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Bettina Derlien

      The slim and very pretty young Bettina worked as a barmaid at the Star Club, and was probably The Beatles' most enthusiastic fan when they were over in Germany.

      Bettina soon discovered how much she and John Lennon had in common, and the two got on like a house on fire. They would often visit the cinema together where John would particularly enjoy Dracula movies starring Christopher Lee. The two became romantically involved, and before long she became pregnant by John who reportedly demanded she have an abortion. This was an illegal practice at that time in Germany, but Bettina went ahead with the operation with disasterous consequences. Following the abortion, Bettina quickly developed a glandular condition that made her swell dramatically in size, and which would trouble her for the rest of her life.

      John and Bettina continued to pal around as they had before, and she continued to settle all his bills at the Mambo Shankee Bar where they hung out with a group of black magic devotees who idolised Astrid, regarding her as a witch.

      Despite John's shoddy treatent of her following the pregnancy, Bettina was sure that he truly cared for her, and decided in 1963 that the distance between the two of them should no longer keep them apart. She persuaded Kingsize Taylor to take her back home to Liverpool with him in the Summer of that year to join the Beatles who were now becomming quite a success. When Bettina and Taylor arrived at the hotel in Llandudno where the band were staying, they were informed that the band was rehearsing at the theatre so Bettina decided to wait til they returned. As soon as John walked into the hotel and saw her, he decided to pretend he didn't know her, walking straight over to the opposite side of the hotel lobby without saying hello, and switching on his transistor radio so that he wouldn't hear her calling him. The rest of the band were deeply shocked and didn't know what to say, and only Ringo went over to greet Bettina and Taylor and spend a bit of time with them.

      Bettina had travelled all the way to Britain just to see John, and so she immediately travelled the 1,200 miles back home alone, only seeing John again when the band invited her to their hotel on the 24th June 1966 during their European Tour.

      Kingsize Taylor was the last to see her again, by which time she was working in the notorious Herbertstrasse area.

SOURCES: various Beatles and Lennon biographies


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