Oh No, Here Comes John Lennon's Ex

Cynthia Lennon | Demi Moore | 'The Odd Couple' | Gossipers Gossip

Oh No, Here Comes John Lennon's Ex

For the first time in more than 30 years, Yoko Ono isn't going to be the only Mrs. John Lennon in New York City.

On Monday, Cynthia Lennon, John's first wife and mother of his eldest son, Julian, arrives in the U.S. She's coming to promote her memoir, called simply, "John."

This should be interesting. In all these years, Cynthia has remained silent and in the background while Ono has had the international stage to herself.

But Cynthia's arrival should cause a stir. For one thing, she's very friendly with May Pang, the woman Lennon lived with for 18 months during his marriage to Ono.

Pang just flew over to London to help Cynthia launch her book in Britain. No doubt Pang told her all about Ono's failed Broadway musical, "Lennon," which closed last week after losing all the money that had been invested in it.

Cynthia also arrives in New York at a propitious moment. Next Saturday would have been Lennon's 65th birthday. And on Tuesday and Wednesday, Paul McCartney is playing Madison Square Garden.

"Lennon," which will be published here on Tuesday by Crown, is no kiss-and-tell. It's actually a very thoughtful memoir by a woman who spent a decade with the former Beatle.

There have already been titillating excerpts in the British press, in which Cynthia says, among other things, that Lennon hit her once.

More interesting, though, is hearing from Cynthia for the first time about how she was pushed aside by Ono.

In the book, Cynthia sets the scene: She returned home early one day to find John and Yoko in bathrobes, facing each other, sitting on the floor. When she ran upstairs to collect a few things quickly, Cynthia saw a pair of Japanese slippers neatly parked in front of the guest-room door.

Later, when she was negotiating the divorce settlement in 1968, Lennon — who had become wildly rich — encouraged her to take the 100,000 British pounds he offered.

"That's all you're worth," he allegedly told her.

Within a few months, John and Yoko were married. Shortly thereafter, Lennon stopped seeing Julian, who was then about 5. He didn't see him again for three years.

Of course, that's the part of "John" that is the most interesting. As Cynthia points out, the rock star was then releasing "Imagine," a song that would become an international peace anthem, but had just cut off contact with his only child.

"There was no word from him between 1971 and 1974," Cynthia wrote.

Father and son were briefly reunited during Pang's time with Lennon, known as the "lost weekend."

But when Lennon returned to Ono in late 1974, Cynthia and Julian were once again cut out of the star's life.

"Julian would call and Yoko or one of her people would say John was sleeping," Cynthia wrote.

After Lennon was murdered in 1980, it would take 16 years, Cynthia wrote, for Julian to get any money from his father's estate, thanks to Ono's lack of cooperation. By that time, Julian had had a couple of hit records of his own and had made his own money.

A couple of other tidbits from Cynthia's breezy, long overdue read: After Ringo Starr divorced his wife, Maureen, she had a brief affair with George Harrison.

Cynthia also completely refutes the long-held rumor that Lennon had a brief fling with the group's gay manager, Brian Epstein: "[Like] most lads at the time, [John] was horrified by the idea of homosexuality."

With "John," Steven Gaines' "All You Need Is Love," McCartney's bio written by Barry Miles, Hunter Davies' original Beatles book and the comprehensive studio notes by Mark Lewisohn, not to mention the Beatles own "Anthology" and producer George Martin's memoir, I would say that's the end for Beatles books — unless Ringo finally writes his own volume.

Demi Marriage Confirmed

We don't usually tramp around in the fields of US Weekly and People — they do a great job at that sort of thing.

But just in case anyone cares, Demi Moore absolutely did marry Ashton Kutcher last weekend. I've spoken to wedding guests who've confirmed it.

This was not an episode of "Punk'd," or a dream sequence.

"Demi looked beautiful and was never happier," says my source.

So congrats, I guess, for the duration. ...

As far as marriage announcements go, we reported on Tuesday the union of Jennifer Jason Leigh and director Noah Baumbach.

The next day, one of those mags took credit for it. Tsk, tsk ...

And yet another online "magazine" took credit for our story on Tom Cruise and his hoax lecture series. The other outfit even asked Bert Fields about his name being spelled wrong. Nice being the source for so much print. ...

Nathan Lane Gets (to Be) an Oscar

On Tuesday, the revival of "The Odd Couple" starts previews on Broadway, with six hefty months of already-sold tickets.

That's because the stars are Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, straight from their enormous success in "The Producers."

Playwright Neil Simon couldn't be happier. I ran into him and his terrific wife Elaine Joyce at the dinner/screening of "Capote" on Wednesday night up at the Sony Screening Room.

Other guests at the premiere included Candice Bergen; "Ray" director Taylor Hackford; host Dominick Dunne; writers Hannah Pakula and Tama Janowitz; actor Fisher Stevens; "Capote" author Gerald Clarke; and "Capote" stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener and director Bennett Miller.

"Nathan Lane always wanted to play Oscar," Simon told me. "When he came in the first day, he already knew his lines. He said he'd known them since he was 18."

Simon says the show got a boost from "Everyone Loves Raymond" star Brad Garrett.

"He wanted to play Oscar too," Simon said. "He said he'd give us three months if he could understudy Nathan. So we said, 'Sure,' and let him be one of the card players, too."

Who are the other card players?

"I'd tell you, but you've never heard their names, and neither have I," Simon said.

Peter Frechette, who's been on TV and Broadway a lot, is one of them, I found out later. Olivia d'Abo plays one of the Pigeon sisters.

And don't believe the rumors that Broderick and Lane will switch roles every so often.

"No, no," said Simon. "It's hard enough just doing one of the parts."

By the way, where did Simon first get the idea for the play, anyway?

"I knew a guy who'd been divorced," he said. "We played poker at his apartment and I noticed it was always a mess."

The play's apartment, at least in Simon's mind, was on West End Avenue and, Simon told me, had at least four bedrooms.

"This was 40 years ago. They probably paid $95 a month for it," he said.

Now it would be worth a couple million, I said. Too bad he hadn't kept it.

"It wasn't real," Simon said sternly.

Oh, yeah, right.

Engaging Gossip

A few nights ago, the Four Seasons' famous and gracious owner Julian Niccolini had a bunch of us up to his restaurant.

The occasion was an engagement party for The New York Post's Page Six's Richard Johnson and his lovely fiancée Sessa von Richthofen.

The hosts for the night were Gotham magazine publisher Jason Binn and his wife Haley, the Post's Braden and Jennifer Gould Kiel and Forbes magazine's Christine Taylor.

Taylor presented Richard and Sessa with a framed, faux Page Six written by none other than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It was pretty funny.

As I was walking in, no less than Donald and Melania Trump were on their way out. Later that night the news would break — thanks to Richard— that they were in the family way.

I told Donald his appearance on the Emmys singing "Green Acres" with Megan Mullally was a great idea.

"It could have been the worst idea," he said. "I was scared to death."

Other guests included Harvey Weinstein, the New York Daily News' George Rush and Vanity Fair's Frank DiGiacomo — each of whom previously toiled at Page Six — plus a smattering of New York's biggest media types, such as Men's Health editor Dave Zinczenko and publicist Susan Magrino.

"If a bomb dropped on this room, there'd be no gossip tomorrow," I said to Richard.

"They always say that," he responded, "but I go on vacation and it keeps coming out."

True, true, true.