Scottish Daily Mail

50 years on, the British girl who inspired Simon

- By Ryan Kisiel Showbusine­ss News Correspond­ent

STROLLING along a country lane with a rucksack on her back, she makes for an unlikely muse.

But this is the woman who 50 years ago inspired one of America’s greatest songwriter­s, Paul Simon.

The life 68-year-old Kathleen Chitty now leads in a quiet Welsh-speaking village gives little clue to her past.

Simon was once so besotted with the English teenager that he mentioned her in several of his hits and immortalis­ed their romance in the haunting Kathy’s Song.

They appeared together on the cover of his first album, The Paul Simon Song Book, released in 1965.

Miss Chitty moved to the US with him but grew to dislike the huge public attention and returned to Britain.

She now lives in a detached three-be doom house in North Wales, and catches a bus each day to her job as an administra­tor at a technical college, where she has worked for 25 years.

Simon, 72, once described their relationsh­ip as his ‘most peaceful time’ – in stark contrast to the turmoil of recent days as he appeared in a US court with his third wife Edie Brickell after a violent dispute at their home.

Back in 1963, aged 18, Miss Chitty was working at the Railway Inn folk club in Brentwood, near her then home in Essex. Simon, who had dropped out of New York law school and was touring English clubs, fell for her elfin qualities and an intense love affair followed.

As Simon’s success grew, however, Kathy returned home from the US in the mid-1960s.

Kenneth Harrison, her partner of more than 40 years with whom she has three children, said: ‘She wasn’t very comfortabl­e with it.’

She still receives requests for interviews, but Mr Harrison, 67, said: ‘She has never spoken publicly about her past and has no intention to do so.’

 ??  ?? 1965: Paul Simon and Kathy Chitty on the cover of his first album Kathleen Chitty now. Inset: Paul Simon and Edie Brickell in a US court last week
1965: Paul Simon and Kathy Chitty on the cover of his first album Kathleen Chitty now. Inset: Paul Simon and Edie Brickell in a US court last week

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