Margaret Trudeau:
• Became a public figure overnight by marrying Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in 1971
• Wrote four books about her life
• Had an affair with Jack Nicholson and other celebrities
• Filed for 'no fault' divorce from Pierre in 1983 and married Fried Kemper in 1984
• Diagnosed with bipolar disorder and became an advocate for reducing social stigma associated with mental illness

Who is Margaret Trudeau?

She became a public figure overnight by marrying then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau back in 1971, since when Margaret Trudeau, has often been in the spotlight, not just because of her marriage but also because of her way of life. She’s written four books about her life, entitled “Beyond Reason” (1979), “Consequences” (1982), “Changing My Mind” (2010), and “The Time of Your Life: Choosing a Vibrant, Joyful Future” (2015).

Margaret also tried her luck as an actress in the early ’80, appearing opposite Francis Lemaire and Andre Falcon in the 1978 comedy “L’ange Gardien”, and was seen in the 1981 thriller drama “Kings and Desperate Men”, which was nominated for the Chicago International Film Festival Award-Best Feature.

To learn more about her life, and what happened to her, let us tell you the naked truth about this ‘flower child’.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Margaret Joan Sinclair under the zodiac sign of Virgo on 10 September 1948, she is today aged 74. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, thus holds Canadian nationality, and comes from a family of Scottish and French-Canadian descent.

Margaret was raised by her parents, Doris Kathleen (nee Bernard) and James Sinclair, alongside her four sisters, Heather, Betsy, Rosalind and Janet. Their father was a Liberal member of the Parliament of Canada, and when he was elected, the family moved to Ottawa, Ontario,.

They lived there from 1952 to 1958 when they returned to Vancouver, where Margaret attended Delbrook Senior Secondary School. Upon matriculating in 1966, she enrolled at Simon Fraser University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, in 1969.

Marriage with her first husband

Margaret met her future husband, Pierre Trudeau, while she was on a vacation with her family in Tahiti, French Polynesia. Margaret was then 18 years old, and Pierre was in his late 40s, and at that time Minister of Justice.

Margaret was a young, free-spirited girl and in fact didn’t recognize Pierre, while he was captivated by her. Pierre became Prime Minister in 1968, and the two kept their romance secret, so only close members of their families knew about their relationship and six-month engagement. The two married on 4 March 1971, in Vancouver, revealed the day after when the morning radio announced the news about their honeymoon at Alta Lake, British Columbia.

Since Pierre was a Catholic, Margaret converted to the Catholic Church for their marriage. Although people were shocked because he was 29 years older than her, they loved her youth, and she was involved in Pierre’s campaign during elections.

Their first son, Justin, was born on 25 December 1971, while the second Alexandre was born on the same day two years later. The youngest, Michael, was born on 2 October 1975.

Margaret and Pierre seemed like a happy couple, and publicly their relationship appeared to be very loving and close, however, their marriage began to fall apart, according to Margaret, due to her husband’s constant absences, and the fact that she raised their sons on her own.

Margaret separated from Pierre sometime in 1977, and that’s when she moved to New York City, USA to study photography, and also made her acting debut.

In her book “Consequences” she wrote at that time, she had an affair with the famous actor, Jack Nicholson, and also with Lou Rawls and Ryan O’Neal. Margaret was also romantically linked to Ronnie Wood and Mick Jagger, members of the popular band The Rolling Stones.

The photo of her dancing at the nightclub, Studio 54, was featured on many front pages across Canada, and was a huge scandal.

Margaret filed for a ‘no-fault divorce’ in November 1983, and legally divorced Pierre on 2 April 1984. Pierre won the custody of their sons, and didn’t pay any spousal support.

Second marriage

Just sixteen days after her divorce was finalized, Margaret married Fried Kemper, a real-estate developer from Ottawa, Canada. The civil wedding ceremony was held in the chambers of Judge Hugh Poulin.

Later that year, Margaret gave birth to her and Fried’s first child, a son named Kyle, while their daughter Alicia was born in 1988.

Margaret spent the next decade mostly out of the spotlight, however, she struggled with mental health issues, and after she fabricated a story about skiing with Princes William and Harry, sons of Princess Diana, Margaret was hospitalized in 1998.

The death of her son and her first ex-husband

In November 1998, the news about the death of her and Pierre’s youngest son, Michael, was devastating for Margaret, and she had a major depressive episode that led to her and Fried’s divorce. Michael died on 13 November 1998, when an avalanche swept him to the bottom of Kokanee Lake, British Columbia.

Pierre died on 28 September 2000, with Margaret at his bedside. In her 2010 interview, Margaret spoke about her marriage to Pierre, saying that even though their marriage ended in divorce, that doesn’t mean that the love stopped.

What is she doing now? What happened to her?

During her eldest son Justin’s campaign, Margaret was involved, but avoided public appearances since she feared that the opponents might use it to suggest that Justin wasn’t ready for politics and that he needed ‘his mummy’.

Justin Trudeau become the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada on 19 October 2015, and currently serves in this position.

Speaking of Margaret, she publicly discussed her mental health issues in 2006, revealing that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She’s since become an advocate for reducing social stigma associated with mental illness, and has given numerous speeches across North America.

In 2013, Margaret was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by the University of Western Ontario, in recognition of her efforts to combat mental illness.

From 2002 to 2017, she served as the honorary president of WaterAid Canada, an organization dedicated to helping poor communities build sustainable water supply and sanitation services.

In May 2019, Margaret presented “Certain Woman of an Age”, her one-woman show which was a part of Chicago’s Wellness Week.

On 27 April 2020, Margaret was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in her apartment building, but luckily she soon recovered.

Currently, Margaret is an honorary patron of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and lives in her home in Ottawa. According to her, her favorite job is being a grandma to her grandchildren.


As Managing Editor at The Biography, I oversee a skilled team to produce insightful biographies of influential figures. My responsibilities include managing the editorial process, conducting detailed research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our content. At The Biography, we aim to deliver in-depth profiles that provide valuable insights into the realms of business, entertainment, and more. Our commitment to meticulous research and dynamic storytelling highlights the significant journeys and successes of inspiring individuals.

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