Lisa Niemi Swayze – who was married to the Patrick Swayze from 1975 until his death in 2009 – claims her mother-in-law, Patsy Swayze, physically abused her husband during his youth. Lisa reveals in the documentary I Am Patrick Swayze, which premiered on the Paramount Network yesterday, August 18.
“She could be very violent.”
Patrick was the second of five children born to Patsy and her husband Jesse, who raised their brood in Houston, Texas.
In an interview with People magazine to coincide with the documentary’s premiere, Lisa claims Patrick told her that his mother hit him during his childhood.
Lisa told People.
“Patrick privately recounted the story of his 18th birthday when Patsy was ‘laying into him’ before his father [Jesse] told his wife [Patsy] that he would divorce her if she touched their son again.
She never hit him after that.”
Patsy herself had also endured a violent childhood, and Lisa labels the perpetuation of behavior ‘an example of what happens in families in a cycle of abuse’.
Meanwhile, Lisa went on to meet Patrick the year he turned 18, following her enrollment as a student at the Swayze School of Dance. She claimed that Patrick later began to view Patsy more positively once he moved out of home.
Patsy followed Patrick and Lisa to Hollywood, and she began working as a choreographer in the film industry. Her first movie credit was choreographing the 1980 hit Urban Cowboy, starring John Travolta and Debra Winger which was shot in Houston.
(Btw, I’m from Houston and took dance classes as a boy in elementary school. I was the only boy in class. I had always danced and I took a class from Patsy at the Swayze School of Dance and I did all of the moves. After the class Patsy came up to me and asked what I did. At the time I was a designer at Houston City Magazine at age 18. The editor I worked with had been at Texas Monthly where the movie Urban Cowboy began as a magazine article. Patsy told me that it wasn’t too late for me to dance professionally. I took that as a great compliment. I woke up the next day BARELY able to move, my body was in such pain from the punishing routine. I put being a dancer out of my mind then forever.)
After the death of Patrick’s father, Jesse, in 1982, Patsy became close to Patrick and Lisa, who never had children of their own. Lisa said,
“Patsy could be extremely critical and negative. But she figured out that if she was going to be around us, she needed to be a little nicer, and that’s what she did.”
Patrick and Patsy remained close up until the point of the actor’s death ten years ago from pancreatic cancer in September 2009. Patsy outlived her son, and still remained close to daughter-in-law Lisa. She passed away from stroke complications in September 2013 at the age of 86.
“She was a complicated woman, intense and an amazing life force. Patrick absolutely loved and respected her.”
Meanwhile, Lisa has been forced to deny rumors that she was also abusive to her husband. In 2016, a source saying they were a friend of the couple told RadarOnline that
“Lisa would beat on Patrick….
They destroyed hotel rooms, cars, their house …. It was abusive.
She wouldn’t hit him with stuff — she would claw at his arms and neck. She would punch and slap him. Cancer bought him from 180 pounds to 90 pounds. She always had to upper hand because he wouldn’t hit her. He was adamant about never ever laying his hands on her.”
Lisa’s spokesperson denied the allegations to MailOnline at the time, saying:
“It is categorically untrue. It is that simple.”
Swayze’s costar in 1989’s Roadhouse, Kelly Lynch posted on her Instagram a fond remembrance of her friend.
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I was so incredibly lucky and blessed to have worked with Patrick Swayze. We made ”Roadhouse” together. This year is it’s 30th Anniversary. If you’ve somehow missed it, it’s a beloved movie that has just surpassed “Gone With The Wind” as the most watched television film of all time! Patrick was a lovely, talented, funny, complicated and kind man. To know him was to love him. Check out the incredibly moving documentary “I Am Patrick Swayze” to learn more about this extraordinary man, his life and career. It airs tonight, Sunday August 18th – which also happens to be his birthday – on the #ParamountNetwork at 9p & 8p central time. . Love you and miss you Buddy! 🖤 . . . . . #patrickswayze #iampatrickswayze #paramountnetwork #documentary #kellylynch #roadhouse #superstar #beloved #talented #artist #actor #dancer #athlete #seeker #partner #friend #gonetoosoon #rip
(Photo, screen grab; via Daily Mail)