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'Quiet' Beatle George Harrison was a red-blooded womaniser who almost split from his wife because of his wayward behaviou

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Reuters
Womaniser: George Harrison with his wife Olivia
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The Beatles: John Lennon, back left, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, front
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Hiccups: Olivia and George had their ups and down but she feels delighted they were able to work through their problems
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Love: George Harrison with his first wife Pattie Boyd
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Rock on: The late George Harrison pictured performing at the Prince's Trust concert in 1988

He was affectionately known as ‘the quiet Beatle’.

But George Harrison was in fact a womaniser, whose love of the opposite sex almost ruined his 23-year-marriage, a new documentary has revealed.

In the upcoming film, directed by Martin Scorcese, former bandmate Paul McCartney claims the guitarist ‘liked the things that men like. He was red-blooded.’

Harrison’s widow, Olivia, admitted she often struggled with her wayward husband’s behaviour.

She claims that although she and Harrison ‘seemed like partners from the very beginning’ their marriage survived a series of ‘hiccups’.

‘He did like women and women did like him,’ she says. ‘If he just said a couple of words to you it would have a profound effect. So it was hard to deal with someone who was so well loved.’

Miss Harrison worked alongside Scorcese to produce private letters, journals and unseen footage of the star for the film George Harrison: Living in a Material World, which has been made to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the star’s death. He died in November 2001, aged 58, following a long-battle with cancer.

It also features personal recollections from friends including Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton.

Harrison earned a reputation as the most reserved character out of the Beatles, in contrast to John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr who were the more outspoken members of the Fab Four.

But according to his widow, although her husband’s attitude towards women was ‘challenging’ she claims the couple felt an ‘incredible reward’ after overcoming their problems.

She added: ‘You go through challenges in your marriage and here is what I found: the first time we had a big hiccup in the road, we came through things, and then you go, ‘Wow!’ There is a reward at the end of it.’

‘There is this incredible reward because you have lived through more and you have let go of something.’

By the end, when her husband was ill, she admits she was glad that they had ‘worked this through together. Through all these things that came between us.’

She also reveals Harrison’s fury at John Lennon’s murder in 1980 by Mark Chapman. ‘He was angry John did not have a chance to leave his body in a better way,’ she said.

In the film, which is being released in October and shown on the BBC later this year, Clapton also talks about how he felt consumed with envy as he fell in love with Pattie Boyd, Harrison’s first wife.

Clapton said: ‘I had become more and more obsessed with George’s wife, Pattie. To be honest there was a lot of swapping and fooling around.’

It is the latest music documentary made by Oscar-winning director Scorsese. He has shot a history of the blues, a concert film of the Rolling Stones and an acclaimed movie of Bob Dylan.

Ringo Starr is brought to tears on screen by the memory of his final conversation with Harrison who, dying in a Swiss hospital bed, still managed a bleak joke. Starr had to leave because his daughter was undergoing emergency brain surgery in Los Angeles.

‘George said: ‘Do you want me to come with you?’ They were the last words I heard him say.’

 As well as Scorcese’s film, an exhibition is being created at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, the first major museum retrospective of the late musician’s life and career, while Miss Harrison has also written a book about his life.

Talking about her decision to write the biography, she said she had uncovered so much during the five-year process of making the documentary that ‘it seemed a shame not to share that.’

‘There was just too much material that Marty didn’t use — ephemera, letters. It lent itself to a pictorial arc of George’s life.’

 

Last Updated: 09/07/11 07:40
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1 person has commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.
by worschtee1919 : September 10, 2011 4:32 AM EDT (FUNsite member)
Can Not WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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News Summary

He was affectionately known as ‘the quiet Beatle’. But George Harrison was in fact a womaniser, whose love of the opposite sex almost ruined his 23-year-marriage, a new documentary has revealed.