Judy Garland's Alleged Lover John Meyer Tried To Rescue Her In The Months Before Her Death

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Who Is Judy Garland's Lover John Meyer? New Details On The Man Who Says He Tried To Rescue Her Months Before Her Death
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Renee Zellweger is getting rave reviews for her role as Judy Garland in JudyThe film has caused a renewed interest in the life and, specifically, the last months of the iconic — but troubled — Wizard of Oz star.

Now, a man named John Meyer has come out of the woodwork to claim he was Garland's lover in the last years of her life. Who is Judy Garland's alleged lover John Meyer?

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Meyer wrote a memoir about his time with Garland called Heartbreaker: A Memoir of Judy Garland, which was released in 2006. In the book, Meyer (not to be confused with singer-songwriter John Mayer) writes about Garland's life and his relationship and memories of her. He doesn't shy away from exploring the darker side of Garland who struggled with drugs and alcohol.

Now, at 79, he's opening up about just who Garland was and making sure the world knows that she wasn't a tragic figure — and that she enjoyed her life. 

1. Who is Judy Garland's alleged lover John Meyer?

In 1968, John Meyer was a 28-year-old pianist. He met 46-year-old Garland in the New York studio of a mutual friend. He recalls, "She had a suitcase, a little black dress, a pair of fishnet stockings and a pair of heels. That was about it. And a mink." He played a song he'd written called "I Like to Hate Myself in the Morning and Raise a Little Hell Tonight."

Apparently, Garland liked the song and liked Meyer too because when the mutual friend left the room, "she pointed to herself and then to me and mouthed the phrase, 'I'm with you.' Just like that,'" according to him. 

2. They moved in together.

The new couple moved into Meyer's parents' Park Avenue apartment. He said, "There was a spare bedroom in the back and I took her there and she said, ‘Great, I’ll move in here.’"

At the time, Garland owed millions to the IRS (her agent had embezzled most of her money), she was divorced from her fourth husband Mark Herron, and she had no place to live. When she met Meyer, Garland had just been kicked out of the St. Mortiz Hotel for not paying the bill, where she had been living with her kids Lorna and Joey Luft, with ex-husband Sidney Luft.

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3. Meyer thought he could save her. 

Meyer thought he could sweep in and save Garland from herself. He claims he star was on Ritalin and vodka at the time. He said he couldn't leave her; he was too taken with her to let her go.

In the same interview about the last months of Garland's life, Meyer said, “One time, I was making her a very nice dinner. She didn’t want to eat by the way; she didn’t like to eat in front of people. And she began to sing ‘It Never Was You’ and she held out her arms to me and I put down the saucepan and I almost fainted. Can you imagine Judy Garland two inches away from your ear?”

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4. She left for London two months later.

Meyer and Garland met just two months before she was scheduled to perform a five-week concert series in London in 1969. It's those performances, which took place six months before she died, that are the subject of the movie Judy. 

Just before she left for London the couple was kicked out of Meyers' parents' apartment. She dropped him. 

5. Then, Judy's fifth husband Mickey Deans entered the picture.

When Garland got to London, she was joined by Mickey Deans, a nightclub owner she'd known for some time. He became her fifth and final husband. Their relationship is explored in the film Judy.

Deans was born Mickey DeVinko in Garfield, New Jersey. He was a nightclub owner, jazz pianist and drug dealer who was 12 years younger than Garland. They met when a mutual friend asked him to deliver a package of uppers to Garland's hotel room. 

6. Meyer flew to London to try to rescue her.

Meyer didn't like Deans and called him a hustler. So, he flew to London to try and win her back.

He said, “She was a compulsion, you know? I realized that this mission of mine to restore Judy to her former greatness and be the guy who rescued her was not going to work." The last time Meyers saw her was in January 1969.

7. Meyer said Garland didn't find her life painful. 

When Meyer heard that Judy Garland died — Deans found her dead in the bathroom of their rented London home; she was 47 — he went to her funeral service. More than 15,000 people showed up to pay their respects to the beloved star.

Over the years, stories have painted Garland's life as a tragic one. Meyer doesn't believe that it was. He said, “She thought her life was a gas, a ball. She didn’t think her life was painful. She was funny. She experienced joy. She loved sex. She didn’t love food. She loved to sing and she loved the attention.”

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Amy Lamare is a writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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