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MICK JAGGER was on stage in Berlin last week. And after the Rolling Stones gig? Well, friends say he had a discreet early-hours liaison with an old flame in the city. So it’s likely the old devil didn’t wake up alone.
This woman, it ought to be made clear, is not the brunette who was pictured with him in Switzerland recently. Nor is she the model, actress and singer Noa Tishby, who posted a picture on the internet of herself and Jagger in a hotel room during the Stones’ stay in Israel at the beginning of the month.
Indeed, it becomes clear speaking to members of Jagger’s entourage that he has multiple women on the go and Tishby is not even one of them.
A pal of the singer concedes there is a flirtatious friendship, but says: “They got to know each other in Mustique, but are not having sex. That one just likes the publicity.”
Instead, he is turning elsewhere for company. A bare 13 weeks after the suicide of his long-time partner L’Wren Scott, such behaviour seems callous to say the least. Jagger’s romance with L’Wren had its own troubles and – as we shall see – there are many who feel that it was close to breaking point when she died.
That he is now seeing other women with such gusto appears unseemly, and an insult to her memory. L’Wren’s estranged sister, Jan, waded in after the Zurich pictures emerged, saying: “No wonder she was depressed.”
However, to judge Jagger by conventional standards may be foolish. For, in the utterly misogynistic milieu of the Rolling Stones, his return to philandering form is actually seen as a cause for celebration by his entourage.
It is probably impossible to over-state the importance of Jagger’s reputation as a great Lothario to the image and success of the Rolling Stones. I’m told that even from the early days of raw grief, he insisted he was going to get back on stage and be just as he was before, and he has proved adept at putting his sorrow into a compartment and getting back to the business of being Mick Jagger.
A Stones source said: “He’s been up to his old tricks with women since the tour started a couple of weeks ago. There have been several already. Everybody is really pleased about it, delighted actually. It’s good to see him back in the saddle. The woman in Zurich he picked up in a nightclub. It was just a passing fling and is over now and he has moved on to the next one.”
And who was she? In some quarters she’s been identified as a Russian ballerina, though there has been no corroboration of that. In any case, Jagger’s camp are sure the woman is, in their words “a goner”, and has been discarded by the priapic frontman. Whoever she was, she was just another one of his meaningless sexual encounters.
How many have there been? Well, he told former lover Carla Bruni that he had slept with 4 000 women in his life. And that was 20 years ago when he was a 50-year-old.
The source, who’s known Jagger for more than a decade, explained: “Mick can’t live without women. To him, having sex… is like opening the fridge and taking out a beer. It is not a meaningful act.”
He spends much of his time plotting intrigues with old and new flames and seems to enjoy the chase. Apparently you could describe womanising as his chief daily hobby, aside from following the cricket and reading the financial pages on his iPad.
The source continued: “I don’t think he will start another serious relationship for a long time – that would feel like a betrayal of L’Wren, but this sort of a fling does not.”
There have been reports that Jagger, who is usually discreet when it comes to getting girls up to his hotel room, tipped off the paparazzi that he would be on the balcony last week. However, I’m assured this is not the case.
“He didn’t leak the Zurich girl on purpose, but the Stones camp and Mick are quite glad that it’s out. Mick doesn’t want to be seen as some sort of broken old bloke who is on the look-out for his next wife.”
And it seems that Jagger is quite comfortable with the news of his philandering coming out in the open as he wants to send a message – to his second wife, Jerry Hall. Apparently, Hall has been offering Jagger sympathy.
“He did want to send a message to Jerry to say that he was definitely not available. She has been around a lot offering sympathy, which has been nice, but Mick doesn’t want to get involved with her again at all,” says a source.
The girls on the road are very much business as usual for Jagger. In fact, there is no indication that he changed his ways for L’Wren, whom he met in 2001 when she styled him in a fashion shoot.
I’m told fidelity was “never part of the deal” for L’Wren and that if she cared, she didn’t show it much. They made, as Jagger said in his tribute to her, “a great life together”, with homes in Chelsea, Paris, the Loire, Mustique and New York. L’Wren gave him complete latitude to be wherever he wanted to be, and he appreciated her sense of style.
In 2008, there was a bump in the road in the shapely form of Molly Miller Mundy, who works for Jagger’s friend Nicky Haslam, the interior designer. The Stone was apparently bowled over by Molly, a brunette facsimile of his one-time squeeze, Sophie Dahl. She denies they were ever more than platonic pals, but L’Wren was apparently irritated by gossip about Molly and Jagger – at the time the US designer was 41, and had hopes of having a baby with the rocker.
And it seems that she had to put up with gossip about many other Molly Miller Mundys, too. What effect this had on her it is hard to say. Towards the end, she and Jagger were largely separate.
He prepared for the current Stones tour in Paris while she was in New York and London. And although she was struggling to stay on an even keel emotionally, he did not ask her to go on tour with him, leaving her alone in New York.
One problem for Jagger was that L’Wren had a poor relationship with the rest of the band: she was never a music fan and found the ageing hellraisers sexist and nasty.
What also became apparent was that the tragedy of her suicide was not deemed important enough by the suits who run the Stones to cancel the whole tour, although the Australasian dates were postponed until October/November.
Four days after L’Wren died, while Jagger was still in Perth making funeral arrangements, the band announced a slew of tour dates over May and June in Europe. I am told Jagger would have preferred to wait, but there was a commercial imperative to confirm the bookings and open up ticket sales. And so – grief or not – the show rolled on.
He said he would “never forget” L’Wren, and that, of course, is true, but he is carrying on with life. After a period spent at his home in the Loire, he was ready to re-emerge.
A source said: “He knows himself very well and how to take care of himself. Right after she died he needed to see his family and to reassure himself he was a decent person. Then it was back to business as usual, which means lots of girls. After her memorial service in New York there was a sense of a door closing. That was the end of it.”
After the events of the past three months, Keith Richards – who enjoys a sometimes tempestuous relationship with Jagger – is being kinder than usual and that means the atmosphere on tour is better than it has been for years.
Fellow Stones Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts attended L’Wren’s memorial service and continue to be supportive of him.
At one time it seemed as if L’Wren’s death might spell the end of the Rolling Stones. However, business is business and the juggernaut simply rolls on and on. – Daily Mail