George Harrison‘s wife, Olivia, had one of the hardest jobs in the world. Being Mrs. Harrison wasn’t always a walk in Friar Park. While she supported George at every turn, he was sometimes a lot to handle. There were hiccups in their marriage. However, they got over them.
George Harrison’s wife Olivia said they were partners from the beginning
The former Beatle’s first wife was Pattie Boyd. They met on the set of The Beatles’ A Hard Days’ Night and later married in 1966. Their marriage had some pretty big bumps. Boyd got sick of George’s infidelities. Later, she left him for his friend Eric Clapton.
When George met Olivia in 1974, he said he had “no voice and almost no body at times.” In Martin Scorsese’s documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Olivia said, “When I first met him, he said, ‘I don’t want you to think you’ve discovered something about me I don’t know. I’m not claiming to be this or that or anything. People think they found you out, when I’m not hiding anything.’
“I thought he was really somebody who was saying something that I connected with. He was really a very captivating person… I liked the music, I liked what he was doing. We just seemed like partners from the very beginning.”
George and Olivia married in 1978, shortly after having their only son, Dhani. They connected through spirituality, although they didn’t always agree on everything.
“We had our differences,” Olivia said. “I might have done a different technique than he did, but we both had the same goal, and I think that was really the key to everything in our lives.”
George was not a ‘great womanizer,’ claims Olivia
Olivia said that if the wind was blowing and the moon was up, George would put on Bing Crosby singing “Sweet Leilani.” He would make the moment even better.
George “painted life like that,” Olivia said. “He drew all the elements in. He was a very sensual person. Sensual in the way that whatever you ate had to have a flavor, some special flavor. If there was a flower, he wanted it to smell or be bright.”
However, Olivia said George was a “really a free person, and he did not like to be bound by rules. But he did like women, and women did like him. A couple of words to a woman, honestly, he had a profound effect on people.
“So that was always a challenge. Sometimes people say, ‘What’s the secret of a long marriage?’ It’s like, ‘You don’t get divorced.’ And I think you go through challenges in your marriage, and here’s what I found.
“First time we had a big hiccup in the road, you go through things, you go, ‘Wow.’ There’s a reward at the other end of it. There’s this incredible reward. You love each other more, you learn something, you let go of something. Those hard edges get softened, you’re that block of stone, and life shapes you.”
In a recent interview, The Sunday Times said, “Every marriage, I say carefully, has its ups and downs, and George had certainly been a great womaniser. Before I can get any further Olivia butts in.”
“I wouldn’t say great,” she said. “No, no, really not. I wouldn’t say a great womaniser. George was pursued and also, you know, he was a very sensual person.”
“Did she accept an open relationship as the price of what she had?” the publication wrote. “Absolutely not,” she said. “I believe he was … he shut a door when I met him. And we were very private. He wanted this normal life. And I think that was what I gave him.
“So, you know, during our marriage, there was a lot of flirtation, there were some bumps in the road. But we were solid. You know,” she said, gesturing to Friar Park and its gardens, “we made this.”
They were glad that they didn’t let any hiccups ruin their marriage
When George and Olivia discovered his cancer was terminal, they went to Fiji, where no one was around. Then, they were able to have a conversation.
“We had this whole 30 years together, and then at the end, you’re able to just decant that time,” Olivia explained in Scorsese’s documentary. “We spent that summer together, and we had so much fun.
“It’s amazing, at the end of your life, here’s the conversation: ‘I hope I wasn’t a bad husband.’ ‘Well, I hope I was an OK wife.’ ‘How did we do?’ Then, you think, ‘Oh, I’m so glad. I’m so glad that we just kept walking this path together. And all those other things that came and went, we just swatted away, in between us.'”