Pattie Boyd has opened up about her tumultuous relationships with George Harrison and Eric Clapton in a new interview with The Telegraph.
The model-turned-photographer was married to the ex-Beatle from 1966 to 1977. Boyd met Harrison after landing a role in the Fab Four’s debut movie, A Hard Day’s Night. Less than two years later, the pair were married.
Despite her coveted position, Boyd said she felt a “crippling insecurity” while in that relationship. “I had to take a deep breath,” she said, “and know and understand that I have to put one foot forward and move, otherwise the universe is not going to help me. People wanted to meet George, and they’d want to meet me, and I’d feel very insecure. And so I had to force myself to bring out what was hidden inside me.”
Their relationship started to hit the rocks as the tension between the Beatles began to rise. Harrison reportedly “brought it all home” and became increasingly “difficult to live with.” His mood swings only worsened and led Boyd to make the decision to leave a “ludicrous and hateful life” in 1974.
“It was an extremely difficult decision of mine to make,” she added. “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… It’s just that I think he wanted to spread his wings and take advantage of being the handsome, famous, rich guy that he was, and see how the girls feel about him. A hot-blooded boy – why not, I suppose.”
Soon after their split, Boyd began seeing Eric Clapton. The guitarist pursued the model for years while still with Harrison—his best friend. The couple married in 1979 but Clapton’s heroin addiction quickly ended that relationship too.
“Well, I was no longer Mrs. Famous George or Mrs. Famous Eric, so who am I? I am no one. No one knows me—I don’t even know me,” she said. “I was at a critical point in my life, and so I saw a psychotherapist who was quite wonderful. She was amazing. She guided me out of this mire of despond and gradually I learned to believe in myself.”
Her comments come on the heels of her new book, My Life In Pictures, a collection of more than 300 images from Boyd that document her growing up in the whirlwind of the fashion world, Beatle-mania, and more.
Photo by Steve Morley/Redferns/Getty Images