George Harrison’s love life – stunning ex, knife attack, ‘heartbreaking goodbye’

The Beatles legend George Harrison would have turned 80 years old tomorrow (February 25, 2023) – and along with his phenomenal career, he also had a number of high profile romances.

Adored by generations of fans across the globe, it was early on in his Beatles days that he met his first wife, after she played an extra in 1964 film A Hard Days Night.

That's not all, as another chance meeting at a record label in America would bring him into contact with his second wife, with who he welcomed his son Dhani.

READ MORE: Elvis Presley's unknown 'feud' with John Lennon after one and only meeting

Here, Daily Star takes a closer look at the late George Harrison's relationships.

Patti Boyd

George met first wife – model and photographer Patti Boyd – while filming The Beatles film A Hard Day's night in 1964, with the musician even asking Pattie to marry him on that day.

Their romance bloomed and two years later in 1966 they married.

Together they travelled to India alongside other members of The Beatles in 1968, and George wrote one of the band's most famous songs, Something, for her.

She told People: "George said, 'Here's a song I've written for you, but we haven't quite finished it.' So I heard it in its raw state," she says. "It was just stunning. I thought, 'Oh gosh, this is really, totally overwhelming."

However, the couple split in 1974 and later divorced in 1977.

Patti later took the decision to leave George, telling The Telegraph: "It was an extremely difficult decision of mine to make.

"I felt that I had to leave George because things were getting really out of hand. George was just being a different George. We had gone in different directions, basically. But we still loved each other…"

Despite their divorce, Patti and George remained close friends with one another, with the musician even playing guitar at Patti's wedding to Eric Clapton.

She also recalled to People that George was supportive of her relationship with Eric, saying: "He said, 'Well, I'm glad you're going off with Eric instead of some idiot. So he appreciated my choice!"

Patti revealed in her 2007 memoir Wonderful Today that George always said that he would be there for her, writing: "When I left him for Eric, he had said that if things didn't work out, I could always come to him.

"It was such a selfless, loving thing to say. Now that sense of security had gone."

Heartbreaking goodbye

Following George's cancer diagnosis in 1997, he arranged to meet Patti a few months before his death in 2001.

He did not tell Pattie that he was ill, but she revealed to Smooth Radio that she "knew something wasn't right."

"I knew he wasn’t well, I realised that he knew he wasn’t well," she said.

"In a way, I think he was coming to say goodbye. I could see he was very drawn, and he was using energy more than he needed to, to appear up and happy. You could sense he wasn’t well."

The model also recalled that George brought her a few gifts and music to listen to during their meeting, saying: "it was really sweet."

George sadly died on November 29th, 2001, with Patti explaining that she "couldn't bear the thought of a world without George," in her memoir.

"I think I'll miss George for the rest of my life," she wrote.

"I would have incredibly vivid dreams that he was alive. Then I would wake up and the reality would wash over me."

Olivia Harrison

Following his divorce from Pattie Boyd, George met Olivia Trinidad Arias in 1974.

Olivia was working as a marketing executive at A&M Records and the two shared an almost instant connection, with Olivia later taking him to meet her parents in Hawthorne, Los Angeles.

Four years later in 1978 they welcomed their son Dhani, with the couple tying the knot a month after in a private ceremony in Henley-on-Thames.

Speaking about their relationship to Yahoo Entertainment, Olivia said: "I always say I wasn't a ‘Beatle wife.’ You might say an ex-Beatle wife.

"The thing is, when I met George, we sort of changed lanes. We went off and had a more normal, quiet life. It wasn't too quiet — we had fun! — but we were pretty private, and family really made him happy."

However, The Guardian reported that Olivia did admit during Martin Scorsese's documentary Living In The Material World (which she helped to produce), that despite the two "seeming like partners from the beginning," due to their shared interests, it was "hard to deal with someone who was so well loved," and that they had their "hiccups."

"He did like women and women did like him," she could be heard saying.

"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."

Olivia also revealed the secret to their long-lasting marriage during the documentary, adding: "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," adding she was glad they had "worked this through together. Through all these things that came between us."

During their marriage, Olivia also saved George's life when a man called Michael Abram broke into their house at Friar Park home in Henley-on-Thames.

He attacked George with a kitchen knife, puncturing one of his lungs and causing head injuries, leaving the musician with more than 40 stab wounds.

However, Olivia saved George after she struck the man with a fireplace poker and a lamp, reported the The Daily Express.

Recalling the terrifying attack to Yahoo Entertainment, she said that despite being injured, George did all he could to protect her too, saying: "I am sort of an action person. And it was a moment when just something took over me. I couldn't let George just be on his own out there. And believe me, he fought for me too.

"There was a moment when I was under attack and poor George had been hurt quite badly… and he jumped on his back and the guy was on top of me and we all fell in a big pile."

The couple remained married until George's death from lung cancer on November 29, 2001, with Olivia and son Dhani by his side as he died.

George's family announced his death in a statement, saying: "He left this world as he lived in it, conscious of God, fearless of death, and at peace, surrounded by family and friends.

"He often said, 'Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another'."

Beautiful tributes

Following George's death, the musician's son Dhani worked with musicians including George's Travelling Wilbury's band mate and ELO legend Jeff Lynne to finish the album Brainwashed, which he was working on with his father.

It was released one year later in 2002, with Dhani winning a Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance on the album track Marwa Blues in 2004.

On the 20th anniversary of the album's release, Dhani paid tribute to his father and the musicians who helped him to complete the album, by sharing a video of the recording sessions on Twitter.

He captioned the post: "20 years ago I finished what was, to this day, the most difficult project I've ever worked on; to finish my dad's last album without him. There's no way in the world that had I waited, even a year, to do this, I could've gotten through it."

On the 21st anniversary of George's death, wife Olivia also shared a beautiful tribute to her late husband on social media.

She posted a video of George performing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with the clip taken from a live performance alongside best friend Eric Clapton.

Olivia accompanied the post with two hearts surrounded by an Om emoji.

She has also continued to celebrate George's legacy, including releasing a collection of poems called, Came the Lightning, which was published in 2022.

Olivia explained that she hoped to show a new side of George to his fans, saying to Liverpool Echo: "I wanted to do something from me. From my heart, something original."

The book expresses her feelings about things she holds dear, such as nature, George and their life together, with the poem Treetime "written to George."

"It sort of tells it all I think. I'm writing to George and about him, but it's really about me. What I'm feeling and what I experienced."

Reflecting on what George would have thought of her book of poems, she added: "I think he'd really like it. I think he'd probably tease me to death about it.

"He would probably steal some lines from me. Sometimes I would write things and he'd say 'hey that's pretty good'."

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