Buyer gives back Olivia Newton-John her iconic 'Grease' jacket after winning it at auction

Ben Arnold

The buyer of Olivia Newton-John's iconic leather jacket from the musical Grease has gifted it back to the actress after paying £185,000 for it at auction.

The jacket was among 500 lots, including other costumes and an original script, being sold to raise money for the actress's cancer charity last month.

Read more: Olivia Newton-John to auction iconic Grease outfit

But the anonymous buyer, a doctor and tech entrepreneur, said that the garment 'should not sit in a billionaire's closet for country-club bragging rights'.

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease (Credit: Paramount)

In a video filmed by auctioneers Julien's, the man, whose face is blurred out, gives the jacket back to Newton-John, saying: “The odds of beating a recurring cancer using the newest emerging therapies is a thousandfold greater than someone appearing out of the blue, buying your most famous and cherished icon, and returning it to you.”

An emotional Newton-John then hugs the man, telling him: “That is the most incredibly generous thing to do for me. I'm so grateful and I'm just blown away.”

Olivia Newton-John's 'Grease' costume (Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

The jacket is the very same one worn in the 1978 classic for the musical numbers You're The One That I Want and We Go Together.

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The auction raised more than £1.8 million in all for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, near Melbourne.

Autographed Grease script and shoes at the VIP reception for the Property of Olivia Newton-John Auction Event at Julien’s Auctions on October 29, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Credit: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Newton-John, now 71, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, but revealed in 2013 that she had battled the disease several times since.

In 2017, it was discovered that the stage four cancer had now spread to her bones.

She told Australia's 60 Minutes show in August this year: “We know we’re gonna die at some point and we don’t know when it is. When you’re given a cancer diagnosis or a scary honest diagnosis, you’re suddenly given a possibility of a time limit.

“The truth is, you could get hit by a truck tomorrow. So every day is a gift, particularly now.”