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I hated sex, says Marianne Faithfull

Published Sep 10, 2013


London - She was the epitome of the wild Sixties sex kitten.

Slim, attractive and edgy, Marianne Faithfull was pursued by a string of rock stars and counted the likes of David Bowie and Mick Jagger among her conquests.

But the singer and actress has now confessed that she actually “hated men” and was so disgusted by sex that she had to take drugs or alcohol before she could be physically intimate.

Faithfull, whose 1964 single As Tears Go By launched a career that spans five decades, blames her problems on the rape of her mother, Eva, and her grandmother, Flora, who were living in Vienna at the end of the Second World War.

They were assaulted by soldiers from the Red Army in the newly liberated Austrian capital.

Making her admission in an edition of BBC 1’s Who Do You Think You Are? to be broadcast this month, Faithfull, 66, said: “I think my mother and her unconscious and unspoken loathing of men had a huge effect on me.

“It was a big problem for me in the Sixties, especially as I had to pretend that everything was so wonderful, wild and sexual. But it really wasn’t.

“It took me years, until the time I got to 50 or so, before I could be in a relationship and love and not have to take drink or drugs to have sex.”

Faithfull, whose successful albums include Broken English and Vagabond Ways, is only too aware that the image she presented in public, particularly during the Swinging Sixties, was at odds with the anguish she suffered privately.

She was pursued, unsuccessfully, by Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan.

She is also known to have slept with two other members of The Rolling Stones - Keith Richards and Brian Jones - and also singer Gene Pitney, who struck up a friendship with Jagger and toured with Miss Faithfull.

She sealed her reputation for being “wild” following an alleged incident during a drugs raid at Richards’s house in West Sussex in 1967 when she was found naked, wrapped in a fur rug. It was claimed that she and Jagger, with whom she had a four-year relationship, were interrupted during a sex act involving a Mars bar.

The story was not denied until decades later.

Drug addiction, a suicide attempt and two years spent living homeless on the streets have all marred Faithfull’s life.

She married art dealer John Dunbar in 1965 when she was 18. They had a son but the marriage did not last because she embarked on an affair with Jagger, who, with Richards, had co-written As Tears Go By.

But she ended her relationship with Jagger in 1970, not long after she miscarried his child.

In the programme, to be broadcast on September 18, she says: “He loved me, and I loved him. I just walked away. I don’t really know why. I had to move on. Of course it was very painful and very, very hard because I loved him.”

Faithfull’s mother, an actress and dancer, was half-Jewish while her maternal grandmother Flora was Jewish.

When Hitler invaded Austria in 1938, the Nazis forced Flora to change her name to Sara so she could be identified as Jewish.

Faithfull’s mother Eva was defined as “Mishling”, German for mongrel, because Flora had married a non-Jew.

In the programme, Faithfull is shown documentation about her grandfather, Artur, who she discovers was a leading resistance fighter. - Daily Mail

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