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 Cynthia Lennon

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Posts : 248
Join date : 2009-02-06
Age : 42
Location : Stevens Point, Wisconsin

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PostSubject: Cynthia Lennon   Cynthia Lennon EmptyWed Feb 25, 2009 2:18 pm

Cynthia Lennon (née Powell) (born 10 September 1939 in Blackpool, Lancashire, England) was the first wife of musician John Lennon. She grew up in the middle-class section of Hoylake, on the Wirral UK, and gained a place at the Liverpool College of Art.

She met Lennon in a lettering class and started a relationship with him, marrying him in 1962, after the two discovered her pregnancy. They had one son, Julian Lennon, who also became a musician. She divorced Lennon in 1968, after he left her for the Japanese-American artist Yoko Ono. She was married three more times, and now lives in Majorca, Spain.


Lennon and Cynthia were married on 23 August 1962, at the Mount Pleasant Register office in Liverpool, but Lennon's aunt Mimi did not attend. Lennon had wanted his half-sisters, cousins, and aunts to be there, but Mimi made sure that did not happen. Cynthia's brother Tony and his wife did attend,[36] along with George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Brian Epstein (the Beatles' manager) with Epstein serving as Best man.The wedding was a farce (with no photographs or flowers) because as soon as the ceremony began a workman in the backyard of the building opposite started using a pneumatic drill which drowned out anything the registrar, Lennon, or Cynthia said. When the registrar asked for the groom to step forward, Harrison stepped forward instead, which increased the confusion. They celebrated afterwards (at Epstein's expense) at Reece's restaurant in Clayton Square with a set menu of soup, chicken and trifle, but no alcohol, as Reece's did not have a beverage license. Reece's was the same restaurant where Alf Lennon and Julia Stanley (Lennon's parents) had celebrated their marriage twenty-four years earlier in 1938. The same night Lennon went to play in Chester.

During her pregnancy Epstein offered the Lennons the use of his flat at 36 Faulkner Street—and later paid for a private hospital room when she was coming to term. After Lennon and Cynthia had been living at Epstein's flat for a few months (and after hearing about a near-miscarriage) Mimi offered to rent the downstairs rooms of Mendips to them both Although pregnant, Cynthia had to boil hake fish for Mimi's three Siamese cats every day, which made her nauseous. While Lennon was in Hamburg he would often telephone Mendips, but Mimi always got to the phone first and talked to Lennon until shortly before his money ran out—only then handing over the phone to Cynthia.


Lennon and Cynthia on The Beatles' first flight to the USA in 1964.After she had been in labour for 24 hours, John Charles Julian Lennon was born on 8 April 1963, at 6:50 a.m. in the Sefton General Hospital in Liverpool. Lennon was on tour at the time, so was not present (Mimi was the first to see Julian) although Lennon did see his son three days later during a short stop-over trip to Liverpool.

After Julian's birth, she often found one of Mimi's cats (along with cat hairs) in Julian's cot, and vacuumed outside her door every morning to let Cynthia know it was time to get up. Mimi constantly complained that Julian's constant crying during the night was keeping her [Mimi] awake.In November of 1963, she left Mendips and moved into a bedsit with Julian and her mother Lillian, who had returned to Liverpool. They had to live in the bedsit for a month, as they had to wait for the lodgers in the Powell house in Hoylake to move out.

The press heard rumours about Lennon having a wife and child at the end of 1963—after Beatlemania had already swept the whole of Europe—and descended on Hoylake in November and December. Friends and neighbours protected her anonymity, but she was often approached by journalists. In late December she had Julian christened at the Hoylake parish church, but didn't tell Lennon because she feared a media circus and knew Lennon wouldn't approve. She told him two days after the event, and Epstein asked to be Julian's godfather. Not long after the christening the newspapers printed the full story about Lennon's "secret wife and child".

The Lennons both moved to London and found a three-bedroomed flat in Emperor's Gate, which was just off Cromwell Road.The flat was the third flat of three, which were built over two floors, which meant climbing six flights of stairs. She first had to carry Julian up to the flat, and then go back down to collect shopping bags, but fans found the address, and would camp out in the hallway, so she would have to push through them when leaving or arriving.

She went with Lennon to America on The Beatles' first trip there, and Lennon agreed when the press asked for a photo of them together.She was once left behind in New York while Lennon and the other Beatles were quickly ushered into a car, and in Miami she had to ask the help of fans to convince a security guard who she was. Lennon's response was, "Don't be so bloody slow next time—they could have killed you".

Back at Emperor's Gate the situation grew worse, with fans sticking chewing gum in the lock of the flat and tearing at any article of clothing when she or Lennon were leaving or arriving.The Beatles' accountant advised Epstein that the individual Beatles should move to houses near his in Esher, so she and Lennon bought a house called Kenwood, which was a mock-Tudor-style house on 3 acres (12,000 m2) in Weybridge, where Tom Jones and Cliff Richard already lived.


Cynthia and Julian at Kenwood in 1968, after Lennon had left.She had suspicions of Lennon's infidelity over the years, and people had told her that he had had numerous affairs as far back as their time together at the art college in Liverpool, but she decided to ignore it, unless there was definite proof.

After returning to Kenwood from India, Lennon got very drunk on scotch and coke and confessed that there had been other women during his time with her. He detailed every groupie, friends of hers (such as Joan Baez, and Maureen Cleave) and told her about "thousands" of women around the globe. She was totally taken aback at the time and simply replied, "That's OK".Two weeks later, in May 1968, Lennon suggested that she take a holiday in Greece with Mardas, Donovan and two friends. Lennon said that he would be very busy recording The White Album and that it would do her some good to take a break.

The beginning of the end for the Lennon's marriage came when she arrived back at Kenwood one day early from Greece on 22 May 1968, to discover Lennon and Ono sitting cross-legged on the floor, staring into each others eyes, and then found Ono's slippers outside their bedroom door. She gathered a few things and asked Jenny Boyd and Mardas if she could spend the night at their apartment. At the apartment Boyd went straight to bed, but Mardas got Cynthia drunk and tried to convince her that they should both run away together. After she had been sick in the bathroom she collapsed on a bed in the spare bedroom, but Mardas joined her and tried to kiss her until she pushed him away.

Lennon seemed absolutely normal when she returned to Kenwood the next day, and maintained his love for her and Julian. Lennon went to New York with McCartney shortly after and told her she could not go with them, so she went on a trip to Italy with her mother. Mardas appeared during the holiday in Italy and broke the news that Lennon was planning to sue her for divorce on grounds of adultery, seek sole custody of Julian, and send Cynthia "back to Hoylake". She said in 2005: "The mere fact that ‘Magic Alex’ [Mardas] arrived in Italy in the middle of the night without any prior knowledge of where I was staying made me extremely suspicious. I was being coerced into making it easy for Lennon and Yoko to accuse me of doing something that would make them not look so bad."

She was allowed to return to Kenwood, while Lennon and Ono took up residence at Starr's flat at 34 Montagu Square. Lennon and his wife had one last short meeting at Kenwood (with Ono alongside Lennon) but Lennon accused her of an affair in India—saying that she was no "innocent little flower".McCartney visited Cynthia and Julian that year, even though it was frowned upon by Lennon. On the way to Kenwood he composed a song in his head that would later be "Hey Jude".Having just broken up with fiancée Jane Asher, he took Cynthia a single red rose, and asked jokingly "How about it, Cyn? How about you and me getting married now?"

During their divorce, Lennon refused to give his wife any more than £75,000, telling her on the phone, "That's like winning the pools, so what are you moaning about? You're not worth any more."[93] She did not want to take half of Lennon's millions (as she would have been entitled to) because she did not want a lengthy court battle, so she accepted £100,000, plus £2,400 a year, custody of Julian and Kenwood. Their decree nisi was granted on 8 November 1969.

She learned of Lennon's death while she was staying with friends in London. She received a call from Starr two hours after Lennon had been shot in New York on 8 December 1980. "I don't remember getting out of bed and going down the stairs to the phone. But Ringo's words, the sound of his tearful voice crackling over the transatlantic line, is crystal clear: 'Cynthia, I'm so sorry, John's dead.' In my stunned state I had only one clear thought. My son - our son - [Julian] was at home in bed, I had to get back to Ruthin so that I could tell him about his father's death."

Later life

On 31 July 1970, she married Italian hotelier Roberto Bassanini, whom she'd first met in Italy, in 1966, and started dating after parting with Lennon.[96] She divorced Bassanini in 1973. During Lennon's separation from Yoko in 1973 and 1974, his girlfriend, May Pang, actively tried to get Lennon to spend more time with Julian, forming a friendship with Cynthia in the process, which continued even after Lennon and Yoko had reconciled. Cynthia said in an interview in 2005: "I met her [Pang] the first time I took Julian to see his father after he had split with Yoko. She was a very young girl and she was so kind and so lovely to Julian.... She embraced him and she talked to Lennon about his responsibilities. I’ve never forgotten that. I have a really soft spot for May and you can communicate with her – I’ve never ever been able to communicate with Yoko on any level."

In May 1976, she married John Twist, an engineer from Lancashire, but they divorced in 1983. She then settled in Ruthin, north Wales, and opened the Manor House Restaurant, Well Street. Her son Julian Lennon attended Ruthin School. She met Jim Christie, who was her partner for 17 years until they broke up in 1999. She said at the time: "Jim [Christie] has never felt he's living in John Lennon's shadow. He's four years younger than me and wasn't really part of that whole Beatles scene, though his parents were in showbusiness. He knew Julian before he knew me and, in fact taught him to ride motorbikes - and we became friends as a result."

After her divorce from John Twist, she changed her name back to Lennon by deed poll. She kept mementos of Lennon for years, including never-published photographs, letters, and personal items, auctioning off many of them after his death. She published a memoir, A Twist of Lennon, in 1978, telling about her life before and with Lennon, containing her own illustrations and poetry. In 2002 she married Noel Charles, a night club owner. By the late 1970s, Mrs Powell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and died in 1985. In September 2005, she published a new biography, simply titled John, that re-examined her life with Lennon and the years afterwards, including events following his death. In 2006, she and Julian attended the Las Vegas premiere of the Cirque du Soleil production of the Beatles Love, which marked her only joint public appearance with Ono. Cynthia currently lives on the island of Majorca, Spain.
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