Sex Pistols' John Lydon Reveals He's Now a Full-Time Carer for His Wife with Alzheimer's

"For me, the real person is still there. That person I love is still there every minute of every day, and that is my life"

BY Brock ThiessenPublished Jun 8, 2020

Sex Pistols hero John Lydon — a.k.a. Johnny Rotten — has opened up about his wife's ongoing struggle with Alzheimer's, revealing he is now been forced to take on a role as full-time caretaker.

Speaking with the U.K.'s Mirror newspaper, Lydon gave an incredibly candid interview about his longtime wife Nora Forster's battle with dementia.

"I am her full-time carer, and I won't let anyone mess up with her head," the 64-year-old Lydon said. "For me, the real person is still there. That person I love is still there every minute of every day, and that is my life. It's unfortunate that she forgets things, well, don't we all."

Lydon and now 78-year-old Forster were married in 1979, with the singer going on to make her diagnosis public a year ago.

"I suppose her condition is one of like a permanent hangover for her," he explained. "It gets worse and worse, bits of the brain store less and less memory and then suddenly some bits completely vanish."

As Forster's disease has progressed, the couple has searched out for various Alzheimer's experts — yet Lydon emphasized how important his role as a carer is for his wife.

"It's quite amazing, as the alleged experts we have had to deal with at enormous expense have said, that they have been very impressed that she never ever forgets me, we are constantly there with each other [in her mind] and that bit won't go," he said. "Why pay for professionals to work on this when I think the message is a bit of love goes a long way."

With the couple now living in Los Angeles, Lydon sees his role as a caretaker more important now than ever — especially considering the ongoing pandemic and the devastating effect it has had on care homes in North America. COVID-19 or not, Lydon told the publication that he never plans to place his wife in a nursing home.

"I am under lockdown anyway because I am her full-time carer," he said. "I don't need to go out and socialize with buttholes."

The pandemic has also forced Lydon's current band Public Image Ltd. to take time off from touring, though with his role as a full-time carer, it's unclear when he could ever get back on the road.

"There's been no income so I am fucking furious and none of this, let me tell you, I don't care how communist you believe you are, none of it works without a penny in the bank."

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