18 May 1998
By Dominic Connolly, Press Association News
as posted on Deja News.

Photograph Smile

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Julian Lennon told today of the anger he feels towards his late father, ex-Beatle John, for neglecting him during his childhood.

The 35-year-old son of murdered John and his first wife Cynthia said: "There is a lot of anger I have towards dad because he wasn't there. I find it very difficult when people come up to me and say `I loved your dad', because all I can say is it might have been nice to love him too, but unfortunately that didn't happen," he told the Sunday Mirror's Personal magazine.

Julian, who was only three when his father left Cynthia for Yoko Ono, added: "On a personal level I did love him, but I didn't. I was very upset by his actions."

Julian has dedicated his new album to the memory of his Italian stepfather Roberto Bassanini. "He was more of a father to me than anybody," he said.

Of his relationship with Yoko, Julian said: "Obviously I respect Yoko a great deal because dad loved her, but it's a tough call."

John left his entire estate - now estimated at 220 million - to Yoko, but Julian has reached a settlement which, it is reported, may eventually be worth 20 million.

"I felt sad to see she had control over absolutely everything," Julian said. "It upsets me when I get sent some of the memorabilia that she has been licensing.

"I know she wants to keep dad's memory alive, but when I get sent a cheap tie with his drawings on or tacky cups and mugs, I don't know what she's doing. Whose pocket is that going in?

"It annoys me, it really does. I just think it could be handled much better.

"Another thing that truly upset me in the past was that so many of his belongings, including his instruments, went on auction without my knowledge. It was only when somebody showed me a brochure that I saw some of what was going and I absolutely flipped. But there was nothing I could do about it.

"Some of the money I did receive went to help me do my new album, but quite a lot of it has gone in trying to get some of dad's belongings back to their family. Once I get a substantial enough collection I want to put it on permanent display."

Julian's relationship with John was in stark contrast to the hands-on fathering that John and Yoko's son Sean, now 23, received.

But Julian says he is keen to stay in contact with his half-brother, although he admits that the relationship is distant. "I have always tried to keep in touch with him, and try to see him when I'm in New York," Julian said.