Whatever happened to Samantha Fox?

Samantha Fox first found fame in her native UK as a “Page 3 girl,” the name given to the daily-changing topless models that once graced the nation’s most popular tabloid paper, The Sun. In fact, thanks to her striking blonde hair, cheeky girl next door persona, and natural curves, this particular pin-up became “one of the most photographed British women of the 1980s,” according to The Guardian.

On the other side of the Atlantic, however, Fox was far more renowned for a string of suggestive and spirited dance-pop hits, which recalled the likes of Laura Branigan and Kim Wilde. “Touch Me (I Want Your Body),” “Naughty Girls (Need Love Too),” and “I Wanna Have Some Fun” all reached the Top 10 in the United States, while all three parent albums landed on the Billboard 200.

Following her 1989 cover version of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Wanna Be With You,” this ’80s star seemed to disappear from view — well, stateside at least. Back in her homeland, the multi-talented star has continued to maintain a career in showbiz. Here’s a look at what the self-proclaimed “Angel with an Attitude” has been up to since her MTV-bothering heyday.

Samantha Fox went on to release several albums

Samantha Fox might not have troubled the U.S. charts since 1989, but there’s much more to her discography than her first three albums. In 1991, the music star continued her love of tracks with parentheses on her fourth studio effort, Just One Night, with lead single “(Hurt Me! Hurt Me!) But the Pants Stay On” being perhaps the most WTF-worthy. 

Six years later, Fox returned to the pop fold with 21st Century Fox, a Eurodance-heavy affair featuring a cover of lounge pop classic “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.” She embraced her rockier side on 2005’s Angel with an Attitude. Throw in numerous hits collections, remix albums, guest vocal spots, and covers (including Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff,” Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita,” and a “Call Me” collaboration with fellow ’80s European model-singer Sabrina), and there’s been plenty of material for Fox completists to get their hands on. 

However, the former model initially struggled to make her mark in music, telling The Guardian in 2017, “At the beginning, many people didn’t believe it was me on the record.” Clearly, Fox quickly found her sound and never really slowed down on this side of show business — even seeing a resurgence in popularity while continuing to tour worldwide in the 2010s. “A lot of young people are into 80s music now,” Fox added. “It was an exciting time. The songs always had a story and the choruses were anthemic.”

Samantha Fox tried to enter Eurovision

The United Kingdom has sent both a Samantha and a Fox to the unashamed campfest that is the Eurovision Song Contest. However, the great British public unfortunately decided against putting forward Samantha Fox when she entered the BBC’s selection process in the mid-’90s.

Fox was one of several familiar faces to compete in A Song for Europe 1995 as the frontwoman of pop-rock band, Sox. Londonbeat, the vocal harmony outfit who’d achieved a U.S. number one smash with “I’ve Been Thinking About You” four years previously, were also in the mix. Likewise, Deuce — a pure pop boy/girl group who’d only just scored a UK Top 20 hit with “Call It Love” — entered the contest. Yet, it was a group of complete unknowns who ended up triumphant on the night.

Love City Groove’s self-titled hip-pop track received more than 140,000 votes, compared to the 65,436 that Sox’s “Go for the Heart” achieved to place fourth in the eight-strong competition. Who knows whether the UK would have done any better if Fox had been its representation at the contest, which was staged in Dublin, just a few months later: for Love City Groove ended up finishing in an underwhelming 10th place … way behind Norway’s victory.

Samantha Fox also occasionally returned to acting

While Samantha Fox attended drama school from a young age, she first publicly proved she could be a double threat when she took on the role of Charleen in the forgotten 1987 action comedy, Three Kinds of Heat. Three years later, she guested in the final season of Scott Baio’s spin-off sitcom, Charles in Charge. Since then, however, her acting career has been rather sporadic, to say the least.

Fox waited until 1999 to take on another onscreen speaking role, appearing as Patsy in The Match, a low-budget British comedy starring Richard E. Grant, Ian Holm, and a pre-Glitter Max Beesley. She took even more time following that up, with her performance as Karen in 7 Cases only arriving in 2015. But the horror movie appeared to have given Fox the acting bug, as she’s since played Ms. Moore in the fifth installment of the deliberately silly Sharknado franchise and signed up to appear in A Night in Red Trilogy, a miniseries based on the Jack the Ripper murders.

But Fox’s most notable acting credit has been in the 1995 Hindi movie, Rock Dancer. The former model flew in specially from London for a single scene in which she sang and shook a leg to a track named “Traffic Jam.” This brief appearance saw the singer reportedly become the first Western woman ever to grace a Bollywood film. “I’m very proud of this,” Fox later wrote on Facebook. “It was such an amazing experience.”

Samantha Fox came out as gay

KISS guitarist Paul Stanley and Australian career criminal Peter Foster both reportedly dated Samantha Fox during her rise to fame. However, by 1999, rumors began surfacing that she was in a relationship with Cris Bonacci, the former Girlschool six-stringer Fox worked with on her 21st Century Fox album.

Fox didn’t comment on the reports at the time, but four years later did admit that she was in a relationship with another woman, her manager Myra Stratton. In a 2017 interview with The Guardian, the star explained why she’d felt the need to tell the truth about her sexuality. She said, “I was scared to come out. But then I thought: ‘I’m not a pinup any more … I can’t live a lie.'” Fox had previously discussed her fears about revealing all during an appearance on British daytime chat show Loose Women in 2016. According to The Sun, the star told the panel she was concerned she may lose her fan base once the truth got out.

Thankfully for Fox, the public reaction proved to be more positive than she thought, telling The Guardian, “It was no big deal.” She’s since teamed up with the likes of Sir Ian McKellen as a patron of the Albert Kennedy Trust, an initiative designed to help those in the LGBTQ+ community who have been disowned by their families.

Samantha Fox lost love and found it again

Six years after telling the world about her relationship with manager Myra Stratton, Samantha Fox revealed to OK! magazine (via PinkNews) that the pair planned to marry in a civil partnership. It sounded like it would be quite the event, with the star adding that she wanted Motorhead’s Lemmy to walk her down the aisle and Boney M’s Liz Mitchell to serve as the officiator. Unfortunately, the ceremony never came to fruition.

In 2013, Stratton was diagnosed with cancer and tragically lost her battle with the disease two years later at the age of 60. A heartbroken Fox paid tribute to her long-term partner on Instagram: “Bye my baby, no more suffering, I will always love you and (you will) be forever in my heart your Sammy xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Forever.”

While appearing on Celebrity Big Brother in 2016, Fox revealed that she’d moved on with another woman, telling fellow housemate Marnie Simpson (via Hello!), “I met somebody a couple of months ago and I’m very happy. As you get older life goes so quick.” Shortly after, Fox’s partner was confirmed to be Linda Olsen (pictured, above), a mother-of-two from Norway. By February 2020, the couple had gotten engaged, with reports emerging that they were busy organizing a summer wedding, which would eventually be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Sadly, the death of Lemmy in 2015 meant that Fox would have to find somebody new to give her away.

Samantha Fox has appeared on countless reality TV shows

Samantha Fox has almost put the Kardashian-Jenners to shame with the amount of reality TV appearances she’s made since the turn of the century. She first embraced the genre in 2003 with a memorable appearance on ITV’s The Club, a show in which three celebrities manage their own London bar. Fox lost out to soap opera actor Dean Gaffney in the six-week series, but still grabbed all the headlines thanks to an outrageous drunken argument with a staff member, which almost turned physical.

Things also got a little volatile in 2008, when Fox briefly exchanged partners with stand-up comedian Freddie Starr in Celebrity Wife Swap. Thankfully, her venture into the Aussie outback on the UK’s hugely popular series, I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here, the following year went by without any major drama. The same could be said for 2010, when she joined the likes of former America’s Next Top Model judge Janice Dickinson and tabloid playboy Calum Best on the culinary contest, Come Dine with Me.

In 2016, Fox bravely entered the 16th season of Celebrity Big Brother, alongside Ariana Grande’s brother Frankie, former Danity Kane vocalist Aubrey O’Day, and Mob Wives star Renee Graziano. Fox struggled throughout much of her stint in the famous house, and even had to receive medical attention after suffering a panic attack. However, she still managed to survive for 27 days, before being evicted in seventh place.

Samantha Fox posed for Playboy and she'd do it again

Samantha Fox might have called time on her glamour girl days back in 1986, but she certainly hasn’t been averse to the odd bit of flesh baring since then. Nine years later, the former pin-up model returned to The Sun‘s most famous feature for a whole week to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of Page 3. A year later saw Fox pose for the most famous men’s magazine of all time, Playboy.

Fox appeared on the front cover of the October 1996 issue, dressed in the famous Playboy pink bunny outfit and clutching an equally colorful guitar. Her eight-page spread inside the magazine, complete with an interview, proved to be even more revealing. But it turns out that this shoot didn’t completely quell Fox’s Playboy ambitions.

Indeed, Fox told the panel of the UK’s Loose Women in 2016 (via the Daily Mail) that even though she had no plans to strip for Page 3 ever again, she would quite happily return to Playboy. And the star believes her middle age shouldn’t be a barrier: “Joan Collins, Farrah Fawcett did it at 50, a lot of people did it at 50, so I would be up for that but in a very classy way. I’d have no problems with that.”

Samantha Fox further explored her spirituality

In 1994, reports emerged that Samantha Fox had become a born-again Christian, with her appearance at the faith-based festival, Greenbelt, cited as evidence. However, while speaking with The Age in 2007, the ex-model argued that she’d always had strong religious beliefs, saying, “God gave me my body. I know it has made many people happy. There is no conflict there. I don’t and have never promoted pornography. I am doing what God wants me to do.”

Yet, Fox admitted that she did start to explore her spirituality a little further around this period. During a 2003 chat with The Guardian, the singer confirmed she’d once attended the in-vogue evangelical course dubbed ALPHA. However, she soon realized that its teachings weren’t for her: “What I learned was I’ve got my own faith … I felt I didn’t need to be there.”

Still, the course wasn’t entirely without merit. When asked whether it made her feel conflicted about identifying as gay, Fox replied, “I think we’ve come a long way since the Bible was written. No, Alpha never made me feel bad about my sexuality, because I believe in love: at the end of the day, I think all God wants for us is to be happy and love each other. But Alpha was good because it helped me find myself a bit. It has taken me a while.”

Samantha Fox filed a lawsuit against her father

Samantha Fox was managed by her father, John Fox, at the height of her career. Unfortunately, he was reportedly an abusive and “controlling” man who, writes The Guardian, “increasingly spent more time drinking and taking cocaine than doing his job.” 

Ahead of the publication of her 2017 memoir, Forever, Samantha alleged to the Mirror that she was left with a black eye and fractured ribs after receiving a physical beating at his hands in 1991. This proved to be the last straw for the young star, and she subsequently gave her father his marching orders. However, Samantha soon realized that he’d already embezzled much of her fortune by this point, and had avoided paying her taxes for no fewer than three years. Fox went on to file a successful lawsuit, but the £363,000 she received was reportedly used solely to settle her tax bill.

The singer didn’t hear from her dad for several years until he contacted her one day out of the blue, per The Guardian. Sadly, it wasn’t to make amends. John simply wanted to manufacture a reunion for the book deal he’d been offered about their life story. Unsurprisingly, Samantha wasn’t interested, and the pair remained estranged until his death in 2000. 

In an interview with Express 17 years later, Samantha reflected, “It was very difficult. You can’t say you regret having your father as your manager because he is your father. But there’s that saying: you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family.”

Samantha Fox has amassed an impressive net worth

Samantha Fox might not be a name you hear much these days, but that doesn’t mean she’s been simply resting on the royalties of her ’80s hits. This multi-talented star has clearly continued to maintain a strong work ethic ever since she made it big — and she’s not done yet, either. In 2018, Fox launched a pop comeback with the single, “Hot Boy,” and two years later reflected on her Page 3 experiences in a British TV documentary.

But it appears as though Fox has been impressively shrewd with all the money that she’s earned. Indeed, despite once being embezzled out of millions of dollars by her own father, she still has an eight-figure sum to her name. According to Celebrity Net Worth, her fortune reportedly stands at a cool $20 million. Although Fox is not averse to splashing the cash — she previously shared an Essex mansion reportedly worth around $1.5 million with late partner Myra Stratton — the star doesn’t need to spend money to be content. 

In fact, once revealing to The Guardian that “the simple things in life make [her] very happy,” Fox told Express in 2017, “I’m very much in a good place.” She added, “I love having a family and I’m one of those people who if I’ve had a bad experience I look at the positive side. I want to always keep that chirpy, bubbly girl that made me famous right at the beginning.”

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