Yoko Ono is opening up once again, but this time, she may have given one of her most revealing looks ever at her late husband, The Beatles’ John Lennon.
The 82-year-old performance artist spoke to The Daily Beast recently, where she not only discussed why she still lives in the New York City apartment she shared with Lennon at the time he was killed, as well as her drug use and depression after his death, but also his oft-questioned sexuality.
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Ono will receive an Icon award at the Attitude Awards in England on Wednesday, which she is receiving for her art, status as an outsider and support for the LGBT community. The latter comes, in part, for her work on two songs: 2004’s “Everyman… Everywoman,” a tune supporting same-sex marriage, which itself was a take on 1980’s “Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him,” an Ono track sung with Lennon.
While proud of all the awards she’s achieved, she admitted that the Icon award is special. “There was a closeness I felt to gay people,” she said. “We both suffered a lot for being different.”
When Lennon was alive, he and Ono were very open about sexuality and gay rights. “John and I had a big talk about it, saying, basically, all of us must be bisexual,” she recalled. “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. But I don’t have a strong sexual desire towards another woman.”
As for Lennon, Ono said that despite the rumor that her late husband had slept with Beatles manager Brian Epstein, she believed “it was almost a love affair, but not quite. It was never consummated. But it was a pretty intense relationship.”
According to the singer, both she and Lennon were “passive people” who didn’t necessarily seek out same sex partners but weren’t opposed to the idea of them, though she says she doesn’t think the Beatles singer ever slept with men.
“I think he had a desire to, but I think he was too inhibited,” Ono said. “No, not inhibited. 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.”
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“The beginning of the year he was killed, he said to me, ‘I could have done it, but I can’t because I just never found somebody that was that attractive,’” she added. “Both John and I were into attractiveness -- you know -- beauty.”
Ono has very similar feelings on bisexuality in her own life. “I think my sexuality is extremely old-fashioned,” she mused. “Many people think I’m a strong woman. I never thought that, but probably I am. Maybe they think I really don’t go for men, but it’s not true. I like normal relationships… whatever ‘a normal relationship’ is.”