Cynthia Lennon Suspected She Was Only Invited to America With the Beatles Because She Caught John Cheating

In late 1963/early 1964, the Beatles blew up in America. It wasn’t long before the group’s manager, Brian Epstein, decided the boys needed to make their way to the states. So on Feb. 7, 1964, Epstein, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and a small entourage flew to America. The Beatles were to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. To Cynthia Lennon’s surprise, she was part of the group that accompanied the band.

Cynthia Lennon was suspicious of her invitation to America
Just before the Beatles blew up in the states, the secret that John was married had come to light. He was upset when it happened, reportedly because he thought his popularity with the fans would dim (it didn’t). So Cynthia never expected to be invited on the trip.

“Cynthia had been asked to accompany John in her official capacity as wife,” reads The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of The Beatles by Peter Brown and Steven Gaines. “Cynthia was terribly pleased yet somehow afraid that the invitation had been instigated by a recent odd incident. She didn’t quite understand the connection, but she decided she didn’t want to examine it too closely.”

One evening, while John was away (he was always away), Cynthia was home alone with their son, Julian. All of a sudden, she heard a loud banging on the door. On the other side was a couple that she and John hung out with. The husband looked irate and the wife was sobbing.

“Tell her!” the man shouted at his wife. “Tell her!” But the woman only continued to cry and didn’t say anything. When John returned home, Cynthia asked him about it. His only response was “an icy stare.” “The next thing she knew she was being whisked out of London on her way to America,” reads TLYM.

Cynthia and John’s first official press photos as a married couple
On their way out of London, a press conference was held for the Beatles at Heathrow Airport. Cynthia assumed her position in the crowd to watch her husband and his bandmates do what they’d become quite good at—bantering with the press. But shortly into the press conference, a cameraman unexpectedly called out: “Come on, Cynthia, love, let’s have one of you. Come sit over in the light.”

Cynthia froze. She was used to remaining anonymous, adamantly hiding her identity, per John’s wishes. She figured he and the Beatles manager would not want her photographed. But then a photographer asked John if he could take some photos of him and “the missus.”

“The goading from the reporters and photographers kept up until John shrugged uncomfortably and motioned Cynthia over,” reads TLYM. “They sat next to each other on chairs, awkwardly balanced, as the photographers descended, strobe lights flaring.” This was the first official time John and Cynthia were photographed as husband and wife by the press.

Cynthia was no longer a secret. But she was surprised at how uncomfortable the moment felt. Eventually, she’d grow to hate being photographed with John.

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