Housekeeper's Letter Reveals Lennon's Dark Side

She says he was cheating husband, bullying father
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2015 1:56 AM CST
Housekeeper's Letter Reveals Lennon's Dark Side
In this 1968 photo, John Lennon poses with his son Julian, sitting on his lap, and Yoko Ono at an unknown location.   (AP Photo)

When the Beatles were soaring in popularity, the John Lennon that the world didn't see was a lousy husband and father, according to newly unearthed divorce papers. In a letter to lawyers in 1968, the Lennons' housekeeper, Dorothy Jarlett, described how the atmosphere in the house became increasingly tense beginning in the summer of 1967 as Lennon's marriage to first wife Cynthia broke down, the Daily Mail reports. The housekeeper says the couple would often argue about the upbringing of their son, Julian, who was born in 1963. Lennon's approach to fatherhood tended to be apathetic, she says, but he would sometimes smack the boy if he misbehaved and would become enraged by Julian's table manners, which she describes as "better than average."

She says that Cynthia was "often depressed and­ ­unhappy" and Lennon appeared to lose interest in taking her out in public. As things deteriorated, "I began noticing drugs lying around in various parts of the house. It was quite clear to me that Mr. Lennon was smoking pot, and we all hoped that it was a phase," Jarlett writes, but pot isn't all she found lying around: She says she once found Lennon in bed with Yoko Ono while Cynthia was away. The pair were divorced after Lennon got drunk in early 1968 and told Cynthia he had been sleeping with other women. The letter was found among the former housekeeper's belongings after she died last year and is expected to fetch $10,000 at auction, reports the New York Daily News. (Click for five underrated Beatles songs you should get to know.)

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