Romancing the stone



Rock star Bryan Ferry was at the height of his fame when he met leggy Texan beauty Jerry Hall at a party in the summer of 1975 and fell in love with her. She was 19, he was 30. He was introspective and studious. She loved a good time. Even so, the chemistry of love seemed to be stronger than any differences of character.

After only four weeks Bryan proposed on the remote Caribbean island of Mustique and put a flower-shaped ruby and diamond engagement ring on Jerry's finger. She moved into Bryan's elegant London town house. She would remember: "We lived quietly a lot of the time. I'd shop and cook and we would eat candlelit suppers together. The world saw us as the perfect couple and I couldn't wait for Bryan to fix a date for our wedding."

But that date never came. Instead Jerry Hall was swept off her feet by a man who would give her happiness and grief for the next 23 years...Rolling Stone Mick Jagger. It was shortly after Bryan Ferry and Jerry Hall had  become engaged that Mick Jagger, still legally married to his wife Bianca, asked the couple to dinner.

She recalled: "Afterwards Bryan said he would not go there again.He said: 'All he did was ogle you. He is a predator where women are concerned.'"

He was right. Soon Mick was regularly calling at the Ferry home however much Bryan tried to discourage him. When Bryan Ferry left for a world tour, his worst fears came true. Mick swiftly moved in on the girl who was now one of the world's most successful models. "The moment Bryan left, Mick was sending me flowers and getting me invited to dinners at which he would be sitting next to me.  I was flattered. I started an affair with him on condition that it would be over by the end of the summer when Bryan came back from his tour."

"Mick was so different from Bryan. He was gentle, charming, funny and fascinating. I loved the way he didn't care a hoot  what people thought of him, while Bryan wanted to be an English gentleman — with me as a gentleman's wife in tweeds and pearls, sipping tea!

I told Mick that I could only see him every other day. It was a futile effort to protect my heart because I had already fallen in love with him."

When the summer ended we said a tearful goodbye. I hoped I could forget Mick and make a fresh start with Bryan. We moved to Los Angeles but I was terrified that he would find out what had been happening while he was away.

But Jerry and Mick couldn't stay apart. Within weeks they were phoning each other. As Jerry remembered: "I felt horribly torn. I missed Mick - I knew that what we had wasn't over yet. I wanted to end it with Bryan but couldn't bring myself to do it." I went to Paris, where Mick was, and as soon as I saw him I knew I wanted to be with him. We decided to go secretly to Morocco for a holiday - I told Bryan I had a modelling job. We had a wonderful time. When I got back I found that Bryan knew about the holiday - someone had leaked it to the papers. The upshot was that we broke off the engagement. Bryan took it very badly and refused to let me take my clothes and possessions. In fact he never spoke to me again.

"My love was so strong that I couldn't do anything but follow Mick where ever he led me. He was still married, even if he hadn't lived with Bianca for a year. I knew we must be together, regardless of what the world thought."

The couple bought houses in New York, London, Paris and the Caribbean and in 1984 their first baby , Elizabeth, was born.

A son, James, came a year later. Jerry recalled: "Mick was often away with the Rolling Stones and I kept hearing stories about his dalliances with other women and although he swore undying love to me I could never be sure of him." Even so, when Mick suggested that they marry in an exotic ceremony in Bali, she said yes.
 
Over the next ten years the Stones staged five world tours and Mick was seldom at home. There were persistent rumours about his affairs, including reports that a Brazilian model was pregnant with his baby.

That was the final straw for Jerry. She told Mick she wanted a divorce.

"Today, 23 years on, Mick and I are on friendly terms. Of course I still love him but we have both moved on.

Mick spends time with the children and  takes them for holidays. I'm also friends with Mick's current partner, L'Wren Scott, and to be honest I think she's better at dealing with him than I was." Mick's a great guy but I'm so pleased that what he gets up to is no longer my problem!  

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