Yoko Ono objects to photos in a graphic novel about John Lennon

Writer Thom Donovan says he was sent a cease-and-desist letter by Yoko Ono's lawyers after he published a graphic novel about the life of John Lennon that included some rarely seen photos.

John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, objected to the use of rarely seen photos of Lennon taken during a 1980 sailing trip to Bermuda.

A recently published biography about John Lennon will be re-written and re-released after Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono caused a cease-and-desist letter to be sent to the author.

“Lennon at Sea” by Thom Donovan, which is a graphic novel, contains pictures taken in 1980, according to Donovan, and the photos seem to be the main objection from Ono. The book details a sailing trip that Lennon took to Bermuda that year.

“Many have not been seen by the general public,” Donovan said of the photos in an interview with the Examiner. “[They] helped tell my story of John's sailing trip and life in Bermuda. Most people have never heard about John's trip.”

The letter from Ono’s lawyers referred to “'rare and unpublished material' provided to you by Fred Seaman,” whom the letter said was barred by the courts from using them. Donovan says he got the photos off the Internet, not from Seaman.

“I am aware that those photos of John belong to Yoko, and I agree to remove them from the book in the next edition, which I am working on now,” the author said. 

Donovan said sales of “Lennon at Sea” will be halted for now and that the new edition of the book should be ready by this summer. He estimated the new book will most likely be longer than the original version, which was a slender 60 pages.

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