Skip to main content

John Lennon‘s first wife, Cynthia Lennon, never stopped loving him. Even after a turbulent six-year marriage, she always looked after his interests. She kept up with what was going on in his life, long after he left her for Yoko Ono.

John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia Lennon, at their home in 1965.
John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia Lennon | Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia, knew something would happen after meeting Yoko Ono for the first time

In 1985, Cynthia spoke about her relationship with John on NPR’s Fresh Air. She said she knew there was something about Yoko when they met at a meditation meeting.

“I met her actually when I came home from a holiday,” Cynthia said. “But I had seen her before; I mean I met her physically, you could say. She had been staying with John that night, and I came home and they were there, which was sort of curtains for our marriage, as far as all of us were concerned, really. But I had met her once before at a meditation meeting…

“I keep saying it was feminine intuition. You know that something’s going to happen, and only you know that something like that is going to happen, because of your sensitivity and your knowledge of the person that you’ve been living with for 10 years.

“You know exactly what’s going to happen. As far as Yoko is concerned, I knew there was not a thing I could do about it, any more than there was anything I could to do about John taking drugs at the time. There was no way I could’ve stopped him.”

John later filed for a divorce and accused Cynthia of adultery, which she thought was “madness.”

“An emissary of John’s came over to visit me in Italy and said, ‘John wants a divorce and he wants Julian and there’s a detective,'” Cynthia said. “Now, I was on holiday with my mother and uncle and Julian, so God only knows why there was a detective put on me. It was one of those situations I will never understand.”

John Lennon and Cynthia Lennon at J.F.K. Airport in 1964.
John Lennon and Cynthia Lennon | Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

Cynthia looked after John’s interests even after their divorce

Still, after everything, Cynthia still looked after John’s interests and kept her eye on him. She never stopped loving him.

“Oh, I read everything, yes,” Cynthia explained. “[After the divorce] I didn’t [stop] loving him or caring for him or worrying about him, I mean, because I didn’t have any anger or bitterness about it. I had a lot of hurt.

“But, of course, I was looking after his interests, in my own little way, and caring about his future and hoping that he was happy, because he’d had to go through such hell to do what he did. He became almost a leper in the eyes of the British and the press.

“He had hell to go through, because he’d broke away from the system of being one of the four mop-tops that were doing so well, and such good ambassadors for Britain. And he moved out of that, and he became an individual. And he did what he wanted — to the extreme, as John would always do anyway.

“I felt extremely worried for him, really, at that time, because he had to take so much from the press and media and from fans and people who loved him.”

Cynthia realized John felt better being with Yoko.

“I think he found his space. I don’t think he found the complete satisfaction in life because I think he was always searching, always looking for it, always wanting something new.”


Paul McCartney Still Gets Emotional About His Song to John Lennon, ‘Dear Friend’

She had to lie about her involvement with John in their early marriage

John and Cynthia’s early marriage was hard. If reporters came up to Cynthia, she had to deny she was involved with him. The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein, didn’t want fans to know John was married.

“If … the main man in the group, John, was found to be married, then it might take away from that particular success,” Cynthia said. “So I walked around pregnant for quite a long time, hiding it. I’d wear very big, blousy clothes. In fact, I was asked many times if I was John’s wife, and I had to refuse and say, ‘No, no. I’m somebody else.'”

“We saw very little of him,” Cynthia said. “And when he did come home, he was so exhausted and so tired and so overwhelmed by the pressures of the outside world that… all he wanted to do was to collapse.”

However painful her marriage to John was, she still always loved him no matter what.