Thursday, September 27, 2012

The truth about my romance with Beatle Paul

I got this magazine article from ebay this week and it has been very interesting to me the past few days.   I am not sure what magazine it exactly came out of, although I think it was from one that was meant for lady's in their 20's (not a teenybopper magazine but one for a little bit more mature girls).   It was written by a popular actress from the 1960's, Jill Haworth.  Jill was in Exodus as well as Caboret.   Since I am not familiar with actors from the 1960's I looked up some information about her online.   Very little is said about her and Paul McCartney.   What I found the most interesting is that the fellow actor that she called her "steady" was Sal Mineo.   According tot he Wikipedia article I read, it said that Jill found Sal with another man on Valentines' Day of 1964.   Now that does not fit in with the timeline her story at all, although it does make sense to why they were barely speaking and why she would so quickly drop her steady boyfriend and date Paul (although then again he IS Paul...what girl wouldn't want to date him?)   Jill's story seems pretty truthful, although I am sure that she left out the sexcapades (thank goodness).  Sadly Jill passed away in 2011.  I am not sure if there are any photos of her with Paul or any other Beatles.

The truth about my romance with Beatle Paul
By Jill Haworth

I didn’t even know who The Beatles were until a few months ago.  Then in Hollywood I heard “From Me to You.”  I can’t really say why I flipped over them the moment I heard their record.  They just sounded…well…special.  

But when I returned home to New York, the record wasn’t even  being played.  A month or two later, a new Beatle record, “I want to hold your hand” started getting tremendous airplay across the whole country.  I was delighted the group was catching on, simply because they’re English and I’m English and.. well, it made me feel I had something in common with them.  Beatlemania started spreading and I must admit I was just as Beatle-happy as a high school freshman.  Even mother started singing along with their records and she’s far from a rock n roller!

When I heard Ed Sullivan was going to have them guest on his program, I made up my mind I had to meet them.  I saw them in action for the first time on his show.  I thought they were absolutely fab and the moment the show ended, I called my steady, Sal Mineo (who was away filming in California) and told him not to miss them.

Sal’s reaction was indifference and it upset me.  He said I was acting like a kid, a teenage fan squealing about a rock n roll group.  He had never spoken to me like that before and it hurt.  I asked him to please watch the show and then call me back to tell me what he thought of them.

He never called back.  I knew this was his way of telling me to grow up.  But I felt the one time I did get excited about something a bit silly, the least he could do is enjoy my enthusiasm.  The fact he was so negative about the Beatles made me want to meet them more.  Meantime, my friend Steve Brandt, a magazine writer, had become quite friendly with the Beatles.  One evening he called me from their suite at the Plaza Hotel.  I nearly died.  I could hear them laughing and joking in the background.  He told me to stay at home because he and The Beatles were going out in a few hours and he’d call  back and tell me where to meet them!  I must have combed my hair and made up my face a million times.  After two hours of pacing my apartment and driving Mother completely crazy, Steve called.  My heart dropped as he told me the boys were tired and decided to get an early night’s rest.

I was really getting to be an impossible Beatle fanatic and my mother and my friends were getting impatient with me.  Sal still hadn’t called.

Steve called me a day later to say The Beatles had invited him to their concert at Carnegie Hall.  I could come.  

Wednesday night, February 12th:  We had to get out of our cab two blocks away from the concert because thousands of teenagers were swarming about.  Policemen on horseback were trying to keep some semblance of order.  By the time we reached the stage door, the concert was well in progress.   A folk group was on stage and The Beatles were waiting in the wings to be introduced.  Steve gave his name and we were admitted backstage.

Suddenly my heart stopped beating.  There they were!  Two feet away from me!  We tried to go over and say hello but there were detectives keeping everyone away.

After the concert Steve said, “come on Jill, we’re going over to the Plaza and tell the boys how good they were!”

He made me promise to act relaxed and poised when he introduced me.  As we walked into their suite, a sort of after-the-concert party was already in progress.  After Steve congratulated the boys, he introduced me to Ringo, George, John, John’s wife Cynthia and Louise, George’s sister . My first impression was how much better looking they all were in person.  Trying to appear as relaxed as I could, I found a seat and lit up a cigarette.

A moment later, Paul, whom I hadn’t met yet, came wandering into the room looking for one of his boots.  He glanced at me quizzically, walked over and said, “I’m Paul, who are you?”  “God,” I thought, “is he gorgeous!”  For the moment I couldn’t answer him, I couldn’t remember my own name!  It sounds corny and contrived but it’s true.  All I could see were two of the most beautiful brown eyes staring at me.  I felt foolish and finally blurted out, “Hello Paul, I’m Jill.”   “Well Jill, how about fixing me a drink while I find my other boot.  And make one for yourself while you’re at it.”  I know absolutely nothing about drinks and how to make them, but luckily enough; the only beverage The Beatles consume is the unholy combination of scotch and Coke!  I made about nine of them and served everyone.  Then I retreated to a corner of the room.  Paul came over and sat down on the arm of my chair.

“What do you do, Jill?”  I told him I was an actress and under contract to Otto Preminger.  “Oh,” Paul announced to everyone in the room, “We have a movie star with us tonight.  Please watch your p’s and q’s.”

After more of his teasing and joking, I loosened up and started feeling more comfortable.  Perhaps the strange scotch and Coke mixtures Paul kept feeding me might have had something to do with it too!  I wished Mr. Mineo could see me now!

Paul leaned over and whispered, “Let’s get out of here.  There are so many people, I can’t think straight. We can go and watch television in the other room.”  Paul flipped on the TV, he put his arm around me and we settled down to watch the Johnny Carson Show, not saying a word.

An hour later, Steve popped his head in to inform us everyone was going out to a twist club and did we want to join them. Paul said sure.

Paul put on a black rubber rain cape and said, “I’ll wear my cape tonight.  It’s my favorite because it’s kinky and cheap.”  On the way to the club, Paul and I shared a cab with John and a girl with short black hair.  Paul whispered it was Cynthia, John’s wife, wearing a black wig.

When we reached the club, we joined the others, remarking how nice and empty the place was, just like a private party.  Then Steve came over and said some friends of his were stopped by to join us for a drink, among them Tuesday Weld and Stella Stevens.  I wondered just what Paul would think of them and how he would act towards me once Tuesday and Stella arrived.

Ringo dancing at the Headliner Club, although he danced with Jill he is dancing with Jenie Dell in this photo

Ringo asked me to twist and we made our way to the small dance floor.  He’s a sensation.  We danced the Hitchhiker and the Mashed Potatoes and tried to teach each other our favorite steps.  We stayed on the dance floor for about fifteen minutes and sure enough, when we returned to the table, there they were … Tuesday, Stella and a few others.  And Tuesday was in the middle of an involved conversation with Paul!  I took my seat next to him and said hello to the new arrivals.  Tuesday was warm and friendly and when I got back to the table she stopped talking with Paul and got into conversation with John and Cynthia.  “Thank heavens!” I told myself.  “Paul is still my property!”  Paul held my hand as we sat listening to the bands.  After an hour, he suggested we return to the Plaza and have a chance to talk.

In the cab on the way there, we didn’t speak at all.  I just leaned back and rested my head on his shoulder. When we got up to the suite, Estelle Bennett (one of the Ronettes,) George, Bob Freeman (the group’s photographer) and some other people were sitting about talking.  It was now past 3:00am and I had to call my mother.  Paul took me into the study so I wouldn’t be disturbed.  He said, “That’s nice, calling your mum.  Mine died when I was fourteen.” I didn’t know how to answer him.   When mother got on the phone Paul took it and said hello.  He told her we hadn’t really had a chance to talk and promised to put in a taxi within an hour.  Thank heavens she understood.
We settled down in the study and talking about everything.  Our childhoods, our ideals, what we wanted out of life and even little disappointments we’d experienced.  He told me about his childhood and the silly pranks he used to play on his professors and schoolmates.  He talked with enthusiasm about how he formed The Beatles along with George and John and what a kick they get out of Ringo.  After about an hour, I told him I really had to leave.  “Jill?”  He asked, “Why don’t you come down to Miami? We’re doing the Sullivan show from there and when that’s done, it will be nothing but vacation for us.  Will your mother let you?”

I told him I liked the idea and promised to call the next night at his hotel in Miami.  I knew I liked Paul very much.  More than I’ve ever liked any other boy besides Sal.  I thought of Sal and what I would tell him.  But still I knew no matter what Sal said, I was going to go to Miami.
I had butterflies in my stomach as I stepped off the plane at Miami Airport.  The weather was warm and balmy, a sharp contrast from New York’s cold spell.  I felt I was off on a wonderful adventure.  Mother knew Steve would be there and I really hadn’t had a vacation since I filmed “The Cardinal.”  I checked into a hotel near the Deauville where Paul was staying and called Steve’s room to see if he was ready to visit the boys.

I wondered just how Paul would react to seeing me. What if he really didn’t want me to be here in Miami?  What if he was with another girl this very moment?  We found our way to their suite and knocked on the door.  It was a smiling bathrobe-clad Ringo who answered.  The boys were sitting out on the balcony trying to get some sun.  Paul came over and kissed me on the forehead.  “Hello Jilly, I just called your hotel. “  “but how did you know I was here?”  I asked.  “Oh I had a long conversation with your mother in New York and she told me where you were staying.  I promised I’d look after you.”
Paul and George in Miami

If I ever needed reassurance, this was it.  The fact he took time out to call my mother in New York proved he was interested.  Then he suggested I go to my hotel and dress up for the evening.
Brian Summerville (the Beatles’ press agent) came to tell the boys a reporter from a British newspaper would be going along with them.

The man from the British press would up in our car and I could sense Paul was uneasy about talking in his presence.  Soon we arrived at our destination, the Mau-Mau Club.
We had a round of the official Beatle drink (scotch and Coke) and I got up to twist with Ringo.  Paul doesn’t dance at all; he enjoys sitting at the table and singing along with the bands.  When we left we were all feeling happy.

When I got to my room I found a pile of phone messages waiting for me.  I wondered who could have possibly called as I opened them up.  I panicked…they were all from Sal!  He knew The Beatles were in Miami and here I was too.  I knew he must be furious with me.  I got on the long distance phone.  “Jill,” he demanded, “just what are you doing in Miami?  I called you in New York and was stunned when your mother told me you were down there.”  “Oh,”  I answered quickly, “Steve is down here doing a story on The Beatles and he asked me to some along with him  Sal, you know I haven’t had a vacation in ages, and the weather is so  beautiful here.”  “Jill, are you dating anyone?”  His voice was deep and serious; I knew I shouldn’t be vague or distant.  I summed up all my courage and said, “Yes, Sal, I’m dating Paul McCartney.  He’s one of the Beatles and he’s a wonderful boy.”  There was a pause on the other end.  Then Sal asked if we were serious and I told him Paul was a lot of fun and I intended to spend some time with him, “After all,” I added, “nothing serious can come of it.  He goes back to England in a few days.”  Sal told me he’d call again tomorrow.  

I hung up feeling confused and bewildered.  I didn’t want to have to lay my emotions on a table and analyze them.  All I knew was that I liked Paul and he was good company.  My relationship with Paul was so different.  With him there were never any questions asked about Sal or any other boys I might be interested in.  Paul was just interested in relaxing and enjoying himself.  He was wonderfully uncomplicated.  I was aware he had a girl back in England, Jane Asher, and columnists paired them, but I never probed.

Next day Paul phoned me upset that the one reporter had linked us together and we were on the front pages of all the English papers.  Paul was worried I’d be upset.  We decided we’d meet secretly.
But then all the British reporters in Miami began phoning me. 

It was horrible, one question after another.  I called Paul and learned that his press agent had just told him it would hurt the group’s image if he was linked with anyone.  I felt guilty.  As if I was ruining everything for the boys.

“Maybe it would be better if I went home.” I suggested.  “Please Jill,” Paul reassured me.  “no one has to know I ‘m seeing you.”  “But Paul,” I added, “that’s just the point.  I can’t meet you in secret.  I don’t want to feel guilty for no reason at all.”

I sensed Paul’s concern for my feelings and then I was mad at myself for feeling for sorry for me.  I realized I’m luckier than Paul.  This was only one week I had to be stared at.  Paul would go through this every day of his life.  I decided not to see him again in Miami.  This was his vacation and I wanted him to enjoy it.  I wrote Paul a letter explaining my feelings and asked Steve to give it to him.  Then I flew home.

That evening in New York my mother said I’d done the right thing.  Paul would have talked me out of it if I’d told him I was leaving.  He phoned, apologized for everything and asked me to meet him at Kennedy Airport when The Beatles changed planes for England.  But when I got there it was mobbed by thousands of teenagers.

I somehow managed to work my way to their plane as the boys were boarding.  Ringo spotted me and told Paul.  Paul’s face lit up when he saw me and started to make his way down the staircase.  It was impossible.  With all the pushing and commotion we couldn’t get near each other.  He reached out and grabbed my arm.  “Thank you” he told me.  “Thank you for everything.  I’ll speak to you soon.”
And that is the truth about my “romance” with Beatle Paul.


  1. it's from a special edition, "all about the beatles" datebook.

    that story has been amongst my favourites for over thirty years now.

  2. Thank you Amanda. I had no clue what magazine it came from. I have many Beatles articles, but I have re-read this one half a dozen times since I got it. It is great.

  3. Wow, that was incredible.

  4. Paul said in another interview that this was a load of rubbish, similar to the Ann-Margaret and Ringo stories.

  5. weren't both Jill and Sal Mineo actually gay and covered each from press at the time

  6. Jill was a close friend of mine the last fen years of her life. She wasn't gay. Sal Mineo and her indeed had a real romance.He was not in touch with his homosexuality at first

  7. remember reading this story in some magazine at the hairdresser's when it came out many years ago and then others similar came out with Ann-Margret, Joey Heatherton claiming relationships with the Beatles; I rather think most of the contents were just to drum up publicity for these young popular women but who knows

  8. seems like this story was from one of the old mags like Photoplay or Modern Screen

  9. read that Paul denied this to Jane when he returned to England - amazing how she stayed with him for so long

  10. As a professional entertainment publicist, I can make an educated guess that the stories of Jill, Ann Margaret, Joey Heatherton et al were grossly exaggerated for publicity purposes. I sincerely doubt there was any romance, just starlets being introduced to The Lads for mutual enjoyment. The Boys probably wanted to meet the pretty girls and the girls wanted to meet The Beatles. Romance rumors certainly didn't hurt the young movie stars' publicity and their press agents were fools and weren't doing their jobs if they hadn't spread the story to newspapers and magazines. While the incidents in Jill's story were probably true, I would bet someone else actually wrote it. Don't forget Datebook is the magazine that got John Lennon into all that trouble in the US by sensationalizing that "We're bigger that Jesus" story out of context. Jill was a gorgeous young thing when she made the movie "Exodus" and Paul always had an eye for the pretty girls. And judging by the details of the story in the article, nothing really happened between them anyhow. I did meet Jill once in the late 1970s in NYC; my then- boyfriend had the same agent as her for voice over commercials and he was supposed to be coaching her but when she met me and learned I was his girlfriend, their "coaching sessions" abruptly ended, so I think he was double dealing, if you know what I mean. Turned out he was a pathological liar anyway so I wouldn't be surprised LOL, and she was much better off without him. Anyway, Paul also had a "fling" with actress Peggy Lipton (she starred on the American tv show "The Mod Squad") during one of The Beatles' Los Angeles tour stops. Not sure if she ever "WROTE " a story about it.

    1. Apparently Peggy Lipton did write a book with details about her fling with Paul in LA... And did speak about a sexual encounter!

    2. Apparently Peggy Lipton did write a book and mentioned her little fling with Paul in her book.

  11. I have this magazine yet. Bought it when it came out around 1965, a fine, fine, fine year for everything. It was from 16 Magazine, the biggest teen mag in the USA. We all waited excitedly for the next issue, which featured the Beatles and the entire British Invasion stars, as well as the original Beatle girlfriends..the girls we all copied in fashion and personality..fresh, innocent, trendy and very much into being ladies. A wonderful time.

  12. she was quite good in cabaret on stage