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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Patrick Swayze's Unknown Son

The July 31, 2017, issue of Globe magazine includes an article about an alleged secret son of Patrick Swayze.


The alleged son is Jason Whittle, who was born in 1973 and now is 44 years old. The following two pictures show, first, Whittle and, second, Swayze.

Jason Whittle
Patrick Swayze
Whittle grew up not knowing he was Swayze's son. His mother, Bonnie Kay Whittle, was 15 years old when she allegedly had a one-night stand with 20-year-old Swayze in 1972. Bonnie Kay died of cancer in 2012, and the article seems to indicate that she informed Jason only a short time before she died.

Swayze died in 2009, so it seems likely that he never knew about Jason Whittle. If Swayze had known, then his estate lawyer surely would have advised him to give Jason Whittle at least a token $1 in the will to prevent him from challenging the will. Swayze left his entire estate to his wife Lisa and left nothing to his other Swayze relatives. Now Whittle is claiming a big part -- perhaps half -- of Swayze's estate, which is estimated to be $40 million.

The other Swayze relatives claim that Lisa used abusive methods to coerce Patrick to change his will seven weeks before his death to give everything to her. Globe reports that some of those stiffed relatives now feel gratified that Whittle might take much of the estate from Lisa.

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I have a copy of Swayze's autobiography The Time of My Life, and I intend to write an article about it for this blog. The book says that in 1972 he was in a touring ice-skating show called Disney on Parade. That's how in 1972 he would have visited Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, where Bonnie Kay lived. Jason Whittle probably can prove that Disney on Parade was in that location exactly nine months before he was born.

The book includes the following passages about Swayze's experiences in 1972 (pages 30-32).
The dancers made $125 a week, which felt like a lot of money, especially since we all doubled, tripled, and quadrupled up in our living arrangements on the road. Most of the dancers were women, and of the few who were men, even fewer were straight men. So the opportunities for me in terms of finding women to date were just about endless.

Unfortunately, I still didn't know how to communicate with women, or anybody else. I just sounded like an egotistical ass whenever I talked, as I couldn't stop going on and on about myself. For one thing, my knee [injured in a high-school football game] kept blowing up after each performance, the joint swelling painfully due to the rigors of the show. .... It got so bad that I had to go to the hospital in every city to get the fluid drained from my knee. And the more knee trouble I had, the more I had to talk about it.

But after I had initially alienated just about everyone with my incessant blathering, people started realizing that I wasn't really egotistical, just insecure.
Apparently, Swayze was extraordinarily promiscuous during this 1972 tour. He hit on many girls who crossed his path and managed to seduce many of them.

Although Swayze was an extraordinarily handsome and talented young man, I think that he didn't study much in high school and felt intellectually inadequate. He was too busy with dance and athletics to read and study. I think that he often felt stupid in conversations with women in conversations about general knowledge -- history, current events and so forth.

In this regard, Swayze was quite similar to the character Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing in his relationship with intellectual Baby Houseman. His personal experience and feelings of intellectual inferiority enabled him to play the role so well.

I think that Swayze's insecurity was a major reason why in 1972 he involved himself with much younger girls, such as 15-year-old Bonnie Kay. He was intellectually inhibited by older, more sophisticated and sarcastic women.
I began dating one woman who was in the show, a good-looking blonde who had a party-queen reputation. She was a wild one, the kind of girl who liked trouble, and at first I was drawn to her dangerous air. Part of me just wanted to see if I could win her, but once I did, I realized she wasn't at all the kind of woman I was looking for. It sounds corny, but I really did believe in Snow White and Prince Charming -- I wanted to find a woman whom I could ride off into the sunset and share my life with.
While Swayze was touring in 1972, he maintained also a long-distance platonic relationship with Lisa Haapaniemi, a 16-year-old girl, a dance student in his mother's dance school in Houston, Texas.
I'm not sure I as even aware of it at the time, but subconsciously I was comparing all the women I met to Lisa.
Beyond sharing Patrick's love of dance, Lisa did not threaten him intellectually, because she was so young and was likewise a poor student.
Lisa was back in Houston having problems of her own. She'd been having a lot of trouble sleeping, and her insomnia eventually got so bad she had to drop out of high school. She'd always had trouble fitting in, and now, with the onset of a creeping depression, she felt even more alienated. This was the beginning of what she later called her "blue period".
Lisa argued with her parents and so came to live for two weeks with Patrick's mother, who was Lisa's dance teacher. During those two weeks, Patrick happened to come home from his tour for several days. Lisa and Patrick already knew each other from their participation in his mother's dance school.

Patrick Swayze and Lisa Happaniemi at his mother's
dance school in the very early 1970s (photo from his autobiography)
During those two weeks, Patrick dated other girls but also became sexually involved with Lisa in his home.
My mom didn't know it, but the attraction between Lisa and me had been growing for some time. She had seemed indifferent to me all those months [of Disney on Parade], but it turned out she was interested in me, too -- she was just shy, and acting like she didn't care was her way of covering it up.

But during those two weeks when Lisa stayed with us, and and I took every opportunity to steal time together. When Mom was in the kitchen, we'd be behind the swinging door in the dining room, making out. After everyone n the house had gone to sleep, we'd sneak out to the living room and fool around on the couch.

We still weren't technically "dating", but, man, we couldn't get enough of each other.

In fact, I had been seeing other girls -- and the very day Lisa came to stay at our house I had a date with a girl named Mimi, which led to an uncomfortable moment. ... I'd asked Mimi out for that Saturday night, to go to the Houston Rodeo. When Lisa moved into our house that afternoon, Mom expected me to give her a ride to the rodeo too.  ....

To my embarrassment, Mimi kept tickling my ear and kissing me all the way to the rodeo, as Lisa sat silently. ...
Soon, however, Patrick settled down with Lisa. As far as the public knows, he ended this promiscuous period of his life. Patrick married Lisa in 1975 and they remained married until his death in 2009.

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When 15-year-old Bonnie Kay happened to cross paths with 20-year-old Patrick Swayze in Missouri, their encounter might have had nothing to do with Disney on Parade. Perhaps she was a Candy Stripe volunteer at a hospital where he had fluid drained from his knee. Since he hit on girls everywhere and was becoming a pickup artist through frequent practice, he might have seduced Bonnie Kay in one day -- and she never even saw the Disney on Parade show. (This is just my idle speculation.)

Candy Stripe volunteers at a hospital.
Globe reports:
Her [Bonnie Kay's] mom, Lebetta Whittle, tells Globe, ... "She [Bonnie Kay] told me he [Patrick] wanted her to run away with him," Lebetta recalls. "But she was way too young and told him he could get in trouble for doing that. It was a short relationship, and she said she stayed there all night."
The fact that Bonnie Kay's mother has the last name Whittle indicates that Bonnie Kay never married.

When 15-year-old Bonnie Kay became pregnant in 1972, abortion still was illegal in Missouri. On January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled that abortion would henceforth be legal during at least the first three months of pregnancy. The Globe article does not specify Whittle's birthday, but it's likely that Bonnie Kay was a little more than three months pregnant on January 22, 1973. If so, then abortion remained illegal for her.

Although Bonnie Kay's fling with Swayze lasted only about one day, she did learn his identify. Her brother Ron told the Globe that she had Swayze's name and phone number written her arm when she came home from her night with him. At that time, though, Swayze was a nobody -- not worth the trouble of tracking him down to try to prove his paternity and collect child-support payments. Bonnie Kay kept Patrick's identify secret through the years, but sometimes was heard to remark that her seducer Patrick "was doing acting".

It's quite possible that she deliberately passed on any abortion possibilities anyway, because she considered an abortion to be a murder of a baby. That was an opinion to which many young women adhered even when they become unhappily pregnant -- and that still is true.

Many such young women who got pregnant dropped out of high school, gave birth, kept the child, and eventually married another man who adopted the child. The child was taught to respect that other man as the family's father. Such women considered such a difficult solution to their problem to be the moral solution.

The fact that Bonnie Kay kept the identity of Jason's biological father until perhaps her deathbed -- even though she knew that he was famous and rich Patrick Swayze -- suggests to me that she adhered stubbornly to some very strong moral convictions. It seems that she blamed herself for her foolish teenage fling and did not want to cause trouble for her own relationships or for the Swayzes' marriage.

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The story of Jason Whittle is an ironic counter-point to the movie Dirty Dancing, which portrayed sexual flings and subsequent abortions positively -- and which made Patrick Swayze an international star. If Baby Houseman had become pregnant from her fling with Johnny Castle, she certainly would have obtained an abortion and continued on with her planned life, graduating from college and becoming a career woman.

In contrast, Bonnie Kay probably dropped out of high school and lived a lower-middle-class life as an unmarried mother -- or as a common-law wife to another high-school dropout. Even after she realized, many years later, that her son's biological father was the actor Patrick Swayze, she kept that secret to herself out of respect for her family.

Swayze did not became even moderately famous until 1985, when he starred in the televised historical drama North and South. By that time, Jason was already about 12 years old. When Swayze became a superstar from Dirty Dancing in 1987, Jason was already about 14 years old.

After Jason became an adult, he probably began to hear comments that he looked like the now famous actor Patrick Swayze. However, Jason might have suspected that his biological father was another man in the vicinity who had similar looks.

Jason would not have imagined any possibility that his mother ever crossed paths with Swayze -- much less ever had sex with him -- when she was a 15-year-old girl living with her parents in a Missouri town.

Decades would pass before the adult Jason would be able to sit down at a computer and google "Patrick Swayze" and instantly receive a wealth of information about Swayze's life. Before Google, Jason would not have been able to discover that Swayze was touring with Disney on Parade throughout the USA in 1972, when Jason was conceived.

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Because Swayze died not knowing about this biological son, Swayze left his entire $40 million estate to his wife Lisa and did not even mention this unknown son in his will. Swayze did not explicitly exclude Jason from his estate.

Because Bonnie Kay did not inform Jason until after Swayze had died, Jason eventually might able to acquire as much as half of Swayze's $40 million estate.

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This is the first in a series of articles.

The second article is titled The Whittle Family of Morgan County, Missouri.

The third article is titled The Disney on Parade 1972 Tour and Patrick Swayze.

The fourth article is titled Patrick Swayze met Bonnie Kay Whittle in April 1972.

5 comments:

  1. The only Jason Whittle I know of here was born in 1975, is a former NFL player, has a wife and 5 or 6 kids, is a real estate agent and is 1 of 4 children. This is a terrible story and not true!!!

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  2. Why can't people get facts before writing such stupid theories. These people you are bashing on are my family. You think cause we are from Missouri that we must be a bunch of loosers? Did you ever think that maybe Bonnie didn't tell Jason or Patrick is because she was saving her son from having to grow up with such lies and media people making his life hell? Jason is a good man, husband and father. If anyone deserves an inheritance it is him and his family. And I know they would do a lot of good with it. Get your facts straight before you go bashing on people you don't know.

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    1. I agree, as another Whittle family member. I resent Bonnie being called "dopey," from someone who has no clue who she was, outside of her name. She was one of the sweetest people I ever knew. Humble and unassuming. Maybe they think only a dope would like Patrick Swayze! Ugh!

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