Sunday, 25 January 2009

Story, 1981: ABBA's Agnetha fears for her children's life

Agnetha is desperate. Ever since the blonde ABBA-singer knows that her children are being threatened by kidnapping, she doesn’t sleep a wink. Anni-Frid is trying to help her friend and colleague but, being a mother herself, has this fear as well.

“My children are my most precious possession,” says the 31-year-old ABBA-singer Agnetha with emphasis. “Can you imagine that I don’t sleep a wink ever since anonymous letters have been received by the police, in which my children are being threatened by kidnapping? I’m desperate. Obviously, I immediately asked for police protection. Our house is being watched day and night at the moment. Linda’s school is being guarded constantly as well. And whenever I take a walk with Christian, a police officer is always around.
But this isn’t a life, is it? No human being is able to cope with that. Although fortunately nothing has happened yet, I’m still scared to death. Whenever someone in the street is coming too close to Linda or Christian, I immediately think he wants to kidnap them.”
When Agnetha and Björn decided to get a divorce, Linda (8) and Christian (3) stayed with their mother. They’re living not far from Björn and his second wife Lena Kallersjo. Agnetha regularly takes the children to visit their father.
“Björn is worried about those threatening letters as well. But still it’s clear that I have to be a father and a mother at the same time, now that Björn is not living with us anymore. I still consult Björn on several issues, but for instance, he doesn’t know how terrible I feel because of those awful letters. It’s strange really, for Björn I try to keep a brave face, because I don’t want to burden him with my problems. But of course, I realize very well that they are his children too. And that it’s very normal to find a solution together. Oh well, maybe I’m just too selfish.
Look, my children are everything to me. They are the only thing that’s still really important in my life. That’s why I try to spend every free moment with them. Actually, I don’t want anyone to interfere in their upbringing. Not even their father. Because deep in my heart I’m afraid there will come a day that they’d rather live with him. And then I won’t have anyone anymore.
Of course, it’s unreasonable to think that way, because Björn will never try to take Linda and Christian away from me. He only wants to help me as much as he can. But I think that every divorced mother has the fear in her heart that the children want to go to their father all of a sudden. But you can’t compare that feeling with what I’m going through right now. Ever since I know that someone wants to kidnap my children, I can’t live a normal life anymore. I hear strange noises in the house constantly.”

“I don’t dare to answer the phone anymore. And I don’t trust anyone anymore. Not too long ago, I even cancelled a performance with the group in Germany. Not at any price will I leave Linda and Christian with the nanny now. Luckily, the other ABBA-members understand my fear very well. Anni-Frid has even offered to come stay with me with her children for a while. But still, that didn’t seem like the right solution to me.”
Anni-Frid, the dark-haired singer of ABBA, has been startled by the threatening letters too. Ever since she divorced Benny nine months ago, Anni-Frid lives alone with her two children as well. Liselotte (13) and Hans (17) are children from her first marriage and have lived with their father, Ragnar Frederiksson, as well.
“When Ragnar and I got divorced, Hans and Liselotte stayed with their father,” the 36-year-old sympathetic Anni-Frid explains. “Because the judge thought I wouldn’t be able to raise them due to my busy schedule as a singer. But when I got married to Benny later on, they were allowed to live with me after a while. Now that Benny and I are divorced, I’m still going to raise them myself. And I will make sure they won’t be forced to go to their father again.
But when Agnetha told me that someone threatened to kidnap her children, I got scared as well. After all, everybody knows that all four of us are making a lot of money with ABBA and it’s mostly children of rich parents that are being kidnapped. I can only hope it’s all a terrible joke, but I wouldn’t be surprised to receive such a letter as well. In any case, I took the necessary precautions and I’m letting my house being guarded day and night. Hans, my son, thinks it’s all nonsense. He says I’m worrying about nothing. Hans thinks, with his seventeen years, that he’s old and wise enough to take care of himself.”
Chances are that Hans is going to follow in the footsteps of his mother. For a while now, he’s been singing in a group, in which the son from Benny’s first marriage, 16-year-old Peter, is playing as well.
“Actually, I think it’s quite nice that Hans is interested in singing and music,” Anni-Frid continues. “And I hope they will achieve great success with their band. But I’ve always taught my children, from a very young age, that the price you pay for fame can be very high. Just look at what’s happening to Agnetha right now. She’s now scared to death that her children are going to be kidnapped. And I guess she has been wondering lately whether the enormous success she has achieved with ABBA, is worth all this sadness!”


Anonymous said...

I must say that I just enjoy your site so much!!!
I've been following Abba since I was a kid in the 70s and reading all these carefully translated and beautifully presented by you articles brings some memories of that time for me plus adds some new information about Abba.
I also so much admire your effort in creating this site and hope you will continue adding new "old" stuff.

Michel said...

Thank you, George, for your kind comment. Much appreciated!