Yoko Ono loves the remaining Beatles members ''like brothers''.

The 82-year-old artist - who was married to one of the band's stars, John Lennon, until his assassination in 1980 - has insisted there is no bad blood between her and Sir Paul McCartney or Ringo Starr, despite the fact she was blamed by some fans for breaking up the band, instead saying any tension exists because of British reticence.

She said: ''I know that it was very difficult for them, too, but they're not talking about it. For instance, that classic style of 'Let's keep our chins up' was typical of John. John and I went through so much difficulty and when that was happening we said: 'OK let's just ignore it.' I don't think the other Beatles had to go through that much, really - John was the one who was taking it all. But I know that they're doing their best. I really love them like my brothers.''

Yoko - who was married to John for 11 years before his death - continued to say there is only ''incredible love'' towards the remaining members because they are continuing to inspire young people.

She explained: ''From my side there's an incredible love towards them because they have done something important for the world and especially for the young.''

And although she has had some spats with Sir Paul over the years about Lennon/McCartney credits on songs, the musician claimed these have been blown out of proportion.

She told the Observer Magazine: ''I feel that in some ways we are almost forced to be in a boxing ring, and that's how people are looking at us, but we're not doing that.''