Almost fifty years after Cynthia Lennon divorced John Lennon, family nanny and housekeeper, Dorothy Jarlett’s estate reveals a draft affidavit that sheds light on the troubled Lennon household.
John Lennon settled his divorce action with Cynthia out-of-court, paying her $100,000 and giving her custody of their son Julian, but common to many divorce cases, documents were prepared by Cynthia Lennon’s lawyer ostensibly to “encourage” a settlement, rather than drawn-out, public proceedings.
Dorothy Jarlett wrote that she was employed by the Lennon’s at their 22-bedroom Weybridge, Surrey mansion for four years as housekeeper and nanny to Julian, although she did not live with them. While initially she only observed minor differences of opinion, with John’s frequent absences to tour, record, and make films, tension in the household grew. She said:
“I do not think that Mr Lennon showed the usual interest the father showed in the household. He was certainly not bad with Julian, but he appeared to be preoccupied with other matters.”
Later she noticed that Mrs. Lennon’s expressed wishes to accompany her husband to functions and studio recordings were rebuffed by John, usually based on flimsy excuses.
Many of the Lennon’s arguments centred on how to raise Julian, but John’s admission to various affairs during the marriage sounded the death knell for their union.
Mrs. Jarlett describes Yoko Ono’s entry into the Lennon household as a friend of John’s, a status that changes when she finds John and Yoko in bed together.
The final straw for Mrs. Lennon was Yoko Ono’s pregnancy.
The Lennons met at the Liverpool College of Art and married upon learning she was pregnant with Julian. Their five-year marriage came to an end at the time the Beatles exploded on the international music scene in 1967.
The divorce document contains passages that have been stricken by Mrs. Jarlett, including references to pot smoking and physical discipline of Julian.
The document is expected to fetch $5,000 or perhaps more if members of John’s family seek to obtain the document to ensure it remains buried.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang