At the time, wild horses couldn’t drag him away — but now former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman admits regret over marrying Mandy Smith in 1989 when she was just 18 and he was 52.
In the controversial documentary “The Quiet One,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival Thursday night, Wyman, now 82, says he was “stupid to ever think it could possibly work.”
The film, which makes use of the meticulously kept photos, film footage and memorabilia from the rocker’s personal archives, was pulled from England’s Sheffield Doc/Fest next month because of his scandalous relationship with Smith. The pair met when she was 13 and he was 47 in the mid-80s. And though Smith was of legal age when they married, following their divorce a few years later, she claimed they first had sex when she was just 14.
Rock star Bill Wyman (52) of The Rolling Stones pop group, kisses his new bride, the former Mandy Smith (19) outside St. John’s church, London, England on June 5, 1989. The couple were married in secret on June 2 at a civil service and the second ceremony was to bless the marriage in church. (AP Photo/David Caulkin) (D. Caulkin)
Wyman and Smith split in 1991 just two years after their marriage, and then finalized their divorce two years later.
In “The Quiet One,” Wyman defends the relationship, saying, “It was from the heart. It wasn’t lust, which people were seeing it as.”
But he also admits, “I was really stupid to ever think it could possibly work. She was too young. I felt she had to go out and see life for a bit.”
In 2013, following other prominent sex scandals in England, Wyman said that he offered to be interviewed by authorities about his relationship with Smith. “I went to the police and I went to the public prosecutor and said, ‘Do you want to talk to me? Do you want to meet up with me, or anything like that?’ And I got a message back, ‘No.’”
Wyman, a founding member of the Rolling Stones, played bass guitar for the legendary rock band from 1962 until 1993.
“The Quiet One,” written and directed by British filmmaker Oliver Murray, features plenty of footage and photos from his years with the Stones. But it also touches on his family life growing up in working-class London, including the tension he had with his father who pulled him out of school to work for a bookie to help support the family.
Wyman also expresses the love he had for his grandmother, who he lived with on and off as an adolescent, and was the only family member who showed him affection, he says.
In the film, the bass player addresses his womanizing in the early days of the Stones’ success and admits that was partially to blame for the split from his first wife, Diane, who he was married to between 1959 and 1969. He and Diane had a son Stephen, who Wyman won custody of when he felt that his ex wasn’t properly taking care of him, he says.
Wyman married his third and current wife Suzanne Accosta in 1993 and they share three daughters.
Jerry Hall, the former longtime romantic partner of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, was in the audience at the film’s premiere, along with her husband, media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Also in the house at the SVA Theatre in Chelsea were Wyman’s wife, Suzanne Accosta, and their youngest daughter, Matilda.