Sparks immediately flew between George Harrison and Pattie Boyd, but their connection wasn’t destined to last. As their marriage wore on, Boyd said she felt increasingly isolated from her husband. While it was clear that something wasn’t working, Boyd said that the final straw didn’t come until she learned about an affair between her husband and Ringo Starr’s wife.
George Harrison and Pattie Boyd met on a film set
Boyd and Harrison met on the set of the first Beatles movie, A Hard Day’s Night, and Harrison felt immediately drawn to her. At the end of the day, he asked her out, but she had a boyfriend and refused.
“And then I told my girlfriends and they said, ‘You’re completely mad! How could you turn him down?'” Boyd said, per Yahoo News. “And I said, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know, what I was thinking.'”
They met again, though, and this time Boyd didn’t have a boyfriend.
“Then, luckily, there was another chance to meet up with The Beatles, when we were called back for a photo shoot,” she said. “I think Dick Lester must’ve organized that, because if that hadn’t happened, I would never have seen George again. By that time, the boyfriend had gone. So I said yes.”
She revealed the final straw in their marriage
Boyd and Harrison married in 1966. While they remained married until 1977, there were deep cracks in their relationship long before they decided to divorce. According to Boyd, the final blow to their marriage came when she learned about Harrison’s affair with Starr’s wife.
“The final straw was his affair with Maureen Starr, Ringo’s wife,” Boyd wrote in her book Wonderful Tonight. “She was the last person I would have expected to stab me in the back, but she did.”
Boyd explained that she saw pictures of Harrison and Maureen together at their house while she was visiting family. She also discovered them locked in a room together, which infuriated her.
“I stood outside banging on the door and saying to George, ‘What are you doing? Maureen’s in there, isn’t she? I know she is,’ but he laughed,” she explained. “He was supposed to be in the studio and everyone was waiting for him. Eventually he opened the door and said, ‘Oh, she’s just a bit tired so she’s lying down.'”
Pattie Boyd told Ringo Starr about George Harrison’s affair
While Boyd was well aware of the affair, she said that Starr was entirely in the dark about it. Eventually, she decided to tell him.
“Ringo didn’t have a clue what was going on until I rang him one day and said, ‘Have you ever thought about why your wife doesn’t come home at night? It’s because she’s here!'” she wrote. “And he flew into a rage.”
Harrison continued to deny the affair until he finally admitted to both Boyd and Starr that he was in love with Maureen. After their respective divorces, Boyd, Harrison, Starr, and Maureen all went on to marry different people.