JOHN LENNON damaged a valuable HENRI MATISSE painting by using it as an ash tray during a wild party at the Playboy mansion in 1974, HUGH HEFNER claims. The French artist's works have sold for up to $15 million (£8 million) at auction, but amazingly Hefner forgave the former BEATLE for stubbing out his cigarette on the priceless painting - because Lennon was one of his heroes. The 80-year-old says, "He was separated briefly from his wife YOKO ONO and was in a very bad mood. "He was drinking a great deal. He misbehaved a little bit and a couple of my friends took exception to it. He put a cigarette out on a Matisse and one of my friends was going to kick his butt. But he'd been drinking. He was under tremendous pressure, and Lennon was one of my heroes."
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