1960s model and photographer Pattie Boyd has discussed her relationships with George Harrison and his close friend Eric Clapton in a new interview. Boyd was one of the most prominent British models of the 1960s. She was married to The Beatles guitarist from 1966 to 1977. However, in 1974, they decided to separate. Just a few weeks after the split, she and Clapton began dating. They married in 1979 and separated in 1989.
The complex love affair is well-documented. Clapton wrote his hit song ‘Layla’ about his affection for Boyd. We’ve not often heard the story recounted by Boyd herself, though. Speaking to The Telegraph, shediscussed her relationship with Harrison, who developed a penchant for cocaine and extra-marital affairs during their marriage. After struggling to come to terms with his infidelity, she decided to leave.
“It was an extremely difficult decision of mine to make,” Boyd, 78, recalled. “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.”
Her eventual split from Clapton greatly affected Boyd’s sense of her own identity. Recalling her thoughts at the time, she said: “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 ended up seeking therapy. “I was at a critical point in my life,” she said, “and so I saw a psychotherapist who was quite wonderful. She was amazing. She guided me out of this mire of respond, and gradually, I learned to believe in myself.”
In the end, Boyd decided to remove herself from the world of music. In 1991, she met a property developer called Rod Weston, who she married in 2015. After revisiting her photography in 2004, Boyd decided to throw herself into her work. Today, her photographs are exhibited in galleries the world over. She also happens to be a bestselling author and the host of not one but two successful podcasts.