Until his departure in 1993, Bill Wyman was the straight-laced, string-thrumming bassist of The Rolling Stones. Unlike his fellow bandmates, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Wyman was never attracted to the limelight. He was wholeheartedly indifferent to the trappings of fame, drinking only as much as he could handle and rarely touching that deified herb of the 1960s, marijuana. However, there was one aspect of life in a rock ‘n’ roll band that Wyman enjoyed very much; women. And it would be this passion that would lead to Wyman, then 52, marrying the then 18-year old Mandy Smith. I mean, Christ, what is it with The Stones and young women? It’s as if a whole lot of them read Lolita and thought, ‘what a cracking idea’.
Wyman and Mandy Smith were married on June 2nd, 1989. Wyman had been dating Smith since she was 13, and he was 47. Smith confirmed that their relationship had been consensually sexually consummated when she was 14 years old. As a result, their relationship was the focus of considerable media attention. That is until 1993 when Wyman decided that he’d fallen for a 37-year-old woman named Sussanne Accosta. Wyman and Smith divorced just two years after being married and finalised the divorce two years after that. Wyman subsequently married Accosta, and the pair went on to have three daughters together.
Here’s where the maths starts getting really frightening because, not long after Wyman’s split from Smith, his 30-year-old son, Stephen Paul Wyman, married Mandy Smith’s mother (46), making Stephen a stepfather to his former stepmother. That means that if Bill and Mandy’s marriage had survived, or if they were to re-marry, Stephen would be his father’s father-in-law and (get this) his own grandfather.
Although Wyman was only ever moderate in his use of drugs and alcohol, he has since described using sex as a psychological crutch when The Rolling Stones were in their heyday, a habit that followed him throughout his adult life. In an interview in 2001, Wyman claimed to have slept with over 1000 women. He joined The stones in 1962 and performed with the group throughout the most successful years of their career. However, in 1992, he made the decision to leave. For a long time, fans were confused as to why Wyman had chosen that moment to go solo, but years later, he opened up about the decision: “Playing with the Stones, there was always such a lot of pressure. The next album or single always had to be the best, or at least sell more.” And, for Wyman, that kind of pressure just wasn’t his bag anymore, so he decided to walk away.
Wyman isn’t the only member of The Rolling Stones with a slightly suspect taste for younger women. In 2017, frontman Mick Jagger, then 74, made the news for his relationship with the 31-year-old ballerina Melanie Hamrick. Hamrick met Jagger when she was 28 and went on to give birth to his eighth child. After breaking off the relationship, Jagger then began dating the 22-year-old film producer, Noor Alfallah.