Nora Forster, wife of John Lydon, dies at 80

The 67-year-old former Sex Pistols frontman, also known by his stage name Johnny Rotten, was his wife’s full-time carer following the diagnosis and raised awareness of the condition through his recent bid to represent Ireland at Eurovision 2023 with a song that he Dedicated to Foster.

A statement posted on Lydon’s Twitter read: “It is with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that Nora Forster, John Lydon’s wife of nearly five decades, has passed away.

“Nora had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for several years. By this time, John had become her full-time caretaker.

“Please respect John’s pain and give him space.

“Rest in peace Nora. Heart felt condolences to John from Rambo and all of PiL Official.”

Forster was the daughter of wealthy German publisher Franz Karl Maier, who worked for media outlets such as Der Spiegel and Der Tagesspiegel.

Lydon has said he met Forster in 1975 at the late artist Malcolm McLaren’s clothing store owned by Vivienne Westwood in London.

In January, Lydon told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that they had been together for 45 years.

His Eurovision bid song was titled Hawaii in tribute to a trip they took together, as he said it was a memory that stood out in his mind.

(Andres Poveda/RTE/PA)

“As I say in the song, old journeys end and some start anew, but this is the start of a new journey with us,” he said.

“And strangely enough, as bad as Alzheimer’s is, there are great moments of tenderness between us. And I tried to capture that in the song, so it’s not all waiting for the Grim Reaper.

“I can see her personality in her eyes, she lets me know that it’s her communication skills that are letting her down.

“And I’m really blessed to be able to be there and catch that and maybe share that information as this plays out, as we know it will, until its sad final demise.

“Pass something useful to other people. It’s an issue now that I’m so tightly bound and wrapped and connected that I now care for all of its victims. Particularly to the spouses who have to put up with this.”

In the UK, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which is the name for a group of symptoms associated with a continued decline in brain function, according to the NHS website.

The condition can affect memory, thinking skills, and other mental abilities.

She was also the mother of the late musician Ari-Up, best known as a member of the English punk rock band The Slits, who died in 2010 after a “serious illness,” according to Lydon’s website.

Following the news, Dementia UK Chief Admiral Nurse and Chief Executive Hilda Hayo said: “We are saddened to learn that John’s wife Nora has died after living with Alzheimer’s for several years and we send our condolences to him and his family.

“John has created a great deal of awareness about the impact an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can have through his work in recent months. By sharing his personal experience, he will no doubt have helped others find the support they need.

“The death of someone close to you is one of the most difficult experiences many of us will face, and we hope you receive the support you need while you grieve.

“We urge families affected by dementia to contact our dedicated helpline.”


Leave a Reply