JULIAN Lennon, son of the most famous Beatle, has branded his father a hypocrite who could talk about peace and love to the world but could never show it to his wife and son.
When people come up to Julian in the street, blabbing about their love for his father, ``because he spoke the truth'', they meet with a polite reserve.
``I have to say that, from my point of view, I felt he was a hypocrite. Dad could talk about peace and love out loud to the world but he could never show it to the people who supposedly meant the most to him: his wife and son,'' he said.
``How can you talk about peace and love and have a family in bits and pieces - no communication, adultery, divorce? You can't do it, not if you're being true and honest with yourself.'' By an unhelpful coincidence, the two sons of John Lennon were releasing solo albums yesterday. In headline terms, this can mean only one thing: the half brothers are engaged in ``open warfare'' to determine which of them has inherited the creative talent of their late father.
``It's news to me,'' says Julian Lennon mildly. ``I love Sean to death. He's a very smart kid. But I do think there are things done without his knowledge. Someone in the camp could be manipulating events.''
By this, he means the New York-based Lennon ``camp'', under the control of Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow and the mother of Sean.
Julian (35) is the Sixties child of John Lennon and his first wife, Cynthia; he was abandoned by his father when he was five and only recently received a share of the vast Lennon estate.
Sean (22) is the favoured son, for whom John Lennon became a house husband. He lives with Yoko in the sumptuous Dakota building in New York, where Lennon was shot in 1980, and will inherit the bulk of the Beatle's reputed £220m fortune.
``If I'm in New York, I try to see Sean,'' says Julian. ``If I move, I always give him my new number. I call him from time to time, but I never get a return call.
Paul McCartney once observed that John didn't really know how to be a dad. Does Lennon think it is fair to blame someone for being a poor father? ``Yeah, I do.''
We are all, he argues, capable of doing what we set out to do.
``If you bring a child into this world, whether it's planned or an accident, you'd better make sure you can care for it. You have to be around. You make time. It's as simple as that.''
( Daily Telegraph, London)