Why Did John Lennon Leave Julian Out of His Will?


john julian lennon will lg

After Beatles legend John Lennon died in 1980, a massive portion of his wealth passed onto his second wife, Yoko Ono, and his son Sean, younger brother of Julian. So why did John Lennon leave Julian out of his will?

Here’s what I discovered:

John Lennon left Julian out of his will as he had pretty much abandoned his first wife Cynthia and son Julian to start a new family with Yoko Ono. So, Lennon didn’t share a father-son relationship with Julian. 

Julian Lennon, the 1st son of John Lennon, was an unplanned child. An accident. He believed that ninety percent of people on this planet were born out of a bottle of whiskey on a Saturday night.

The statement sounds harsh, considering that a famous father spoke these words for his son. But then Lennon was being Lennon. There wasn’t a personality like him.

Unfortunately, the enigmatic star’s end came too soon.

Lennon was shot dead in 1980. All that was left behind was a monstrous empire. Yoko Ono, his wife, and his second marriage took complete control of his legacy and fortune with the intent to leave it all to young son Sean Lennon.

But what about Lennon’s two sons? Did Julian get anything? Did Yoko eventually give him anything? And are he and Sean friends today? Was there a legal battle?

Let us find out:

Did Julian Lennon inherit anything from his father?

Originally, Julian inherited $66,729 and a $100 weekly royalty payment from Lennon’s estate. He later fought for a further share in settlement and reportedly won $27 million in 1996. But Julian never confirmed this amount. 

Celebrities are not immune to estate fights, and Julian and Sean are classic examples. In most cases, it becomes the reason bands break up and singing groups split.

But in the music world, the process becomes even more complicated because art results from combined efforts. It is difficult to decide: who has had more contribution? And who should get more money?

Still, a general observation shows that songwriters enjoy a major share based on songwriting royalties because of their significantly larger contributions.

But what happens when there are two or more songwriters in a group?

How do bands like the Beatles split their royalties? Luckily, I covered that in my recent article. I get into Paul’s network compared to the others and how John’s royalties got divided after his death.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How much did Sean Lennon inherit from John Lennon?

Sean Lennon inherited approximately $200 million at the time of Lennon’s death. That would be $674,631,067.96 in today’s dollars.

(inflation calculator)

For close to three decades, John Lennon’s second wife, Yoko Ono, has managed his large estate.

And although Yoko retired from the public eye in recent years, her responsibilities were taken over by her son Sean Ono Lennon, the second child of John Lennon.

Sean, a planned child, was also appointed as the director at eight companies linked to the Beatles and Yoko Ono. These include several multimedia companies like Apple Corp., a company founded by Lennon alongside band members Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison in 1968.

As of now, Sean has the major part of Lennon’s inheritance cut out for him. According to Forbes, the value of the empire of his late father was estimated at around $200 million at his time of death.

While Yoko hasn’t commented about her and her son’s roles in the estate, it is clear that both have managed to expand the value of Lennon’s legacy.

Are Sean Lennon and Julian Lennon friends?

Julian Lennon and Sean Lennon are friends. Sean maintains that both moved on with their sibling rivalry from 20 years ago. They have been close to each other and attend various events together.  

The duo grew familial tensions over controlling their father’s massive estate. And they remained at odds for a long time.

But the pair decided to end the legendary tension and walk past the bad blood because it was like carrying a dead weight over your shoulders everywhere. 

Over the decades, Julian has maintained a reasonable “cordial relation” with brother Sean and stepmother Yoko.

Sean also went to see Julian perform live for the first time in Paris on November 12, 2006, at La Boule Noire. Since then, the pair have frequently enjoyed brotherly time together.

The latest reports mention that Julian and Sean are bonding over a road trip in California. Julian posted a snap on Instagram where the brothers can be seen standing next to each other.

The familial tension between them has softened with time. The three, Julian, Sean, and Yoko, often spend time together at numerous events to commemorate John.

Was Yoko mean to Julian?

Yoko was mean to Julian and helped convince John Lennon to cut ties with Julian after marrying her. Yoko helped talked Lennon into believing that since Julian was not planned, he didn’t need his father in his life.

Tensions are common in blended families, and Lennon’s was no exception.

John had two sons from two different partners. That naturally created an entangled web of royalties and loyalties, often leading to conflicts. All too common in the music industry.

And no matter how rich you are, a man’s emotional and financial decision ultimately splits. This makes it easy for any woman to see her husband’s other children as a threat.

Yoko is said to have brainwashed Lennon into believing that Julian (the Jude in “Hey Jude”) was an accident and he didn’t need to pay any money to him.

From this perspective, Yoko acted cruelly, and her treatment of Julian was mean.

So she maintained a difficult relationship not only with Julian but with the remaining Beatles as well. This lead her to see John’s other family as potential threats, so she did what she could:

Get Lennon to divorce Cynthia Powell and abandon his first son.

I suspect Yoko never harbored any personal resentments toward Cynthia or Julian to take control of the entire fortune.

But what about the royalties from Beatles’? 

Did Yoko take control of that too? Read my recent article. I get into who gets paid today, whether there was ever a court battle, how much, and whatever happened to that story of Paul McCartney supposedly selling The Beatles catalog to Michael Jackson.

Just click on that link to read it on my site.

How much money did Yoko Ono give Julian Lennon?

Yoko reportedly gave Julian $66,729 and a $100 weekly royalty payment. Sean Lennon took control of the majority of Lennon’s share. 

As part of Lennon’s divorce from his first wife Cynthia, Julian received $133,459 when he turned 21 but split the amount equally with any children born to Lennon.

However, the story was much different before the divorce.

John had set up a trust fund at the time with about $333,648, which ultimately would have gone to Julian when he turned 25. But when Yoko Ono came onto the scene, she helped end Lennon’s first marriage and his relationship with his son Julian.

After Lennon’s death, Julian and his mother were left behind in the cold. Yoko became the sole executor of Lennon’s estate. She used her power to invest the lion’s share of Lennon’s money.

According to multiple reports, Yoko inherited a large fortune ($200 million) and continues to earn royalties from his music with the Beatles.

She gave $66,729 to Julian and a $100 weekly royalty payment.

Conclusion

John Lennon’s abrupt death in 1980 left the world stunned.

With his enormous legacy, having been a crucial part of one of the most influential bands of all time, and vast earnings behind, the question “Why did John Lennon leave Julian out of his will?” has always been a subject of debate.

John shared a complicated relationship with Julian from his first wife, Cynthia. Lennon had also written a will before divorcing his wife Cynthia, according to which Julian would have received $333,648.

But John’s second wife, Yoko Ono, reportedly brainwashed her husband and turned him against Julian. In one interview, John Lennon’s first wife Cynthia also revealed that John refused to pay more than $100,000 in the divorce settlement because, according to him, she wasn’t worth more than that.

Following Yoko’s advice and his complicated relationship with Julian, John cut son Julian out of his will.

But Julian did not take the snub lightly and started a court case to gain a further settlement, given it is a great deal of his money. As of now, Julian and his estate rivalry with stepmother Yoko has ended.

All three have walked past this rivalry and are trying to bond.


Image by 👀 Mabel Amber, who will one day from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Hi, I'm Jeff Campbell, a former DJ, music journalist, musician, and music lover. I'm old enough to have seen all the cool bands and young enough to still remember them.

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