Skip to content

George Harrison's Ex Pattie Boyd Reveals "Desperate" Love Letters From Eric Clapton

The model was involved in one of the most infamous love triangles in music history.

Pattie Boyd's tryst with Beatles member George Harrison and guitarist Eric Clapton is one of the most talked about love triangles in rock and roll history. A model, Boyd was considered one of the most influential '60s muses—winning the heart of Harrison and later Clapton, who pined for her affection for over a decade. She inspired love songs and steamy love letters, the latter of which are now being auctioned off for upwards of $12,600 a piece.

RELATED: Kiefer Sutherland Makes Rare Comment About Julia Roberts Love Triangle.

Boyd is parting ways with a personal collection of letters, lyrics, and photographs from her time with Harrison and Clapton, telling The Telegraph that revisiting the mementoes still "makes me terribly sad."

"I've had them all for so many years–far too long," Boyd said. "I thought, why don't I just sell everything and let everybody else enjoy it?"

The treasured items —which are being sold by Christie's—range from homemade cards and doodles by Harrison to original paintings. However, some of the more noteworthy artifacts are from Clapton, who penned a series of passionate handwritten letters expressing his steadfast love for Boyd, during her marriage to the Beatles guitarist.

The Telegraph notes that the first of these arrived in the spring of 1970, just four years after Boyd wed Harrison. The pair were living in Oxfordshire after having met on the set of 1964's A Hard Day's Night.

"Dearest L, i am writing this note to you, with the main purpose of ascertaining your feelings towards a subject well known to both of us…" Clapton begins his letter, as displayed by Christie's.

Elsewhere in the note, Clapton asks Boyd if she's still in love with Harrison, or is seeing someone else.

"All these questions are very impertinent, I know, but if there is still a feeling in your heart for me…you must let me know," he writes, before signing off "all my love, E."

RELATED: Jennifer Lopez Slammed for Sharing Ben Affleck's "Personal Love Letters."

In an interview with Christie's, Boyd admitted that she originally thought the letter was from "a weird fan" and even "showed it to George" as a joke. It wasn't until Clapton made a comment about Boyd's mail that she realized who her secret admirer was.

Looking back, Boyd says Clapton's pursuit came at a time when the cracks were already beginning to show in her marriage and, at the same time, in the Beatles as well.

"George and I were going through a bit of a spiky time together. The Beatles had this chaos and anxiety surrounding the band, and George was being dismissive. Then Eric keeps coming over to our house asking me to run away with him," Boyd recalled in her interview with Christie's.

Things reached a fever pitch when Clapton wrote the love song "Layla" for Boyd. Soon after, the musician also admitted to Harrison that he had feelings for Harrison's wife. The next letter in the collection was written months later on a torn-out page from the classic novel Of Mice and Men.

Clapton addresses the letter to Layla, his nickname for Boyd.

"For nothing more than the pleasures past I would sacrifice my family, my god, and my own existence…Why do you hesitate, am I a poor lover, am I ugly, am I too weak, too strong, do you know why?" he asks.

RELATED: Paul McCartney Shares Why He Was Blamed for the Beatles Breakup.

Speaking with The Telegraph, Boyd described Clapton's love letters as "desperate and passionate," but also "heartbreaking." In her eyes, Clapton's love is "a passion that blooms once in a lifetime."

"I've had them in a little trunk and occasionally I'll have a look and start to read, and my heart beats, it jumps, because it's heartbreaking. They're too painful in their beauty," she shared.

The pair didn't communicate until several years later when Clapton showed up at her and Harrison's residence unannounced, and the two musicians competed in a guitar duel vying for Boyd's love. In her interview with Christie's, Boyd noted that Harrison's relationship with drugs had escalated, and he was seeking romantic relationships outside of their marriage, including with fellow Beatle Ringo Starr's wife, and the wife of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

Boyd divorced Harrison in 1974, and Clapton finally got his wish of marrying Boyd in 1979. However, their relationship was also plagued by substance abuse and affairs, and they cut ties in 1987.

For her part, Boyd is ready to leave the past behind.

"I thought, 'Do I need them? Do I need to keep going into Pandora's Box?' I've enjoyed them for many, many years, and now it's time for other people to see and enjoy them," she told Christie's of the love letters being auctioned off. "It's only right I should pass them on."

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
Filed Under