
Totti Goldsmith, the daughter of Olivia's late sister, Rona, told Australian TV show A Current Affair that her aunt's death was "not a shock," adding, "We've known how sick she's been, especially the last five days."
"It wasn't just the cancer that got her, it was other complications, being in a hospital and with a very susceptible immune system," Goldsmith continued. "She got secondary infections. She really went down[hill] in the past five, six days."
And while Olivia had used cannabinoids to manage her pain, Totti revealed, "later on it wasn't enough. She's really struggled with a lot of pain."
Totti added that she'd FaceTimed Olivia two days ago and essentially said her goodbyes. Reflecting on her mortality, Totti recalled that Olivia told her a few years ago, "I'm not afraid [of dying]. I've done more in my life than I could have ever imagined."
"She was deeply, deeply passionate about what she could give back to this planet, and she did," Totti added. She also said Olivia's family will accept Australia's offer to give the beloved star a state funeral, adding, "I think Australia needs it."
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.