Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Mick Jagger: The heartbreaker left heartbroken

Mick Jagger has for decades epitomised the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle, but he's never been one to stay committed. In the light of long-term girlfriend L'Wren Scott's tragic suicide, Paul Hopkins looks back at the women whose hearts have been rocked by the Rolling Stones frontman

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 19:  Singer Mick Jagger and fashion designer L'Wren Scott attend the launch celebration of the Banana Republic L'Wren Scott Collection hosted by Banana Republic, L'Wren Scott and Krista Smith at Chateau Marmont on November 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Banana Republic)
Mick Jagger and L'Wren Scott

When it comes to women in his life, Mick Jagger is the Rolling Stone who has gathered no moss, never quite settling in one relationship long enough to garner responsibilities or commitments. And, in his rock and rolling life, Jagger, now 70, has left a string of women broken, emotionally and often physically too.

The Stones frontman has never made a secret of his love for beautiful women. But, by all accounts, L'Wren Scott was 'the one', the couple having been together for 13 years: Jagger is said to be "devastated" by the death by suicide of the 49-year-old fashion designer in her New York apartment.

There are reports that Scott had debts amounting to £6m and saw suicide as a way out but her housekeeper of 16 years, Lupe Montufar, has revealed that the troubled designer, who, according to her sister had earlier in her relationship with Jagger "desperately wanted children", was struggling to cope with the fact that the rock icon did not want to get married again.

Scott would not be the first woman to be let down by Jagger, nor the first tainted by suicide.

Jagger's first public relationship, when the Stones came to prominence 50 years ago, was with top British model Chrissy Shrimpton, sister of cover-girl Jean, whom he met when he was 19 and a student at the London School of Economics.

At first, he was besotted and they planned to marry. But Jagger's growing stardom – and notoriety – created an increasing gulf between them. Shrimpton said later she could not emotionally handle his appetite for other women, causing him to abruptly end the relationship in 1966. The singer reportedly discovered Shrimpton in their London flat after she had taken an overdose. The Daily Mail reported that Jagger's management wanted to avoid bad publicity, so had Shrimpton taken to the hospital in a van instead of by ambulance.

In the days before palimony agreements, Jagger walked away without giving her a penny. Years later, when it was (mistakenly) reported she intended to sell his love letters, the ever-controlling Jagger threatened her with legal action unless she sent them back.

Then came Marianne Faithfull. A convent-educated girl, she met Jagger when she was just a teenager. Daughter of an Austrian baroness, Faithfull recorded the hit single As Tears Go By which had been written by Jagger and fellow-Stone Keith Richards.

Faithfull and Jagger were rock's beautiful couple of the '60s. She became his muse, introducing the star to literature, ballet and opera. She was not only good-looking and talented, but she was by Jagger's side faithfully through a rough time of his life. He and Richards were jailed for drug possession in 1967 and Faithfull stood by her man. But being the girlfriend to the Stones frontman eventually took its toll and she overdosed on 50 sleeping pills while touring with Jagger in Australia. Like Chrissy Shrimpton, Jagger found her just in time. The relationship ended with Faithfull penniless. I met her in the mid-70s in Dublin when she and Henry Lord Mountcharles (of Slane Castle fame) were the patrons of the new Coolmine drug rehab centre – she had turned to heroin when Jagger dumped her. At Coolmine she refused to answer my questions about the relationship, the affair still too bitter a memory to talk about.

After Marianne Faithful, Jagger had a brief fling with singer Marsha Hunt who gave birth to his daughter, Karis Hunt Jagger, in November 1970.

Then came the Nicaraguan-born Bianca Perez-Mora Macias who became his first wife, though she later would say bitterly that her marriage "ended" on her wedding day. In fact, on the day of their 1971 wedding in St Tropez in the south of France, before the world's media, Jagger made a scene because Bianca refused to sign a pre-nuptial agreement. Thereafter, she felt herself to be little more than another one of his groupies, the marriage effectively over, though the couple stayed together for the sake of daughter Jade.

When Bianca finally divorced Jagger in 1979, his lawyers manoeuvred her settlement to keep it at a mere £1m. Her divorce cited adultery, the love affair Jagger was allegedly having during their marriage with model Jerry Hall and believed by many to be the reason Bianca was emotionally distraught. She did not attempt to end her life, however, like Shrimpton and Faithfull. Instead she raised Jade alone and moved on to be a respected human rights activist for her native Nicaragua.

The Texan supermodel Jerry Hall – whom Jagger took from fellow pop idol Bryan Ferry – at first seemed successful at bringing the shenanigans of the Rolling Stone to a standstill. Hall was the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones hit Miss You. She gave birth to two of Jagger's children before he decided to marry her in 1990 in Bali. The couple had two more children before Hall ended their marriage in 1999 based on Jagger's alleged relationship with model Luciana Gimenez Morad, whose son, Lucas Morad, Jagger has since admitted to fathering.

Jerry Hall raised their four children alone in England. And she has since branded Jagger "a lying, cheating, no-good slimeball".

Jagger never married since.

The Rolling Stone, in music and as an off-stage Mick, has down the years epitomised sex, drugs and roll 'n' roll, all that was seedy in, and the underbelly of, the Sixties. Par for the course, then, were the revelations in 2012 that, not alone did he sleep with 4,000 women, last count, but also had a full-blown affair with that other rock diva, David Bowie.

It had long been rumoured the two enjoyed an illicit affair back when but a 2012 biography, Mick: The Wild Life And Mad Genius of Jagger, by Christopher Andersen, laid it out as fact. Andersen claims the affair started when the two met in 1973 at one of Bowie's concerts and things soon turned physical.

It all came to a head, though, when Angie Bowie, married to David at the time, returned home to find the pair together in bed.

"Angie went upstairs to her bedroom, slowly pushed the door open, and there they were: Mick Jagger and David Bowie, naked in bed together, sleeping. Both men woke up with a start. 'Oh, hello,' said Bowie, clearly taken by surprise. 'How are you?'

"'I'm fine,' Angie replied. 'Do you want some coffee'?''

Both men have over the years denied the claim and Angie Bowie has increasingly removed herself from these quoted remarks.

Andersen also claims Jagger became obsessed with actress Angelina Jolie in the late '90s.

Now a great-grandfather, many celebrity watchers thought L'Wren Scott would be the one he would finally settle down to grow old with. Tragically, Scott was found hanging in her New York apartment on St Patrick's Day.

Successful in her own right, she had built a fashion business designing for A-list celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Michelle Obama, and Oprah Winfrey. But her business took a downturn in the past few years, putting her £6m in debt.

Was it financial ruin that left this beautiful woman feeling hopeless and driven to take her own life?

Then, again, after a 13-year relationship with a rock legend who is reported to be worth more than £250m, would she kill herself over being in debt?

The only one possibly capable of answering that is Mick Jagger who, according to reports this week, has flown to the US to assist in the funeral of the woman he had chosen to spend the last 13 years of his life with.

Perhaps in not committing to her, L'Wren Scott's dying is one responsibility Mick Jagger will have to live with.

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