"I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically... any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit," revealed Lennon during an interview.
John Lennon symbolizes peace and love to many across the globe. But not many of us actually know what happens beyond the world that they choose to share with us. The Rolling Stones has labeled his song "Imagine" one of the best songs of all time, as it talks about people living in peace and sharing the world, and people living for today. Understandably, this is quite relatable because this is the world we all crave for, but why does that make Lennon a hypocrite, you ask? Well, let's start off with what his son from Lennon's first marriage to Cynthia has to say about this.
According to The Telegraph, when people went up to Julian Lennon in the street, proclaiming their love for his father, "because he spoke the truth", they were always met with nothing more than a polite reserve. "I have to say that, from my point of view, I felt he was a hypocrite. Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son. How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces - no communication, adultery, divorce? You can't do it, not if you're being true and honest with yourself."
If you think this is bad, The Daily Californian revealed that Lennon admitted to being an abusive person during an interview with Playboy in the '80s. The Beatles still have the interview and when questioned about his song "Getting Better", he revealed, "It is a diary form of writing. All that 'I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved' was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically... any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. I That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace."
"Everything's the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster." However, it is still unclear if this abuse extended to his ex-wife Cynthia and their son Julian Lennon. According to Vice, he impregnated Cynthia Powell when she was renting his childhood bedroom in Liverpool during the Beatles' Hamburg years. The Times revealed a letter discovered 50 years ago, where their housekeeper Dorothy Jartlett spoke about what happened after Julian's birth.
Jartlett revealed that Lennon was an absentee father who used to criticize and smack Julian for the smallest of things, like having bad table manners. Jartlett shared, "Julian's table manners were, if anything, better than average." Even though he was married to Cynthia, he regularly slept with other women and would leave drugs "lying around the house." Once, in a drunken state, he told Cynthia about his affair with Japanese artist Yoko Ono, who soon after announced she was pregnant and Lennon abandoned Cynthia and Julian to move with Yoko. She suffered a miscarriage, but later gave birth to Sean.
Lennon is also said to have had another relationship with the couple's assistant, May Pang, but Ono says it was a "welcome break" from their intense relationship and "not hurtful." Lennon was not only a bad husband to Ono and Cynthia, but he was also a bad father to Julian, who he abandoned at the age of five. However, he became the poster dad to Sean. Sean is the favorite son, and he lives in the same building with Ono where his dad was shot dead. He will also inherit the bulk of the Beatle's reputed £220 million fortune, and only recently did Julian get a part of it.
However, Julian claims that there are no hard feelings between him and his half brother Sean, despite all the allegations that the two of them can't stand each other. "I love Sean to death. He's a very smart kid. But I do think there are things done without his knowledge. Someone in the camp could be manipulating events." Sadly, Sean doesn't think of Julian as a big brother, really. "If I'm in New York, I try to see Sean," says Julian. "If I move, I always give him my new number. I call him from time to time, but I never get a return call. I think it's to do with the difference in our ages. The last thing he's thinking about is his older brother."
With all of this going on in his life, Julian Lennon could have been just like his father, but he chose not to go down that road. "I could have been the nastiest son of a bitch you ever met, but I chose not to take that route. I did have that anger inside me. I did have that [his father's] laconic wit - but it's in its place." Having suffered himself from his father's clever tongue, he says he'd rather not use his own to "tear someone up". He thanks his mom Cynthia Lennon for teaching him how to turn things around. "My mum taught me how to turn everything around: you just kill people with kindness. There is no need to be mean, nasty or cruel to anybody."