Jane Asher announces her split from Paul McCartney

In an appearance on the BBC Television show Dee Time, Jane Asher told host Simon Dee that her engagement to Paul McCartney had been called off.

I haven't broken it off, but it is broken off, finished.

I know it sounds corny, but we still see each other and love each other, but it hasn't worked out. Perhaps we'll be childhood sweethearts and meet again and get married when we're about 70.

Jane Asher
Dee Time

Tellingly, Asher had failed to attend the world première of Yellow Submarine three days earlier; all the other Beatles' partners were there.

I always feel very wary including Jane in The Beatles' history. She's never gone into print about our relationship, whilst everyone on earth has sold their story. So I'd feel weird being the one to kiss and tell.

We had a good relationship. Even with touring there were enough occasions to keep a reasonable relationship going. To tell the truth, the women at that time got sidelined. Now it would be seen as very chauvinist of us. Then it was like: 'We are four miners who go down the pit. You don't need women down the pit, do you? We won't have women down the pit.' A lot of what we, The Beatles, did was very much in an enclosed scene. Other people found it difficult - even John's wife, Cynthia, found it very difficult - to penetrate the screen that we had around us. As a kind of safety barrier we had a lot of 'in' jokes, little signs, references to music; we had a common bond in that and it was very difficult for any 'outsider' to penetrate. That possibly wasn't good for relationships back then.

Paul McCartney

McCartney and Asher had been together for five years, since meeting at the Royal Albert Hall in 1963. However, McCartney had a string of other girls, mainly while The Beatles were touring - and in 1968 began an affair with an American woman, Francie Schwartz.

Asher arrived unexpectedly at McCartney's home in Cavendish Avenue, London, where she reportedly found him in bed with Schwartz. She walked out and sent her mother to collect her belongings, signalling an end to the relationship.

I think inevitably when I moved to Cavendish Avenue, I realised that she and I weren't really going to be the thing we'd always thought we might be. Once or twice we talked about getting married, and plans were afoot but I don't know, something really made me nervous about the whole thing. It just never settled with me, and as that's very important for me, things must feel comfortable for me, I think it's a pretty good gauge if you're lucky enough. You're not always lucky enough, but if they can feel comfortable then there's something very special about that feeling. I hadn't quite managed to be able to get it with Jane.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
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47 responses on “Jane Asher announces her split from Paul McCartney

  1. Angie

    That is so sad. I wonder if they ever had closer, or if they always felt like they had not, even when Paul met and married Linda, and Jane married some one too. Did they ever see each other from time to time ?

    1. Simo

      Wonder of that too. I know Jane doesn’t want to ever talk ’bout her relationship with Paul and it’s very sad and i can understand her very well.She certainly doesn’t want to remember how she felt left apart from Paul (what a genious of you, paul T_T really a genious!). Though, i’d be very very happy to know if they ever talked and met each other after all…

      1. Alex

        They did, and good for Paul. It WAS genius for him to enjoy himself, he’s a Beatle. Good for him to not get stuck with Jane. Linda was way cooler and more mature in every way. I read that Paul “lost himself to drink and drugs” after this break up, which is utter nonsense. He had passed his most severe drug use already. He continued to fling around with tons of worshipping ladies and then called up Linda and had the greatest relationship of his life.

        1. Fool on the Hill

          From what I’ve read about the “breakup” of Paul and Jane, when Jane found Francie Schwartz and Paul in their (Paul and Jane’s) bed, it was the last straw. Yes, he had been unfaithful previously. Francie Schwartz was more than a one nighter, she even is noted as a background singer (I think Yellow Submarine, All Together Now, etc). She was present with Yoko during the “Mad Day Out” photo shoot. Francie says Jane knocked on the bedroom door before she entered to find them in bed together. This statement tells me Jane was well aware of his fooling around.

          1. JC

            Yes. What many fans tend not to know is that Jane and Paul were mainly a media couple… I hung around with the Beatles quite a bit, and I didn’t see Jane at all. They were often in different cities, and didn’t even see each other until they were going out together. Jane also saw other people; it really wasn’t like they were dating those times apart. They were very love stuck in the beginning, faded away, then became close again a few months before the India trip. It wasn’t meant to be… they didn’t have the complete love bond Paul & Linda always did.

              1. R123

                Hey, i dont think he wasnt a nice guy. Sure, when he was in his 20s and a world famous rock star, he slept around. But he and Jane were obviously less than steady (they were more of a media couple than anything), and she had other guys as well, even dumping Paul completely for a few months for a boy she met in Bristol while she and Paul were still “officially” together. But, when Paul found the right woman, he settled down and never once cheated on her. He wasn’t abusive and stood by her until the very end, when Linda sadly died of cancer. I honestly think that makes up for his shenanigans as a youngster -in the sixties, mind you-. And it is much more than you can say of other rockers of the era.

        2. paula

          Linda and Paul were both by their own admission – potheads. I assume that would make someone cool and mature? How I don’t know, but that seems to be their one major agreement in life. Linda essentially laid her life down for Paul, so in a world where women should have some rights I have no idea how that is cool or mature either. Whatever he did or didn’t do, he wrote the most catastrophically significant love song of the rock era for Jane Asher.

          1. tessa

            And what song is that, Paula? I can’t think of any song Paul wrote for Jane that is even close to “Maybe I’m Amazed”, which was written for Linda.

              1. taloola

                Really? Thats a song about a guy feeling bad when his girlfriend is in the process of leaving him. Their relationship is over, and he’s reflecting on what could’ve been. It’s more of a melancholy song. I would never consider that a love song.

            1. Topazthecat (@topazthecat1000)

              Paul wrote quite a few beautiful love songs that are known to be for and about Jane Asher,Things We Said Today,And I Love Her,Here There And Everywhere,and his great late 1964 blues rocker,She’s A Woman.A man really loves a woman when he writes beautiful love songs for her like these!

              He wrote great songs about the arguments he had with her,( We Can work It Out,I’m Looking Through You,and For No One) which were all of his fault because he was a sexist and kept unfairly pressuring Jane to give up her acting career and devote herself to him.She said at the time in Hunter Davies great only authorized Beatles biography,The Beatles that she enjoyed acting and she had been doing it since she was a little girl and she refused to give it up.

          2. Ludlow

            Apparently “We Can Work It Out” was supposedly written about a bad time Paul and Jane were going through. And there’s a line in “For No One” that sounds like Jane to me. “And in her eyes you see nothing. no sign of love behind the tears cried for no one. A love that should have lasted years.”
            Jane has always struck me as being somewhat cold and distant. And in most photos, her eyes do seem blank to me.

          3. NancyDrew

            I don’t see how wanting to devote your life to your husband and family is a bad thing. It was her life choice. Paul wanted a wife in the house and raising kids, someone who will follow his lead. Clearly Jane wasn’t about that wanted to dedicate herself to her personal grow and career (Which is fine to – personally im more like her-). And thats why Linda was the perfect match for PAul. Seeing how Paul ended up living his life (travelling with his family and touring all over the world) its clear he and JAne would never worked out in the long run. As time has passed by you can see how it all worked out for the for both of them.

        3. Kirk

          Linda wasn’t cool at all, at least in an artistic sense. Personally, I liked seeing Paul and Jane Asher together. But who cares? It’s certainly not up to me who Paul wanted to be with. I still cringe when I see and hear Linda in Wings. But I blame Paul for basically becoming unprofessional and bringing an untalented non musical entity into his band.

      2. NancyDrew

        i read somewhere in an interview to her that she didn’t talked about it first, because it was a part of her private life and she respected that very much. Second, she didn’t wanted that, in the future, her husband and children felt that they weren’t the absolute loves of her life and rather a second choice (being paul the one that got away..)

    1. Alex

      He didn’t cheat because he didn’t it didn’t feel right, he cheated all the time on Jane. He had sex with tons of girls then. Besides, Paul even hints here that he never could be totally comfortable with her and has also said elsewhere that Linda was the “first woman” he had fallen for, and that the others had been “girls” and “shrinking violets” so I think it was for the best.

      1. Stacy Q.

        yes! I completely agree; it always seemed to me that they were a TV couple; there are no pictures or anything of them being loving or anything; just standing there, semi-awkwardly, and smiling. Paul certainly wasn’t in love -I doubt Jane was-, but if she was, and believed she and Paul were meant for each other, she was being a foolish girl.

    1. Arielle

      I don’t think so. Cause Jane will surely notice that Paul changed if he really was replaced. But then, they decided to get married at 1967; meaning, it’s still the real Paul Mccartney and Paul Mccartney

  2. tommy d

    I would like to see some legitimate sources talk about the Jane walking in on Paul and Francie thing. Because Jane has never confirmed that… Paul has never confirmed that… and Francie says its untrue. I believe that story is something i like to call “bullshit”.

    1. Cristina

      I so agree. Just what is the source for that claim?. This is a great website, but why is it being presented as a fact while provifing no sources?.

  3. tfitz

    McCartney doesn’t come across as very nice. yes, I know he was a beetle but he didn’t have to screw around so much. That’s juvenile behavior. Rock stars use that as an excuse all the time like it’s no big deal.it is the big deal if you’re in any kind of relationship.I think Linda was more controlling and was able to snag him — she came from money and wasn’t intimidated.

  4. Kath C

    Linda Eastman (McCartney), if you do your homework, slept with every major name in the rock industry in hopes of bagging a big name. She was a real gold digger with an agenda in those days and it landed her one of the biggest names in the business. The kudos to her is that she turned herself around and really ended up doing what it takes to create a genuine love match that stood the test of time. Once she cleaned up her act and dedicated herself to the man she married and had the family, she earned the respect that deserved. But the proof is out there that she definitely didn’t start out that way.

    1. Cristina

      Uhmmm, so what is the proof that she was a gold digger who was trying to land a “big name”?. Her sleeping around with rock stars?. That’s no proof of your claim whatsoever.

      Has it ever occurred to you that she slpet with them because she liked them and was having some fun?.

  5. Cheryl Jane Bean

    Jane and Paul – the subject of many a teenage girl’s fantasy. Beautiful, classy, chic – fodder for the teen magazines which created a haze of false stories, and thus brainwashed an entire generation of impressionable kids. The Paul they created never existed nor did the Jane they whipped up. They were two people with very different life styles and agendas. Too bad because I could have accepted Jane and not the bag woman with her keyboards and her off key voice.

  6. JoAnn

    Cheryl Jane Bean – smartest reply of all. Asher was a class act. Educated, beautiful, well-read, cultured. Anyone can hear Here, There and Everywhere, And I Love Her and other songs and know someone was in love with that woman. He loved both of them, but you can take the guy out of Liverpool, but you can’t take the Liverpool out of the boy. I love McCartney’s music, but his after Asher women choices were below the poverty level. Eastman was a pothead, by her own account. Definitely not an admirable rebound choice. His wife Nancy seems most like Asher. Obviously, well-heeled. One doesn’t need money to be well-bred, but she is quite the sophisticate.

  7. Cristi Bracken-Asher

    It’s a total lie. When Paul says Linda, he means Jane. Jane and he married 11th March 1964 in secret with both families and friends to share it. His so called marriage to Mills was really a vow renewal to Jane.

  8. karen Boromeo

    Personally I think Jane and Linda were just as beautiful and smart as each other. Jane was meant for Paul in his earlier yrs and Linda in his more maturing yrs. To some extent as John had Yoko an older motherly woman, I think Paul then decided he wanted an older motherly type of lady. Especially when both their mums passed when they were about 15yrs old. It was filling the emptiness they missed from their mums, both falling for more mature women.

  9. castironshore

    Asher was perfect for paul,came from a successful family he admired and had great beauty and intelligence. However she was very much her own person and would not cede anything to mccartneys chauvinistic attitudes towards her career.

    Linda was similar in a lot of ways, right down to her love of cooking. Where they differed was that linda was happy to take a back seat career wise and devote herself to paul and his music. And i guess that they both loved primo grade marijuana as well didn’t hurt.

  10. Michael K

    It’s funny but I just came across the archive of ‘Desert Island Discs’ programme now online at the BBC’s website and listened to a few Beatles-related things including Jane Asher’s 1988 appearance.
    There was a passing mention of ‘The Beatles’ by interviewer Sue Lawley but not Paul but then Jane chose ‘Woman’ by Peter (her brother) and Gordon as one of her favourite records. As the song was written about their relationship, I thought this was a sweet ‘tribute’ to the relationship she has otherwise never mentioned.

    The other thing was that I’d never really heard her speak at length before and both from her choice of music otherwise and her general disposition, it’s obvious that although these two probably loved each other a lot, she was not a ‘rock n roll’ woman and there was an essential incompatibility of interests.

    I admire her greatly.

  11. Ian Cohan

    Just can’t see Jane as ever giving up her acting career to join Wings and don’t know if Paul could have accepted her having her own career, unlike other Beatle women. Still surprised that Yoko said she had never heard of the Beatles when she met John.

  12. EvieH

    Why do so many articles about Paul and Jane’s relationship end up with Jane vs. Linda discussion. Linda was obviously the love of Paul’s life just as Gerald is the love of Jane’s life. Paul and Linda were together for 29 years until her untimely death. Jane and Gerald have been together since 1971 – 45 years!
    That said, Paul and Jane were very much in love. But they were very young — Paul was 21 when they met and Jane was a 17 year old virgin. Yes they were apart for long periods of time because Jane and Paul were a couple during the crazy days of Beatlemania from 1963 through mid-1968. NONE of the Beatles first marriages survived that time! Yes, Jane was committed to her career, but she was also quoted at the time as saying she would give up her career if it interfered with them being together. But seriously, what was Jane supposed to do? Sit home and wait for Paul to return from tour? That’s what Cynthia and Maureen did: stayed home and raised their children but their marriages still broke up. If Paul had been dating Linda in 1963 I doubt that the relationship would have survived, even though they were soulmates. There was just too much pressure and too many women throwing themselves at all four Beatles. Paul did write some of his best love songs for Jane: Here, There and Everywhere, And I Love Her, Things We Said Today, Martha My Dear — along with songs like I’m Looking Through You and We Can Work it Out which examined the troubles in their relationship.

    I admire Jane Asher for her intelligence, talent, strength and integrity. She didn’t take crap from anyone not even Paul. There’s a well known story about Jane and Paul being at a club with the other Beatles. John & Paul were pretty drunk and the two of them were crawling under tables and looking up womens’ skirts and trying to grope them. Jane just got up and left. So she always had a great sense of pride and self-worth. Beatles biographer Hunter Davies says that Jane and Neil Aspinall were the only two Beatles intimates who never went on the record and sold their stories. And Neil worked for the Beatles’ Apple Corp. until his death. I also give Jane a lot of credit for being a successful actress and career woman. She’s authored 15 books including three novels, had a successful 25 year cake business and now sells a line of inexpensive baking tools at Poundland. She’s a multi-millionaire in her own right. And she still looks great at almost 70.

  13. aerialkate

    The truth is Asher inspired many of his very best songs. Some are outright love songs which clearly show the depth of his feeling ( “they were just a media couple” – no, I sincerely doubt that ) and some which show the admittedly fraught side of their relationship. I know McCartney rates ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ – I don’t particularly. It’s an alright song. I suspect because he wrote it for Linda he perpetually wants to ‘big it up’ for her; because the rest of the world tends to believe the Jane Asher inspired stuff he wrote on ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver’ are his best. For me, he never wrote another classic love song after she walked out on him in ’68. People have been so patronising to Asher regarding the relationship; constantly defining her in terms of a boyfriend she left behind in the 1960s. She’s been happily married for nearly forty years. She’s right when she protests that it’s “insulting”.

    I’ve nothing against Linda – but all that “They never spent a night apart you know…” shtick we used to constantly hear never made me think “God they’re so devoted to one another!” I suspect Linda learned from what happened to Jane – McCartney was a notorious womanizer – and she kept a close eye on her husband.

    Asher had more of a sense of self and simply wasn’t prepared to do it. I’d agree that Asher and McCartney were ultimately both better off married to other people. Given that Asher has never spoken about McCartney, the man should reciprocate by keeping it shut himself; but he’s opened his gob one time too many for me. He was on Howard Stern the other day and Stern asked him how he’d managed to bed Asher while her parents were in the same house. McCartney answered the question. He shouldn’t have done that – he’s playing a dangerous game.

    He’s a fabulous musician who’s written some amazing songs but I find him to be something of an insensitive jerk much of the time. For me, after Asher walked – he said goodbye to his Muse too. He’d been callous in his treatment of her and he deserved it.

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