Public expectations of a re-kindling of the romance between John McCarthy and former fiancée Jill Morrell who had campaigned for his release were high. The couple wrote a book together about Mr McCarthy's ordeal but they separated amicably in 1994. John McCarthy married Anna Ottewill in April 1999.
John McCarthy married three times. His second wife, Vera Watson, the first woman to complete a solo ascent of Aconcagua in South America, was killed in a climbing accident on Annapurna in 1978. He is survived by his third wife, Carolyn, their son, and by two daughters of his first marriage.