George Harrison was at all times a non-public individual, however in his final months, he craved privateness like no different time in his life. He and his spouse, Olivia, took each precaution to maintain these few months as non-public as doable, however their efforts have been principally in useless.
George Harrison and his spouse, Olivia, saved his therapy as non-public as doable in his final months
In 1997, docs identified George with throat most cancers. They efficiently eliminated the lump, and George underwent two radiation remedies on the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
George downplayed his sickness by saying, “I am very lucky. I’m not going to die on you folks just yet.” Shortly after changing into cancer-free, George nearly died in a dwelling invasion in 1999. The previous Beatle downplayed the accidents he sustained throughout the assault. Nonetheless, George’s son, Dhani, later stated the accidents possible took years off George’s life.
In March 2001, that appeared to be true. Docs on the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota identified him with lung most cancers. That Could, he underwent profitable surgical procedure to take away a progress. Nonetheless, by the summer time, George acquired information his most cancers had unfold to his mind.
Once more, George tried to throw reporters and followers off the scent and maintain his therapy non-public by downplaying his sickness. In late July, the Mail on Sunday revealed a fabricated story that claimed George was dying from most cancers. They used a faux quote from The Beatles’ producer, George Martin, that stated George was getting ready to die.
George launched a press release: “The reports were unsubstantiated, untrue, insensitive and uncalled for, especially as Mr. Harrison is active and feeling very well in spite of the health challenges he has had this year. George Martin… has emphatically denied speaking to any newspaper.”
When George and Olivia began a worldwide seek for therapy, they saved every thing non-public. It was reported that he was recovering from his lung surgical procedure in a villa in Luino, Italy, however he was really receiving “grueling” cobalt remedies for a mind tumor on the San Giovanni hospital in Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Then, in November, the Harrisons’ therapy search led them to Dr. Gil Lederman at Staten Island College Hospital in New York. Nonetheless, they didn’t decide the most effective physician in the event that they wished to stay non-public.
George didn’t get any privateness in Staten Island throughout his final months
All through most of George’s therapy, he publicly thanked followers for his or her concern however urged them not to fear. Nonetheless, his associates knew his sickness was far worse than he let on. Additionally they knew he was downplaying his sickness for the sake of privateness.
For essentially the most half, that privateness lasted. That’s till George started receiving therapy from Lederman on Staten Island. On Nov. 15, 2001, the Staten Island Advance wrote, “Since the media got wind of University Hospital’s involvement in Harrison’s treatment, reporters have descended upon Staten Island and staked out the hospital’s Ocean Breeze campus looking for celebrity visitors and whatever new information they can get.”
A supply claiming to be shut to George witnessed Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr’s arrival for his or her ultimate assembly collectively. “Paul was tearful and sad about seeing George sick,” the supply stated. Lederman additionally claimed he was there and advised Rolling Stone concerning the non-public second between the three former bandmates.
“It was a spirited affair,” Lederman claimed, “not a somber one. There were lots of laughs and lots of fun. There were tears, but George remained very much the man of dignity. At the end, after both Paul and Ringo had left, he was fine and calm. He was a very happy man. This meeting meant so much to him.”
Lederman didn’t uphold his duties of doctor-patient confidentiality by any means. He divulged what it was like treating George to his associates, co-workers, and the world whereas selling himself.
Days after the Advance’s report, George departed Staten Island for L.A. Rolling Stone wrote, “With the end approaching, Harrison was determined that his death not become the object of media attention. He hired Los Angeles security specialist Gavin de Becker.”
He used Olivia’s maiden title to test into UCLA Medical Middle as Jorge Arias. When docs couldn’t do something for him, George moved to a non-public dwelling. Nonetheless, that didn’t stay non-public.
George’s privateness was breached even after demise
Tom Petty, George’s fellow Touring Wilbury, witnessed how the press handled George in his final months. They hounded him and intruded on his privateness, so it’s no marvel George did every thing in secret.
“I’ll tell you, the media wasn’t very sweet in the last year of his life,” Petty advised Rolling Stone. “He was probably the most hounded of his whole life when he was trying to deal with that. Especially in Europe, he never got a moment’s peace. He would have helicopters follow him when he left the house. I guess that comes with the territory. That’s part of the price you pay. He paid that price so many times — well, overpaid.”
Nonetheless, George continued to pay the worth even in demise. Lederman gave “touching anecdotes” to Good Morning America, CNN, NBC, Fox Information, Us Weekly, Newsweek, the New York Publish, the Day by day Information, varied British tabloids, and the Nationwide Enquirer.
Due to the media frenzy that George’s demise sparked worldwide, the main points of his funeral have been saved totally secret. Annette Lloyd, the Hollywood Ceaselessly Cemetery coordinator, advised Rolling Stone, “We were told everything must be handled in the strictest secrecy and that the arrangments were to remain completely confidential, and that was the way we handled it.”
George’s funeral, memorial service, and the scattering of his ashes within the Ganges River have been the one non-public affairs that stayed between the attendees. The previous Beatle won’t have been granted peace in his final months, however none of that mattered as soon as he was prepared to go away his physique.
Later, the one particulars Olivia would reveal concerning the second George’s soul left his physique for the non secular world was that you simply wouldn’t want to mild the room if you happen to have been making an attempt to movie it. Her husband “lit the room.”