John Lydon says wife's Alzheimer's 'shaped me into what I am'

'I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I don’t see how I can live without her'

John Lydon of Public Image Ltd attends The Late Late show Eurosong Special Preview Press Day at RTE in Dublin ahead of the show to select Ireland's entry to this year's Eurovision. Picture date: Thursday February 2, 2023. (Photo by Brian Lawless/PA Images via Getty Images)
John Lydon has opened up about his wife's illness. (Getty Images)

John Lydon has admitted that his wife's Alzheimer's disease has helped shape him as he cares for her.

The Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd frontman's wife Nora was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2018 and the punk legend has been her full time carer since 2020.

Read more: John Lydon emotional about leaving wife to perform for his Eurovision bid

In a new interview with The Sunday Times, Lydon has opened up about the effect the disease has had on he and his wife: “All the things I thought were the ultimate agony seem preposterous now. It’s shaped me into what I am. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. I don’t see how I can live without her. I wouldn’t want to. There’s no point.”

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21:  John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten and his wife Nora Forster attend the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival -
John Lydon with his wife Nora Forster. (WireImage)

He added: “You make your commitment to a person and nothing changes. These are the cards life dealt, and my mum and dad were right: never show self-pity. Ever.”

Lydon also discussed his return to live performing in a bid to represent Ireland at Eurovision. With his band Public Image Ltd, Lydon competed for a spot at the singing competition but ultimately lost out to Wild Youth.

Public Image Ltd's new song entitled Hawaii was written by Lydon as a "love letter" to his wife. Lydon performed the song on live TV, something he admitted he was "unprepared" for: "Will my ego come back? It’s hard to go from 24/7 care to this. I’m unprepared. I have to bring this illness up to the public but leaving Nora disturbs me. It’s a rock and a hard place. But what do I do?”

John Lydon performing live. (Getty)
John Lydon performing live. (Getty)

Lydon married publishing heiress and music promoter Nora Forster in 1979. In the 1960s she worked with artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Yes before moving to London's punk scene to promote the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Slits.

Watch below: John Lydon 'shaking' ahead of bid to become Ireland's Eurovision entry.