Yoko Ono has reportedly secretly quit New York City to live on a farm 42 years after she watched her late husband John Lennon shot to death outside their home in the city.
The singer and artist, who last week celebrated her 90th birthday, has spent decades traumatised by the loss of her Beatles icon partner, but stayed in their nine-room apartment in Manhattan’s exclusive Dakota Building – where gunman Mark David Chapman assassinated him on 8 December 1980.
But now, Dailymail.com has reported Yoko has decided to relocate full-time to her 600-acre farm near Franklin, New York.
The outlet said on Thursday (23.02.23) night she is “not thought to have any plans to return” to her home in the Dakota, on the Upper West Side.
It said there is no suggestion Yoko plans to sell the Manhattan apartment, but said the move was a “major change” for John’s widow as she was a stalwart of the New York social and arts scenes before withdrawing from public life in the last few years.
It’s been reported she is struggling with her health and requires “round the clock” medical care.
She was seen at an event in 2017 in a wheelchair and told fans: “I have learned so much from having this illness,” though details of her condition have not been made public.
Yoko and John bought the farm where she is said to be living for $178,000, along with 100 cattle.
Despite her health, Yoko last week celebrated her 90th with friends and family including her son Sean, who she had with John in 1975.
Musician Sean, 47, created a virtual “wish tree” to mark her birthday, with Ringo Star, Sir Elton John and her stepson Julian among those to have sent wishes to her website.
Sean said about the gift: “I wanted to give the whole world an opportunity to make a wish for her and plant a tree in her honour. Make a wish. Plant a tree, Wish Yoko a happy birthday. It’s that simple.”
In November 2020 it emerged she had handed over the responsibility for handling her business affairs and John’s $800 million fortune to Sean.
Yoko married John in 1969 and they stayed together until his death, when his killer Chapman – who is still languishing in jail after he had his 12th bid for parole rejected last year – shot the ‘Imagine’ singer on the doorstep of the Dakota as he and his wife came home.
Before assassinating John, Chapman turned up at the apartment building and asked John to sign an album, which the Beatle did before he got in a limousine and went to a recording studio.
When he got home around 10.30pm, Chapman was waiting and shot him in the back and shoulder four times in front of Yoko, with John pronounced dead at hospital about an hour later.
The gunman was found sitting outside the Dakota reading a copy of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ and said he had shot John after becoming infuriated about the singer’s global fame.
He issued an apology to Yoko in 2020, after his 11th parole bid was turned down, telling her he constantly dwells on his “despicable act”.