John Lennon famously left his first wife and son to start a relationship with Yoko Ono. This relationship got a lot of stick from fans of The Beatles, who credited Yoko with breaking up the band. John had a son with Yoko – but did this child, Sean, get on with his eldest, Julian?
Sean and Julian Lennon seem to have a good relationship, made especially clear after they worked together on the John Lennon at 80 radio series on BBC Radio 2.
For that show, Sean interviewed his brother about their memories of their father, and at one point their familial bond was clear.
Speaking of struggling to find true friends, Julian said: “You know, in your face and behind your back and just pointing at you and just, don’t know, it was almost next to impossible to find real friends, true friends.
“You didn’t know who was who or what they wanted or why they were hanging out with you, you’re just, it was a tough one and that has remained throughout life.
John Lennon sons: do Sean and Julian get on?
“I mean, obviously, as we get a little older, more mature, our gut instincts we follow that a lot more and we have a better sense about us and about people, but listen, more than anything I’m just glad that we’re here, you and I love each other and are able to connect and talk so openly about any of this stuff.”
Sean agreed, before saying: “I know the only brother I’ve got,” which Julian threatened would ‘get me crying.’
Evidently, the pair are incredibly close, but there were things which took place which may have set them against one another, such as their father’s will.
The details of John’s will were kept under wraps for a long time until Julian revealed there had been some tension.
Sean Ono Lennon
In an interview with The Telegraph in May 1998, Julian spoke about the pain he felt of being excluded from his father’s will, while his half brother Sean is reported to be the main inheritor of the fortune.
In the article, it is revealed that Julian was to receive £2,400 a year in maintenance from the divorce settlement between his father and Julian’s mother, Cynthia.
As well as this, there was a £50,000 trust fund which was inherited by Julian when he was 25-years-old.
However, given John’s net worth was expected to be in the region of £220 million back in 1998, and is now closer to £612.3 million (around $ 800 million), the amount left for Sean and Yoko is pretty massive compared to that which was given to Julian.
In 1996, Julian was reported to have sued to get the estate for a larger cut of the inheritance.
He won this case and it was reported he gained around £20 million from the estate, though Julian has denied this number and has not revealed what was given to him.
Speaking out about the will in 1998, Julian said: “I don’t think it was necessarily fair, but I’m OK.
“The last thing I wanted was a court battle because there’s much more money on the estate side than my side.
Sean and Julian with Yoko Ono and Cynthia Lennon
“A court case could have gone on for five years. The slanderous remarks would have been horrific. There would not have been a private life for either Sean or me.
“I just wanted to resolve it, to get the hell out of there; a chapter in my life finished, over with.”
He also revealed he had been forced to “buy back Dad’s stuff with his money” as no personal items were given to him.
Shortly before he died, The Beatles legend John opened up about the difference between Julian and Sean Lennon.
In an interview with Playboy in 1980, he said: “Sean is a planned child, and therein lies the difference.
“I don’t love Julian any less as a child. He’s still my son, whether he came from a bottle of whiskey or because they didn’t have pills in those days.
“He’s here, he belongs to me and he always will.”
This seems like a pretty tough thing for a son to hear, but the boys have clearly put this behind them and moved forward with their friendship.