In its new issue, on newsstands now, Closer Weekly provides an in-depth look inside the secret side of Paul McCartney that only his closest associates know — including the heartbreak he has endured over the years and his journey to finding true happiness.

“We always think of him as happy-go-lucky, but Paul came from the streets. He was a tough kid,” Bob Spitz, author of The Beatles: The Biography, tells Closer.

Paul’s drive often caused rifts in the band. “He was a dictator in the studio,” recalls Spitz. “Whenever anybody asks me if I think Yoko Ono broke up The Beatles, I always tell them, ‘No, Paul broke up The Beatles.’”

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The Beatles in 1963.

The musician, who married Linda Eastman in 1969, had also been hounding his bandmates to allow his father-in-law to manage The Beatles. “John didn’t want it,” says Chris Hutchins, author of The Beatles: Messages from John, Paul, George and Ringo. “That’s basically why they had the group dissolved.”

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The dissolution of The Beatles plunged Paul into a deep depression. “He was hitting the bottle and on the edge of a breakdown,” says Paul McCartney: The Life author Philip Norman. “Linda helped him through it just by being there.”

“They were a very, very bonded couple,” remembers Laurence Juber, lead guitarist with Wings from 1978 to 1981. “Wings was Paul and Linda’s band, it wasn’t just Paul’s.” He taught Linda to play keyboards, and the couple brought the children, Stella, James, Mary and Heather (Linda’s daughter from her first marriage) on tour.

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Paul and Lisa in 1969.

The last five years of their life together were the sweetest, but Linda’s diagnosis of breast cancer in 1995 and her death three years later at age 56 nearly destroyed Paul. “For many months, he was out of communication with the world,” says Philip Norman, who reveals that Paul even entered grief counseling.

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In 1999, when Paul met model Heather Mills, he was in a very vulnerable state and despite their vicious and pricey split a friend tells Closer that Paul can see the silver lining “… he got a daughter [Beatrice] he adores out of the marriage, and then Nancy Shevell came into his life.”
Nancy has a very sweet demeanor,” says the friend. “She’s a great companion. They understand each other and they’ve both lived very, very interesting lives. There’s true love there.” And it shows.

For more on Paul McCartney, pick up the latest Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!