John Lennon’s death was certainly incredibly sudden, and left millions of fans mourning for a long time. At the time he was living in Manhattan with his wife Yoko Ono and their son Sean, when a deranged murderer shot him. However, he had prepared a will, given his huge net worth – so who did he leave his fortune to?
The details of John’s will were kept under wraps for a long time, until his first son, Julian Lennon, revealed there had been some tension.
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 John 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.
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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.
Speaking out about the will, 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.
“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.
However, in 1996, Julian is reported to have gone into a court battle to get some more money from the estate, suing 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 amount as being the amount he gained from the inheritance.
With that being said, it looks as though the majority of the funds from John Lennon’s fortune were bequeathed to his son Sean and Yoko Ono, Lennon’s wife when he died.
Of course, when Yoko dies, it will mainly be given to Sean.
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What happened to John Lennon?
On December 8, 1980, Lennon autographed a copy of the album for fan Mark David Chapman, before leaving where they lived at The Dakota in Manhattan for a recording sessions at the Record Plant, then in New York City.
After the session, Lennon and Ono returned to their apartment in Manhattan in a limo at just before 11pm, and walked through the archway of their building.
Sadly, it was then Chapman shot Lennon in the back at close range.
He was rushed to the Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, but was pronounced dead on arrival at 11pm.
Lennon is likely to have died in the police cruiser en route to the hospital, though it is uncertain whether he was shot dead instantaneously.
Chapman has been understood to have been furious at Lennon for his public statements, such as being “more popular than Jesus,” despite being a Beatles fan.
He is also believed to have contemplated killing other public figures, such as Ronald Reagan and Elizabeth Taylor, but he had no prior convictions before the shooting.
After hitting Lennon four times in the back, despite shooting five times, he remained at the scene reading J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, which he is reported to have become obsessed by in the years leading up to the murder.
He was arrested at the scene and was sentences to 20 years to life in prison with mental health treatment, and has since been refused parole many times.