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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 07:25 GMT 08:25 UK
Jury sees Lennon home movies
Yoko Ono outside court in New York
Ono says Mr Seaman stole letters and lyrics
A jury has seen home movies of John Lennon's family life made months before he was shot dead in 1980, during a court battle between Yoko Ono and a former personal assistant.

The film, shown to the New York court on Tuesday, showed Ono and son Sean, then aged five, playing at the waterside at Lennon's holiday home near New York.

Lennon was off camera but could be heard saying "Oh my God, it's beautiful" as his wife and son enjoyed a picnic in front of the sparkling Long Island Sound.

Frederic Seaman outside court in New York
Mr Seaman denies any wrongdoing
Ono is currently giving evidence in a bitter court battle with Frederic Seaman, who was the couple's personal assistant between 1979 and 1982.

Ono is seeking the $75,000 (48,000) Mr Seaman made by selling letters and lyrics she says he stole from the couple's home after Lennon's death.

She also wants control of almost 400 photographs Mr Seaman took of Lennon.

The lawsuit was launched in 1999 after Ono - who asked to be referred to as Mrs Lennon in court - discovered that he wanted to publish a book of the photos.

When asked why she allowed another former assistant to publish a similar book, she said it was because he was a "sweet person".

On Tuesday Ono accused Mr Seaman of dressing in the late Beatle's clothes and "flaunting" them in front of her immediately after the former Beatle's death in 1980.

She also accused Mr Seaman of stealing "so many things from me".

Sean Lennon outside court in New York
Sean Lennon made notes and drew sketches in court

"If he had been a person who had stolen so many things from me and wore my husband's clothes immediately when he died, and flaunted it around right in front of me, I wouldn't have allowed him to put out anything," she told the court.

The home video also showed Mr Seaman taking photographs of the family during the outing.

Mr Seaman denies any wrongdoing and says he took the photographs with his own camera in his own time.

Sean Lennon, now 26, was also in court on Tuesday, making notes and drawing sketches in the front row.

Exploit

In 1983 Mr Seaman was convicted of stealing Lennon's diaries and sentenced to five years' probation.

At that time, he was ordered to return all the property - but Ono says some items have not been returned, adding that she suspects that Mr Seaman will exploit them.

Ono's lawyer Paul LiCalsi said Mr Seaman had signed a confidentiality agreement that barred him from using family belongings for personal gain during or after his employment.

Ono is also seeking unspecified damages.

The case continues.

John Lennon: 1940-1980


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