Rock and roll’s cradle snatcher
London – For sheer generation-busting unlikeliness, the blossoming love affair between white-haired rock dinosaur Jimmy Page, 71, and actress and poet Scarlett Sabet, 25, takes some beating.
The 46-year gulf in age means Sabet, who hails from a very proper background in leafy Surrey, was born a decade after Page’s band Led Zeppelin split up.
She is almost half the age of his oldest child – who, by unsettling coincidence, is also called Scarlet. She could comfortably be his granddaughter. And yet they looked happy last week, popping out to the chicken eaterie Nando’s for dinner on his birthday.
Afterwards they went to a nearby juice bar, and to a health food store. Page, who is one of the wealthiest men in rock and worth £80 million, paid the bill. Associates of the legendary guitarist say that there hasn’t been a hint from him about his new romance over recent months. One friend added: ‘Everyone was quite surprised by this. The thing about Jimmy though is that he won’t say a word about his private life – he never has.’
It is true that Page, who has a spectacular home in Holland Park, West London, and a Lutyens pile in Berkshire, is adept at flying under the radar. Indeed, his split from wife No 2 only emerged three years after they went their separate ways when he told an interviewer he was ‘single’.
So who is his willowy new consort – and what on earth are either of them thinking of?
Scarlett Zoreh Sabet, born in the summer of 1989, is the exotically beautiful offspring of Iranian Masoud Sabet, known as Mas, and his wife Marie-Claire, who is of French extraction but was raised in Dartford, Kent. The Sabet family live in Dorking, Surrey, in a red-brick detached house on a quiet road.
Marie-Claire is now 54 and works as a careers consultant and Mas is a part-time IT consultant, having previously been the director of Ingen Software Services Limited.
Scarlett is the eldest child; her sister is 22, a student at Nottingham, and she has a brother who is 14.
The family are not happy to talk about Scarlett’s new boyfriend. Marie-Claire – who sighed ‘No’ and ‘No comment’ when asked if she had met Jimmy Page – bore the mien of a woman who was thoroughly cheesed off with the whole thing. Perhaps this wasn’t the future she had envisaged for her striking, promising daughter.
Only eight years ago Scarlett won a drama scholarship to attend the top private theatre school, Hurtwood House in Dorking.
Fees are £8,492 per term. Even the best scholarships waive only 50 per cent of the fees, meaning her parents made a serious financial commitment to her desire to make it as an actress – to the tune of at least £25,000.
When she left the school in 2008, she seemed to be making some headway. She and a group of friends from school formed a theatre company called Young Cut, and she had a break when was 19 and she was cast in A Perfect Hideout – a spoof action film – opposite Titanic star Billy Zane.
That movie was shot in Germany in just 12 days on what the director calls a ‘minuscule’ budget, and sadly it didn’t get a cinema release anywhere. It came out on DVD in America and the Netherlands only.
She then had roles in two small films, and also a couple of TV series, including Peep Show and Skins. Possibly discouraged, she then made an about turn and set herself up as a poet and performer in 2013.
She is now selling her first volume of verses, titled Rocking Underground, via her own website for £25. She has given various poetry readings in London in recent months.
A video of her reading her poem Unnatural Act shows her output to be rather intense to the point of being overwrought, if deeply sincere.
The book was launched at Chelsea Arts Club in November, and it seems she may even have met Jimmy Page there – there is a suggestion that she has worked at the club.
Equally intriguing, though, is her association with another much older man – handsome American photographer Sean Moorman, 50. He took several of the portraits which she has used professionally and seems to have been in a close relationship with her since at least the summer of 2013.
His Facebook page, which he uses to promote his photography business, has numerous images of her starting from the summer of 2013 and he describes her in captions as his ‘partner in crime’ and his ‘baby’.
Her friends insist she and Moorman – who is merely old enough to be her father rather than her grandfather – were indeed engaged, but never made it down the aisle. Cynics might say this rather confusing romantic situation would be only too typical for Jimmy Page, whose private life has been chaotic at best – and toxic at worst.
Last week’s pictures were a reminder of his most infamous liaison with a much younger girlfriend – the long romance he had with an underaged groupie named Lori Mattix in his Led Zeppelin heyday in the early Seventies. Mattix, who pops up from time to time in televised rock documentaries, claims to have been ‘the Paris Hilton of her day’, although the truth seems rather darker.
She says she had a liaison with Page which started when she was 14 and he was in his late 20s.
He had her escorted by bodyguards from a party to his room at the Hyatt House hotel in Los Angeles, and allegedly opened the door with the words: ‘See, I told you I’d have you.’
She remembers it as a grand love affair. ‘He was my first love . . . we’d be sitting on the floor and we’d be crying because we were so happy.’
Rock writer Nick Kent, though, talked about witnessing scenes with Page and his Led Zeppelin colleagues involving ‘conniving, loveless little girls’ which left him shaken.
Even infamous groupie Pamela Des Barres said: ‘They were very debauched and the girls got younger and younger and more willing to do anything. It got to be incredibly sick.’
Page, who was deeply interested in the occult, was known to travel with a suitcase of whips which he was said to use on the young women.
Their tours of America in the early Seventies became a theatre of excess. The band would charter aeroplanes and stretch limousines and be greeted by harems of teenage girls fighting over their arrival.
At one point there was even a special laminated tour pass which was given just to groupies, and they travelled together at the back of the limo cortege. The Hyatt House, known as the Riot House, was the band’s favoured Los Angeles hotel. Scores of teenage groupies would hang around its coffee shop, hoping to be invited upstairs.
The band is now recognised as the most debauched in rock’s sleazy pantheon: drummer John Bonham, known as ‘the Beast’, would perform on stage with a bag of cocaine between his legs, reaching in to snort fistfuls while he played.
The liaison between Page and Mattix lasted over three years on and off, even though Page was also in a relationship with French model Charlotte Martin, by whom he had daughter Scarlet, born in 1971.
So what of his liaison with a woman 46 years his junior?
Barney Hoskins, author of the definitive history of Led Zeppelin, Trampled Underfoot, says: ‘He has always liked young girls. Like other rock stars of the time he was involved in a scene with young girls particularly in LA. It was a particular period, which does not excuse it.
‘But when a powerful older man takes up with someone who is so much younger than them it does suggest immaturity. You have to ask if you can have a real relationship with someone young enough to be your granddaughter.’Daily Mail