John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman apologises to Yoko Ono for "despicable" act

22 September 2020, 15:34 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 15:56

John Lennon and Yoko Ono pose in bed in 1969
John Lennon and Yoko Ono pose in bed in 1969. Picture: Bettmann / Contributor/Getty

The killer of the late Beatles legend has spoken out about his the act and reiterated how sorry he is for his crime to the parole board at New York’s Wende Correctional Facility.

John Lennon's killer has apologised to his widow Yoko Ono for his assassination.

The Beatles icon died aged 40 on 8 December 1980 after he was shot four times by Mark Chapman outside his apartment in Manhattan, New York.

As reported by the Press Association, Champan was recently denied parole for the 11th time on August 19 2020 at a hearing in which he said he deserved the death penalty for his "selfish act".

“I just want to reiterate that I’m sorry for my crime,” Chapman told the parole board at New York’s Wende Correctional Facility.

"I have no excuse. This was for self-glory. I think it’s the worst crime that there could be to do something to someone that’s innocent.

"He was extremely famous. I didn’t kill him because of his character or the kind of man he was. He was a family man. He was an icon. He was someone that spoke of things that now we can speak of and it’s great."

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John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman's headshot on 9 December 1980
John Lennon's killer Mark Chapman's headshot on 9 December 1980. Picture: PA/PA Archive/PA Images

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The 65-year-old added: "I assassinated him, to use your word earlier, because he was very, very, very famous and that’s the only reason and I was very, very, very, very much seeking self-glory, very selfish.

"I want to add that and emphasise that greatly. It was an extremely selfish act. I’m sorry for the pain that I caused to her [Ono]. I think about it all of the time."

Chapman continued: “When you knowingly plot someone’s murder and know it’s wrong and you do it for yourself, that’s a death penalty right there in my opinion,” he said. “Some people disagree with me, but everybody gets a second chance now.”

He added: “I deserve zero, nothing. If the law and you choose to leave me in here for the rest of my life, I have no complaint whatsoever.”

Chapman is next scheduled to appear before the board in 2022.

Yoko Ono - who married Lennon in 1969 - has previously opposed Chapman’s release, as she feared for her safety and that of Lennon’s two sons, Julian and Sean.

Since his death, the artist has spoken out against gun violence and America's gun laws.

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Meanwhile, John Lennon is set to be be commemorated with a second Dear John tribute concert, which will take place virtually this month.

The likes of KT Tunstall, former Genesis star Peter Gabriel, John Ilsley of Dire Straits and Graham Gouldman of 10cc will take part in the tribute to raise funds for War Child UK in honour of the late Beatles legend's 80th birthday on October 9.

The live-stream kicks off at 8pm BST and will be streamed from London's Hard Rock Hotel.

Richard Curtis, Maxi Jazz of Faithless, Lindsay Ell and Nick Van Eede of Cutting Crew are also among those confirmed to honour the music legend - who was shot dead outside his Manhattan apartment in December 1980.

The free concert has been organised by Blurred Vision frontman Sepp Osley.

The band released the song and music video for Dear John as a tribute to Lennon in 2015, with proceeds going to the WhyHunger charity.

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