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Thursday, 30 December, 1999, 13:48 GMT
Sir Paul: Thank God they're OK
Sir Paul: A brief statement for his former band mate
Sir Paul McCartney has sent his love to his fellow former Beatle George Harrison after he and his wife Olivia were attacked at their mansion.

"Thank God that both George and Olivia are all right. I send them all my love. I have no further comment to make," said Sir Paul.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also sent a get well soon message. A joint statement with his wife from their California home said: "Both Barbara (Bach) and I are deeply shocked that this has occurred.

"We send George and Olivia all our love and wish George a speedy recovery."

The attack in which Harrison was stabbed in the chest by an intruder stunned friends.

Harrison's biographer Hunter Davies told Sky News: "He is the one you would least expect something dramatic to happen to.

Thank God that both George and Olivia are all right

Sir Paul McCartney
"He has been a recluse in many ways for the last few years. He is still into spiritualism and spiritual things...he doesn't actually go out a great deal."

Former Beatles producer Sir George Martin said Harrison kept the lowest profile of the three surviving Beatles.

Security at Harrison's Henley mansion was stepped up after he became concerned after the murder of fellow band member John Lennon in 1980.

Sir George said: "I am astonished and naturally appalled by this.

'Very grand house'

"I can't imagine that it's got anything to do with the fact that George is a Beatle and the John Lennon thing.

Sir George Martin: 'Appalled'
"The house is a very grand place and I know there are always people trying to get in.

"George leads a very quiet life and is a down to earth person. He loves nothing more than doing his garden at home."

The Harrisons have lived at Friar Park, a Gothic former nunnery close to the centre of historic Henley, for more than 20 years.

Michael McInnes, the chairman of the Henley Conservative Association, lives 50 yards from Friar Park.

He told BBC News Online: "Mr Harrison usually keeps himself to himself although he is known locally, but we do respect his privacy.

"Henley is a very wealthy area but his house is particularly isolated. The house is a gothic palace, I think you would describe it as a Victoriana pile, with three entrances and I think a lot of his family live in the lodges in the grounds."

A very private person

David Cheney, landlord of Henley's Row Barge pub, which is about 150 yards from the gates of Mr Harrison's mansion, said he had not seen the musician more than three times in 20 years.

"George is well-liked in the town," said Mr Cheney.

You very rarely see him out in public and his interests have really dwindled over the years because he has kept himself a very private person

International Beatles Fanclub
"This just isn't the kind of thing you expect here. I would imagine it's a fan rather than someone local."

Jean Catharell, founder of the International Beatles Fanclub, told Sky News: "I was absolutely shocked. I couldn't believe it would happen to someone like George who is the least visible of all the surviving Beatles.

"You very rarely see him out in public and his interests have really dwindled over the years because he has kept himself a very private person."

See also:

30 Dec 99 | UK
George Harrison stabbed
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