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  Even now, 32 years after her marriage effectively ended when she arrived home in Weybridge, England, to find her husband and Yoko Ono breakfasting in their bathrobes, Cynthia Lennon says, “My memories are full of love for John. Whatever I do is colored with John the Beatle, and it will always be the same.”

 

 At 61, Cynthia still wears her blonde hair in the Brigitte Bardot style that caught Lennon’s eye at the Liverpool College of Art in 1958. When the Beatles invaded the U.S. six years later, Lennon’s by-then wife and their baby, Julian, were kept secret for fear of alienating adoring fans. “It didn’t mean he didn’t love Julian,” Cynthia now says. “I have letters from him saying how awful it was that he couldn’t see us.”

 

 With two subsequent marriages behind her, Cynthia lives with Noel Charles, 59, a Trinidad-born former night-club owner, in Normandy, France, where she tends the gardens surrounding her tidy stone cottage and pursues the art career she intended before becoming a Beatle wife. Having received about $240,000 from Lennon in their 1969 divorce –“not exactly the lottery,” she says-Cynthia supports herself by painting. (A series of her prints of John recently sold for $300 per set of four.) To those who accuse her of exploiting Lennon’s memory, she is unapologetic: “It is part of my history.”

©12/18/00 People Magazine.

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