2 Apr 2015

John Lennon's first wife Cynthia dies

7:11 am on 2 April 2015

Cynthia Lennon, first wife of the late Beatle John Lennon, has died aged 75.

Cynthia Lennon with her son Julian in Liverpool, England in 2010. They were attending the unveiling of a European peace monument dedicated to the memory of John Lennon.

Cynthia Lennon with her son Julian in Liverpool, England in 2010. Photo: AFP

"Cynthia Lennon passed away today at her home in Mallorca, Spain following a short but brave battle with cancer," according to a family statement on her son Julian's website.

"Her son Julian Lennon was at her bedside throughout. The family are thankful for your prayers," it added.

Cynthia Lennon married the former Beatle in 1962, and the couple divorced in 1968 when he left her for Japanese artist Yoko Ono.

Former Beatle Ringo Starr tweeted a tribute:

'Refined and reserved'

Hunter Davies, who wrote the only official biography of The Beatles in 1968, described Cynthia as "a lovely woman".

"She was totally different from John in that she was quiet, reserved and calm," he said.

"She was not a hippy at all. I think it was the attraction of opposites between them. When they got together at art school everyone was amazed - she was seen as refined and reserved and nobody thought they would last."

He added: "John treated her appallingly. He slept with Yoko in their marital home and, as we discovered later, he also physically attacked her but she was loyal to him."

After divorcing Lennon, she married three more times.

In 1970 she wed Italian hotelier Roberto Bassanini and six years later married engineer John Twist from Lancashire. Both relationships ended divorce.

She later wed former nightclub owner Noel Charles in 2002. He died in 2013.

John Lennon was shot dead in New York in 1980 at the age of 40.

- AFP / BBC