Fifty Shades of Grey film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson’s childhood

March 22, 2015 - Fifty Shades of Grey

  • Fifty Shades film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson had a charming childhood
  • Her father left home when she was 7 to float with a Hells Angels
  • Director’s mom altered family into a kibbutz and became New Age guru
  • Her upbringing has been spelt out in her mother’s weird new memoir

Claudia Joseph

and
Simon Trump for The Mail on Sunday

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As a advocate of otherworldly imagining and yoga, Sam Taylor-Johnson has mostly been described as a small kooky. 

This, after all, is a unpractical artist and film-maker who once wrapped Selfridges dialect store in a cosmetic print frieze.

No one, though, can doubt her unusual success, seen many recently when a 48-year-old destined Fifty Shades Of Grey, a film chronicle of E. L. James’s pound SM series.

Yet a play on shade – and a rumoured artistic differences between author and executive – have zero on a twists and turns of Sam’s genuine life, including a array of harmful setbacks that make her arise to inflection all a some-more impressive.

Fifty shades film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson's charming childhood has been laid unclothed in her mom Geraldine's weird new discourse (pictured together in 2002)

Fifty shades film-maker Sam Taylor-Johnson’s charming childhood has been laid unclothed in her mom Geraldine’s weird new discourse (pictured together in 2002)

For her childhood featured a father who left home when she was usually 7 to float opposite a universe with a Hells Angels, while her mom Geraldine altered a family into a kibbutz in East Sussex to learn yoga and astrology – before using off to turn a New Age guru.

Sam, afterwards 15 and doing her O-levels, was forced to pierce into a small bedsit to finish her drill on state benefits.

This charming upbringing is now spelt out in Geraldine’s weird new memoir, that claims she left her family in Britain given a array of visions guided her to find a ‘holy grail’ on a other side of a world.

Stranger still, it states that Sam – who was diagnosed with colon cancer aged usually 30, and breast cancer 3 years after – degraded both diseases with a assist of hundreds of bottles of dedicated ‘Grail Haven’ water, constructed by Geraldine and her third father David De Welles in a remote panorama of Queensland, Australia.

Her childhood featured a father, David, who left home when she was usually 7 to float opposite a universe with a Hells Angels

Her childhood featured a father, David, who left home when she was usually 7 to float opposite a universe with a Hells Angels

However outlandish it competence seem, there is no doubt that a autobiography, The Journey To A Sacred Well – Grail Haven, gives a revelation discernment not usually into Geraldine’s abandonment of her family, yet into a atmosphere and beliefs that made Sam’s stellar career.

In a 1990s, she was a feted photographer and video artist, one of a distinguished YBAs – Young British Artists – with Damien Hirst, Jake Chapman and Tracey Emin. Sam was nominated for a Turner Prize in 1998, shortly before her colon cancer diagnosis.

Geraldine writes: ‘I am mostly asked if we am unapproachable of my successful, intensely gifted and artistic daughter who has design in both Tate galleries, exhibits all over a universe and has constructed books, videos, films.

‘I tell them, ‘Yes. But we do not know complicated art.’ But in this time of predicament [when Sam had breast cancer], we was even some-more unapproachable of her; in fact she was my hero. She had shown a many incredible, unassailable spirit, in perspective of a different effects and outcome of a chemo on her being and her life.

The Fifty Shades film-maker with stars  Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan during a Berlin film festival

The Fifty Shades film-maker with stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan during a Berlin film festival

‘She had dipsomaniac a special Grail Heaven H2O and worked with healers who had famous her given she was a child. My daughter did not remove a hair on her head, nor was she ill in all that time.

‘In fact we had never seen her so radiant, so etherically beautiful, clever and confident.’

Geraldine – who earns a vital as an astrologer and healer – lives in an choice New Age village during Mount Tamborine, nearby Queensland’s Gold Coast.

When The Mail on Sunday visited, we found a small, alternative, hippy-style allotment filled with penetrating readers and New Age recovering centres dotted among traveller restaurants. Geraldine told us she did not wish to contend anything.

She is reduction reticent in her memoirs, however. ‘My daughter had been brought adult in a devout atmosphere that blended Christianity and yoga and we knew some unusual healers,’ she says.

‘I phoned any and any one of them requesting ‘absent healing’.

‘I had to wait about 3 weeks to get on a craft to see her [Sam] in England. Through this perpetual watchful time, we continued training yoga classes any week – my support and strength as ever.

She married actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson in 2012 after a span  met on a set of Nowhere Boy

She married actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson in 2012 after a span met on a set of Nowhere Boy

‘Meanwhile we bottled and bottled. A thousand bottles of Grail Water were sent to her small Covent Garden prosaic in London. She had it in cupboards, on cupboards, mantelpieces, underneath beds… water, H2O everywhere!

‘When we finally arrived in London, my daughter was still in a New York clinic, carrying been told it was a best in a world. A few days later, pale, really skinny and still in shock, what looked like my daughter returned from America.

‘She stood in front of a habit counterpart in a room where we was staying. As she altered her clothes, she incited to uncover me her exposed front.

‘There was a injure from a stomach swelling operation starting during her pubic bone to her waist and a deep, bloody injure where her left breast had been. ‘I have been mutilated,’ she pronounced in a prosaic voice. we wanted to cry for her.

‘I was means to stay for a really initial chemo session. She knelt on a bed in high spirits with an impish, impertinent face prepared to doubt her physicians. Doctors, nurses and specialises surrounded her. When they brought in a cosmetic bag containing a chemo and hung it on a drip, she said, ‘Is that it? we approaching it to be all brownish-red and smelly!’ We all laughed.

‘From a beginning, she had insisted that usually happy and smiling faces could accumulate around her bed. There would be no doom and gloom, she insisted. She would never holding a chemo ‘lying down’.’

As a advocate of otherworldly imagining and yoga, she has mostly been described as a small kooky

As a advocate of otherworldly imagining and yoga, she has mostly been described as a small kooky

Geraldine was usually 19 when she married Sam’s father David Taylor, a trainee surveyor, in Jun 1966. The integrate altered to Streatham, South-West London, where, 9 months later, Sam was born.

She was followed, in 1971, by her sister Ashley, now a married mom of dual who lives in Northern Italy.

But 5 years later, a family’s lifestyle came to a sour finish when David, afterwards an accountant for a section of Hell’s Angels, deserted them to bike around a world.

Two years on, after giving birth to their half-brother Kristian, Geraldine married her second husband, musician Peter Wood. The new Taylor-Wood family altered to Crowborough, East Sussex, where they lived a ‘basic hippy existence’ in a yoga kibbutz called Sunny Villa. Sam after removed how ‘strange’ it felt: ‘Suddenly we had left from Streatham ice course and a cinema any Saturday – a really civic life – to zero yet countryside, with a new father and a new life in this really low terrible residence called Sunny Villa.’

However, on Jan 6, 1982, that frail assent was cracked when Sam’s maternal grandfather Albert died. Months later, Geraldine – who claims she foresaw his genocide in a dream – walked out on a family.

Sam, afterwards 15 and in a core of her O-levels, battled to make ends accommodate on benefits, while her mom followed her possess devout tour with her soon-to-be third husband.

Sam after recalled: ‘One day she came home, handed me a note and said, ‘I’m withdrawal we all.’ we asked her where she was going and she pronounced she would call and let me know. In a end, we couldn’t utterly cope with it. we left, got a bedsit, sealed on a lot and got into college. I’d flattering many unsuccessful my O-levels.

‘I was a usually lady in this residence and it was utterly frightening. But we did have a clarity of excitement, leisure and adventure, nonetheless we did put chairs adult opposite my door.’

Geraldine claims that on an Easter event to Glastonbury in 1991, Wellesley Tudor Pole – a owners of a Chalice Well Trust – seemed to her in a dream and told her to pierce to Australia.

‘Without a shade of a doubt, a appearance we saw before me was Tudor Pole,’ she writes. ‘I saw him clearly. A beautiful, silvery-blue light radiated from him, while a rest of a room seemed to low in comparison. He seemed plain down to a waist; we saw his face, conduct and shoulders yet subsequent his waist he was usually soothing light, declining divided to nothingness.

‘His lips altered as he spoke; yet a difference were usually listened inside my mind. They were shrill and clear, and he had my comprehensive and full attention. A small some-more unrelenting this time, ‘Daughter of a Well, we are being sent to Australia to find water… when a time is right.’ we lay there in consternation and slight startle during what we had seen and heard. The subsequent morning a illness had left me and we returned to Tunbridge Wells.’

Within 18 months, she and David had sole their residence and left for Australia, holding Geraldine’s youngest son Kristian, afterwards 14, yet withdrawal behind her comparison daughters Sam, afterwards 25, and Ashley, 21. By this time, Sam had graduated from Goldsmiths College yet had nonetheless to be detected by White Cube gallery owners Jay Jopling, who would also turn her initial husband.

Her mom claimed that Ms Taylor-Johnson degraded cancer with a assist of hundreds of bottles of dedicated 'Grail Haven' H2O (pictured), constructed by Geraldine and her third father David De Welles

Her mom claimed that Ms Taylor-Johnson degraded cancer with a assist of hundreds of bottles of dedicated ‘Grail Haven’ H2O (pictured), constructed by Geraldine and her third father David De Welles

Sam has pronounced of her attribute with her mother: ‘It took a prolonged time to correct a relationship. we realised how easy it was to make mistakes even nonetheless hers were a bit bigger than most. we consider we usually had to let go of a annoy and we also felt we was too sleepy with my possess sufferings to have annoy churned in with it.’

In her book, Geraldine also reveals how she initial detected her daughter had breast cancer: ‘I will leave to a generosity of your imagination what a defining impulse it is to watch your possess daughter go by chemo. She would select any week a integrate of tighten friends and her sister to be there by her side.

‘She insisted they brought along games, jokes, celebration hats and balloons. She laughed compartment she cried when someone showed her a Billy Connolly video.’

Today, Sam divides her time between a US and Britain, where she shares a £13 million townhouse in Primrose Hill, North London, and a £1.85 million farmhouse in Somerset with her second husband, Aaron Johnson, who is 24 years her junior.

But she has remained in hold with her New Age mother. ‘We have a hilly relationship,’ she has said. ‘But during a same time it’s one we wish to maintain.’

 


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