Star's Aussie husband accused of 'taking off with children'
The Australian husband of a famous Serbian singer has dismissed overseas reports of an international custody battle over their two boys after taking them down under to escape the coronavirus pandemic.
A slew of Serbian gossip magazines alleged Dusan Jovancevic, from the Gold Coast, was no longer allowing his wife Tanja Savic to talk to their children after taking refuge in Australia amid rumours of a family dispute.
But Mr Jovancevic told News Corp he was unaware of the reports and hoped his wife would be able to visit the boys in future.
Ms Savic, who rose to prominence after winning second place in a reality TV singing show in 2004, is best known for her sweeping ballads in Serbia.
She also released a successful collaboration with hip-hop duo Corona and Rimski last year, and a videoclip to her song Siroce (Orphan) filmed atop a salt flat in a move worthy of a Eurovision entry earlier this year.
But Serbian and Bosnian media reports claimed her year had been "hellish" after her husband took their two sons, aged 7 and 9, to live on the Gold Coast during the coronavirus outbreak.
Bosnian publication Express quoted a source saying she had spent her time in quarantine looking at photos and waiting for calls "from her husband so she could hear the boys".
"As soon as the state of emergency was lifted, she started pressuring Dusan to return to the country with his children. However, Dusan always found a reason to postpone his return, and at one point he even stopped calling her regularly," the source was reported to have said.
But Mr Jovancevic dismissed the claims as unfounded gossip, saying he was unaware of the articles and didn't follow international news about his famous wife, who he married in 2011.
"They do speculate about a lot of things and scandals," he said.
"It doesn't really interest me unless Tanja is saying it but people make up stories. This is just a section of her life."
Mr Jovancevic said his wife phoned and talked to their boys twice a day and had plans to visit Australia "when it's possible," and coronavirus travel rules were relaxed.
"Hopefully the restrictions will be lifted so she doesn't have to wait 14 days like I did," he said.
In the meantime, Ms Savic will hold her first concert since the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, performing in Belgrade this week.
The Serbian government relaxed many travel restrictions put in place during the pandemic on May 6, and is now allowing commercial flights from countries including the US.
Despite removing its state of emergency, however, the country of 8.7 million people still has 4415 active cases of coronavirus and has reported 246 deaths.
Originally published as The Serbian star, her Aussie husband and the tabloid scandal