'Lovestruck' singer Diamond plans to tie knot for third time
A "LOVESTRUCK" Neil Diamond is to marry for a third time, despite his last marriage ending in one of the most expensive divorces in legal history.
The 70-year-old singer announced his engagement to his manager, Katie McNeil, in a rhyme posted on Twitter.
"Good news coming from sunny LA/and you're the first I want to tell/Katie & I just got engaged/and I hope you wish us well."
Diamond also put a picture of Miss McNeil on the social networking website, taken in London last month during the British leg of his tour. "I'd like you to meet Katie. I'm lovestruck," he wrote.
Until now, the singer has been coy about discussing the relationship publicly. Miss McNeil (40) produced the 2009 documentary 'Neil Diamond: Hot August Night/NYC' and has accompanied him on tour. She previously worked with the rock bands Motley Crue and The Psychedelic Furs, and with the rappers Public Enemy.
Diamond, writer of 'Sweet Caroline', 'Solitary Man' and 'Love On The Rocks', is hoping that this marriage will prove to be third time lucky.
His first, to his childhood sweetheart, Jayne Posner, lasted from 1963 to 1969 and produced two daughters, Marjorie and Elin.
His next marriage was to Marcia Murphey, a production assistant. They had two sons, Jesse and Micah, but divorced in 1994 after more than 30 years together.
The split cost Diamond a $150m (€107.9m) slice of his fortune. It remains one of the highest divorce payouts in history, dwarfing those of Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas and Paul McCartney.
Ever the gentleman, Diamond refused to attack his ex-wife in public and said he felt no bitterness about the settlement.
"She is the most wonderful woman, who stood by me through rough times. She deserves every penny of it," he said after the divorce was finalised.
A romance with Rachel Farley, an Australian marketing executive, followed and he discussed the possibility of marriage, but the relationship did not last. In recent years Diamond has spoken of his loneliness. In November last year, he said he hoped to settle down. "I like having a woman. I like having someone to come home to, to make all of the hard work feel worth it. I need someone with me. And I want someone," he said.
"I find that these things just tend to happen. It's like writing a great song. You can't plan to write a great song. It just happens to you. It drops in your lap. It's the same thing with a woman."
It was also announced yesterday that Diamond is to be recognised by the US Kennedy Centre for his contribution to the arts. (© Daily Telegraph, London)