John Lennon’s Letter to Ex-Wife for Sale at Auction
A letter written by John Lennon to his ex-wife disputing Yoko Ono’s involvement in their divorce is one of two letters up for auction.
Both letters were written by the Beatles legend on Nov. 15, 1976, and both refer to Cynthia Lennon and her relationship with the media. The lot is estimated to be sold for $25,000 at the auction this week.
Lennon and Powell, parents of Julian Lennon, were married in 1962. They divorced in 1968, and his affair with Ono, whom he’d met that same year, was cited as grounds for the split. Powell died in 2015.
One letter, titled “An Open Letter to Cynthia Twist” (which was her married name at the time), was written as a response to an interview she’d given to a magazine. “As you and I well know, our marriage was over long before the advent of L.S.D. or Yoko Ono … and that’s reality!" he wrote. "Your memory is impaired to say the least. Your version of our first L.S.D. trip is rather vague, and you seem to have forgotten subsequent trips altogether!
“You also seem to have forgotten that only two years ago, while I was separated from Yoko, you suddenly brought Julian to see me in Los Angeles after three years of silence. During this visit, you hardly allowed me to be alone with him for one moment. You even asked me to remarry you and/or give you another child, ‘for Julian’s sake’! I politely told you no, and that, anyway, I was still in love with Yoko (which I thought was very ‘down to earth’).”
Lennon also referred to an episode involving mutual friends. “I don’t blame you for wanting to get away from your ‘Beatle’ past," he concluded. "But if you are serious about it, you should try to avoid talking to and posing for magazines and newspapers! We did have some good years, so dwell on them for a change, and, as [Bob] Dylan says, it was ‘A Simple Twist of Fate’! Love & good luck to the three of you, from the three of us.”
The letter was addressed to the editors of a magazine, with a handwritten introduction. “I would appreciate this letter being printed without any edits," he wrote. "I think it only fair to me and your readers to present my side of the story. Thank you.”
The firm responsible for the sale, R&R Auction Company LLC, notes that “Lennon’s clever pun at the close of the first letter, ‘A Simple Twist of Fate’ – a takeoff on Bob Dylan's ode to a lost love – likely inspired his former spouse in her decision to title her forthcoming tell-all memoirs, A Twist of Lennon, which Twist was then publicizing. As Lennon’s official ‘side of the story,’ a public he-said-she-said self defense, these letters represent the unique final chapter in the life of the former Beatle and are thus of the utmost rarity and importance.”
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