THE Olive Press has tracked down somebody attempting to sell the stolen negatives from John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Gibraltar wedding.
Masquerading as a mystery buyer, we discovered that the original photos were apparently being touted for sale by a Beatles biographer from his home in the Far East, although he denies it.
The writer, who we are not naming for legal reasons, put our undercover reporter in touch with an alleged Thailand-based ‘middleman’ before emailing proof sheets showing some of the never-before-seen wedding negatives.
The incredible shots, valued by Beatles experts at over £100,000, went missing in 1975 when British photographer David Nutter lent them to Anthony Fawcett to use in his book John Lennon: One Day At A Time.
As we revealed last issue Nutter – who had been hired by the Beatles’ record label Apple for the commission on the Rock – has desperately been trying to get them back for four decades.
However, when the Olive Press contacted Fawcett, he said ‘these were in fact stolen from my New York apartment around 1976 along with everything else from my flat’.
Acting on a tip-off that the negatives were being peddled online, our undercover reporter approached the 62-year-old Beatles biographer in the Far East.
Issuing instructions that the fee for the negatives would be £5,600, he put us in touch with the mysterious seller.
Our reporter was told to send 90% of the agreed price after two contact sheets showing the original negatives were sent as proof of ownership.
Despite Nutter being commissioned to take the wedding photos by Apple Corps executive Peter Brown, the seller claimed Nutter was working for HIS company Sparrow Photos.
He also said Nutter was ‘dead’ and never owned the copyright anyway.
After a week of exchanges, two remarkable never-before-seen contact sheets from the wedding were emailed over.
But when the writer suspected our undercover reporter was working for Yoko Ono he launched into a vile tirade against Lennon’s widow before threatening to sue and ending contact.
Nutter, who had unsuccessfully called in police over the theft, is furious with the writer and wants his negatives back.
Speaking from his New York home, last night, Nutter said: “This is criminal. They are my stolen property… end of story.”
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