John Lennon and Yoko Ono fell madly in love after meeting in 1966. Though they were both married at the time, they later left their respective other halves and embarked on their romance. The intensity of their relationship, however, and the backlash from The Beatles fans, many of whom blamed Ono for the band’s split, soon took its toll.
In 1973, four years after Lennon and Ono were married, he started an affair with their assistant May Pang.
During his now famous “lost weekend”, he moved out of the New York home he shared with his wife and set up house with Pang in Los Angeles.
Ono was fully aware of the affair and would later recall how she and the Imagine hitmaker still spoke on the phone up to four times a day throughout the year-and-a-half he was with Pang.
Back in 2011, Pang agreed to be interviewed by The Beatles Bible, opening up about her relationship with Lennon.
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The interviewer noted that, on her website, Pang said: “I haven’t spoken to Yoko since the mid-70s. I don’t expect to anytime soon.”
Asked about a recent exhibition of Lennon’s son Julian Lennon’s photography, where she, the Beatle’s first wife Cynthia Lennon and Ono were all seen together, along with the late musician’s two sons, Julian and Sean Lennon, Pang said: “Well, if you count perfunctory hellos, we have spoken a couple of times.
“I did see her and Sean at Julian’s exhibition. Everyone was cordial.”
Pang went on to reveal how her path had unexpectedly crossed with Ono’s many years after Lennon’s death, calling it his “cosmic joke”.
“I also saw Yoko in, of all places, Reykjavik, Iceland on John’s birthday a few years ago,” she said. “One of John’s cosmic jokes, no doubt.”
Pang was good friends with Lennon’s first wife, the pair having met during her affair with The Beatles star.
“We met in 1973 when we arranged for Julian to visit his dad,” she recalled. “Cynthia came with him and we got along right away.”
On the subject of her time with Lennon, Pang spoke out about Ono’s continued presence in his life.
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“The problem was 99 per cent of her calls weren’t, ‘Hello, how are you?’” she told the publication. “First they were directions to keep our relationship quiet, which was fine with me.
“Then John ‘announced it to the world’ by kissing me for Time Magazine and crisis mode kicked in.
“She would call with instructions of what to say, that she had thrown John out. She’d call every day to remind us of what to say. One drama after another,” she added.
Ono, meanwhile, also addressed Lennon’s affair with Pang in a 2012 interview with The Telegraph.
“The affair was something that was not hurtful to me,” she said. “I needed a rest. Can you imagine every day of getting the vibration from people of hate? You want to get out of that.
“Also, we were so close John didn’t even want me to go to the bathroom by myself. ‘I’ll come with you,’ he would say. And this would be in public places like the EMI recording studios.”
Ono said Pang was a “very intelligent, attractive woman and extremely efficient,” adding that she thought “they would be okay”.
“We missed each other,” she added of her husband during the temporary separation. “We were calling each other every day.
“Some days he would call me three or four times.”
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