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Friday, 27 September, 2002, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Ono settles with ex-aide
Yoko Ono
Ms Ono said Mr Seaman stole Lennon's letters and lyrics
Yoko Ono has settled a long legal dispute with a former aide to the Lennons accused of taking photos and other items from the family.

In New York on Friday Frederic Seaman issued a public apology to Ms Ono, her late husband John Lennon and their son Sean, lawyers for both sides announced.

"I offer no excuses for my conduct, and ask only that you can find it in your heart to forgive me," Mr Seaman said in a statement read in court by Ms Ono's lawyer Paul LiCalsi.

Frederic Seaman outside court in New York
Mr Seaman initially denied any wrongdoing
The settlement, which forces Mr Seaman to surrender all rights to nearly 400 photos of the former Beatle and his family, marks a complete victory for Ms Ono.

Mr Seaman must now return any Lennon-related items still in his possession within 10 days.

He also agreed to an injunction by Judge Leonard Sand ordering him to stop disseminating Lennon's photos and interviews, and to comply with the confidentiality pact he signed with the Lennons in 1979.

He admitted he had exploited the Lennon legacy for personal profit.

'Pain'

"After more than 20 years, it's time to ask for forgiveness for my actions," said Mr Seaman.

"I now realise how much pain and embarrassment I have caused."

Sean Lennon outside court in New York
Sean Lennon made notes and drew sketches in court
On Thursday, Judge Sand ruled that Frederic Seaman was bound by a confidentiality agreement when he was hired by the Lennons in 1979.

Ms Ono had alleged that Mr Seaman violated the confidentiality agreement by publishing a book titled The Last Days of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir in 1991.

The judge's ruling against Mr Seaman "will prevent him from future exploitation of the Lennon family," said Ms Ono's lawyer, Paul LiCalsi, on Thursday.

The former aide had been arguing that he was the rightful owner of the Lennon photographs, because he took them in his own time and with his own camera.

The case stems from a 1999 lawsuit against Mr Seaman, who has had poor relations with Ms Ono since Lennon's murder in 1980.

In 1983, Mr Seaman pleaded guilty to second-degree larceny for stealing Lennon's diaries and was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to return the property.

John Lennon: 1940-1980


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27 Sep 02 | Showbiz
25 Sep 02 | Showbiz
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25 Jul 02 | Music
14 Apr 99 | Entertainment
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