Bill Wyman's controversial marriage to teenager Mandy Smith explained

17 February 2022, 15:45

Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith married in 1989
Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith married in 1989. Picture: Getty

In 2019, a film festival cancelled an appearance from ex-Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman, after complaints regarding his relationship with a teenage girl back in the 1980s.

Bill Wyman had been expected to do a Q&A session at June's Sheffield Doc/Fest, and also at the European premiere of a documentary about him, The Quiet One.

However, the festival cancelled the appearance of both, after receiving an online backlash.

The bassist caused controversy after he met Mandy Smith in 1984, when she was just 13 and he was 47.

Prosecutors aimed to bring charges against him two years later, but ended up not taking any action.

The couple then married in 1989, when she was 18, but they divorced two years later.

The Quiet One follows Wyman's life as one of the original members of The Rolling Stones. Responding to criticisms, festival organisers said: "We truly appreciate you alerting us to the issue. It has been passed on to our management who are taking this very seriously."

Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith
Bill Wyman and Mandy Smith. Picture: Getty

They added: "Sheffield Doc/Fest has decided to cancel screenings of The Quiet One and the associated Q&A with Oliver Murray & Bill Wyman. All purchased tickets will be refunded."

In 2013, Wyman revealed that he had volunteered to be interviewed by police following recent celebrity sex scandals, but they chose not to.

"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,'" he said. "I was totally open about it."

Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1992, but later played at the band's 50th anniversary shows at the O2 Arena in London in 2012.

Who is Mandy Smith and where is she now?

Now aged 51 in 2022, Mandy Smith is an English former pop singer and model.

In 1983, when Smith was only 13 years old, a relationship allegedly began between her and 47-year-old Bill Wyman.

She met Rolling Stones bassist Wyman when she attended the BPI Awards with her older sister Nicola in 1984, when she was 13 years old.

Wyman wrote in his 1990 autobiography: "She took my breath away...she was a woman at thirteen."

The relationship only became public two-and-a-half years later, when she reached the age of 16 (the legal age of consent in the UK).

Mandy Smith in 2009
Mandy Smith in 2009. Picture: Getty

Smith moved out just weeks after they married, and it officially ended in divorce after 23 months. Smith won a settlement then worth a reported $880,000.

To make things even more complicated, in 1993, Wyman's 30-year-old son from his first marriage, Stephen, married Smith's mother, Patsy, who was then aged 46. However, they split after two years.

In 1993, she married footballer Pat Van Den Hauwe, but this also only lasted two years. In 2001, she was briefly engaged to Vanity Fair model Ian Mosby, and they had a son, Max Harrison Mosby.

She also had a brief pop career, and released several singles in the 1980s and 1990s. While she didn't score a UK top 40 hit, she had several minor hits across Europe.

In recent years, Mandy has preferred to keep out of the public eye. She moved to Manchester, where by 2011 she was living as a single mum while running a PR company, Kiss PR, with her sister Nicola.

In 2010, Smith publicly called for the age of consent in the UK to be raised from 16 to 18, saying: "People will find that odd coming from me. But I think I do know what I'm talking about here. You are still a child—even at 16. You can never get that part of your life, your childhood, back. I never could."