John Lennon has long been rumored to have been bisexual, and now his widow, Yoko Ono, says he had a desire to have sex with men but she believes he never acted on it.
“I think he had a desire to, but I think he was too inhibited,” Ono told The Daily Beast in a wide-ranging interview published today. She noted that Lennon had to be both physically and intellectually attracted to a partner. “He said, ‘I don’t mind if there’s an incredibly attractive guy.’ It’s very difficult: They would have to be not just physically attractive, but mentally very advanced too. And you can’t find people like that.”
Despite rumors Lennon that had been sexually intimate with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who was gay, Ono says Lennon was not sexually involved with Epstein or any other man.
“Uh, well, the story I was told was a very explicit story, and from that I think [Lennon and Epstein] didn’t have it [sex],” Ono told the Beast. “But they went to Spain, and when they came back, tons of reporters were asking, ‘Did you do it, did you do it?’ So he said, ‘I did it.’ Isn’t that amazing? But of course he would say that. I’m sure Brian Epstein made a move, yeah.”
The Beast noted that Lennon himself described his relationship with Epstein as intense. “Well, it was almost a love affair, but not quite,” he said. “It was never consummated. But it was a pretty intense relationship.”
However, Ono believes Lennon’s lack of sexual intimacy with men had more to do with societal limitations than Lennon’s sexuality.
“John and I had a big talk about it, saying, basically, all of us must be bisexual. And we were sort of in a situation of thinking that we’re not [bisexual] because of society. So we are hiding the other side of ourselves, which is less acceptable."
As for Ono, she’s not as open to being intimate with the same gender as most people believe her to be. Ono says she doesn’t have “a strong sexual desire towards another woman” but that both she and Lennon always appreciated beauty.
Read the full candid interview here.