London being London, a wet chill hung in the air. And sudden fame being sudden fame, Brazilian model Luciana Morad was already well-versed in the variations on "no comment." "I'm mute," she said with a coy grin Jan. 15 when asked about her suddenly public life. Is she carrying Mick Jagger's baby? Is he demanding a DNA test to prove the allegation? Will her pregnancy mean an end to Jagger's 21-year relationship with '70s supermodel Jerry Hall? "It's cold and wet out here," said Morad, 28, offering only a cheeky wave before ducking into an apartment building in trendy King's Road, Chelsea. "I want to get out of the rain."
Morad found shelter from the evening drizzle, but there is little chance the six-foot-tall lingerie model will escape the gathering storm. On Jan. 12, after tabloids reported that Morad is pregnant with Mick's child, Hall, 42—who has over the years met Jagger's indiscretions with disgruntled tolerance—filed for divorce in London's High Court. At stake is the 55-year-old rocker's estimated $230 million fortune (including two homes in England, a townhouse in Manhattan, a chateau in France's Loire Valley and a villa on the Caribbean island of Mustique), the well-being of his and Hall's four children—and, it seems, the future of Morad's unborn child. "She hopes her child will be brought up with the father's ability to provide support," says Morad's $450-an-hour Manhattan-based attorney, Raoul Felder. "This whole thing doesn't have to be World War III," he adds. "Luciana's a sensible girl."
Sensible or not, war seems imminent. In London, Hall has hired the law firm of Mischon de Reya, famed for procuring a reported $23 million settlement for the late Princess Diana in her divorce from Charles. By suing Jagger for a reported $50 million, Hall hopes to best that number. Lawyers for Jagger, meanwhile, are challenging the validity of his 1990 marriage to Hall on the Indonesian island of Bali. According to officials there, the couple failed to provide Bali's marriage registrar with proper documentation after the Hindu ceremony. Even if an English court deems the marriage invalid, Hall would be provided with the property and money to look after the children, says matrimonial law specialist Margaret Bennett: "The risk is Hall might not get anything in her own right." In Britain some newspapers said that Jagger, who reportedly met Morad in Rio de Janeiro in March during the Rolling Stones' current world tour, is not the father of her unborn child. Felder says he will take no position on paternity until Morad gives birth this spring—but he does not sound worried. "Other than with O.J. Simpson, DNA tests work for everyone else," he says. "If it's appropriate, she'll have a DNA test. And I would imagine in this case, it's entirely appropriate."
Of course, defining "appropriate" in the world of rock and roll—where aging adulterers are neither censured nor impeached but often tacitly admired—is no easy task. "It's the one business where you're allowed to go on being a boy forever," says British fashion designer Antony Price, a longtime friend of both Hall's and Jagger's. Indeed, Britain's most indefatigable bad boy has proved he can always get what he wants—from his alleged affair with Italian model Carla Bruni in 1992 to his Beverly Hills Hotel rendezvous with Czech model Jana Rajlich in 1996. "Mick has this giant Grand Canyon ego, and it can't be filled by just one woman," says his longtime masseuse Dot Stein. Nor, she adds, does it need to be. "He looks like an old raisin, but he's still wicked sexy." Adds Jim Irvin, features editor of the music magazine Mojo
: "He sleeps around because he can. It's hard to break the habit of a lifetime."
Until Morad, Hall—herself the other woman when her affair with Mick wrecked his marriage to Bianca Jagger in 1977—showed amazing sympathy for her little devil. But his alleged part in the Brazilian's pregnancy crossed a line. "Jerry could forgive the one-night stands," says Stein. "But this pregnancy is one embarrassing slap in the face. [Mick] realizes that it's over now." "She's quite a forgiving soul," says Price. "He's the one who is going to be the most upset about the whole thing. I hope she's going to let him off the hook. But I don't see it somehow. I think she's had enough."
And then some. Hall was still a schoolgirl in her native Mesquite, Texas, when Jagger's reputation as rock's randiest rocker began to build. First there was his famously tumultuous affair with English pop singer Marianne Faithfull in the late '60s. After their split (and her miscarriage and drug overdose), Jagger took up with American actress Marsha Hunt. The romance was over by the time she gave birth to Jagger's first child—daughter Karis, now 28—in 1970. (Though now on good terms with Karis, it took nearly three years—and the threat of a lawsuit—to get him to accept financial responsibility.) The next year, Jagger married Bianca Perez Morena de Macias, then 21, daughter of a Nicaraguan diplomat. Their daughter Jade—now 27 and a mother of two living in Ibiza—was born five months later.
Jagger was five years into his marriage with Bianca when he first met Hall—then a 21-year-old model—backstage at a Stones concert in London. She didn't seem to care that he was married; he didn't seem to care that she was engaged to his pal, Roxy Music singer Bryan Ferry, who had introduced them. "He pressed his knee next to mine, and I could feel the electricity," Hall wrote in her 1985 autobiography, Jerry Hall's Tall Tales
. She knew she was not his first extramarital infatuation. "His life was like a railway station, with women constantly coming and going," she wrote. "No woman in her right mind would be willing to put up with that sort of hassle." Call her crazy. Hall canceled her wedding plans with Ferry. And Jagger left his wife—but made little pretense of maintaining monogamy. "Whenever I got home [from modeling jobs], I'd find things from other girls, such as earrings, next to our bed. It was so seedy," Hall wrote. "Mick's just a playboy. If this lasts a year, it's a miracle."
Hall wanted a lifetime, and she was willing to fight fire with fire to get it. Her short but highly publicized 1982 fling with married British millionaire horse breeder Robert Sangster seemed to work; within a year, Jagger and Hall, soon pregnant with their first child, were back together. Indeed, domesticity seemed to prevail at the 1984 christening of Elizabeth Scarlett Jagger. "I can't tell you how normal it was," Hall's hairdresser and friend David King said at the time. "It was a very tight, loving family thing."
Son James followed in 1985, but Jagger sported signs of reluctance about that family thing. Hall, meanwhile, could not conceal her dismay about their unwedded state. While performing in a New Jersey summer stock production of Bus Stop
in 1988, she groaned when reporters brought up, as she put it, the M-word. "Golly, I'm trying!" she said. "Y'all quit rubbing it in!" That year, her flirtations with Lord (James) Neidpath and Count Adam Zamoyski filled the gossip columns. Once again a presumably jealous Jagger got the point—and on Nov. 21, 1990, in a Hindu ceremony on Bali, the couple finally married. Sort of. Two years after the nuptials, Bali's marriage registrar, Widjanya Idabagus, said that since the couple failed to provide proper documents after the ceremony, "this was not a legal wedding." At the time legalities seemed unimportant. "We're just delighted," Jagger's mother, Eva, told PEOPLE of the marriage. "To me she has always been a daughter anyway."
For a while, Jagger appeared a perfectly contented family man. In 1991 the Jaggers settled into an estimated $4.5 million Georgian mansion, Downe House, in the London suburb of Richmond. When not working, Jagger doted on his children, helping them with their school-work and teaching them to play Ping-Pong and pool. But even as Hall was pregnant with their third child, signs of Jagger's restlessness began to emerge. "I think it's a mistake to paint a picture of me as a sort of domesticated, ordinary kind of homebody, because I don't think it's really true," he told Vanity Fair
in 1992. "I don't like the image of it very much."
Shortly after Hall gave birth to Georgia May in January 1992, Jagger shattered the image—and Hall's heart—by taking off for Thailand, where, according to the Daily Mail
, he trysted with a brunette beauty later identified as model Carla Bruni, then 23. Though Bruni denied reports of an affair, Hall wasn't buying it. As she told the Daily Mail
, she issued ultimatums to Jagger and telephoned Bruni, ordering the leggy beauty to "leave my man alone." To no avail. "I felt sick when I realized Mick was still seeing Carla," Hall told British reporters that summer. "I can confirm that we're separated, and I suppose we will get a divorce. I'm in too much pain for this to go on any longer."
And yet it did. Faced with the D-word, Jagger wooed Hall back—at an emotional cost to her. "There's nothing more humiliating than loving him so much that you forgive the infidelities," Hall told McCall
's magazine in 1992. She continued to forgive as the tabloids continued detailing Jagger's indiscretions with a parade of models and actresses. For the most part, Hall kept her public poise. "I do love him, and he loves me," she told Texas Monthly
in 1995. "We've certainly had our share of bad times, but whenever you stay with someone for a long time you have your ups and downs."
In the down column: Jagger was photographed embracing Uma Thurman (she is now married to Ethan Hawke) at an L.A. nightclub in October 1996, and the next day, model Jana Rajlich was spotted in his Beverly Hills Hotel bungalow. Once again, Hall talked divorce. And once again she took Jagger back, becoming pregnant with their fourth child, Gabriel, born on Dec. 9, 1997. "In a relationship you work things out," Hall told a Mail on Sunday
newspaper reporter in 1996. "I know women who move out the first time the guy does something wrong, which is crazy. You have to decide what you want, who you want."
Until recently, Hall's perseverance seemed to be paying off. She loved her routine at their Richmond home: growing organic vegetables in the garden, Rollerblading with the children, taking them to church on Sunday and watching them frolic with their dad. "He gets down on the floor and plays silly games," she told OK!
magazine in 1998. "I don't think he wants anyone to know about all the softy lullabies he sings to the babies. It might mess up his image." Together, husband and wife jogged in nearby parks, threw dinner parties and, like any other couple, fought now and then. Jagger, for instance, was annoyed that Hall insisted on keeping Gabriel in bed with them for so long. And he was furious when Hall allowed Elizabeth, now 14, to begin modeling last year. "He wants Elizabeth to concentrate on her schoolwork," Hall said in the December issue of Harpers & Queen
. "But I tell him, almost every schoolgirl wants to be a model."
Still, such clashes, friends say, were not a threat to the relationship. "Often they're furious," says Antony Price. "They blow their tops easily but forgive just as easily."
That, of course, was before l'affaire Morad broke. Those who know the couple are unsure how bitter the battle will be. Hall—whose modeling career has made her wealthy in her own right—reportedly signed a prenuptial agreement limiting her access to Jagger's fortune. And Price believes Jagger—whom ex-wife Bianca called a "penny-pinching Scrooge" after extracting a $1 million-plus settlement from him—will fight to keep his money out of Hall's hands. "The children are flesh and blood," says Price. "But the wife is someone you were in partnership with, and the partnership didn't work out." Still, if only for the sake of the children, he believes they will behave as they have during past troubles: "In a civilized way." Despite their differences, he says, "they are very close. They're friends." In the end, her close friendship couldn't combat his serial infidelity. "They all hope that it's going to be different," says Price of rock wives such as Hall. "But it almost never is."
Karen S. Schneider
Joanna Blonska, Liz Corcoran and Ellen Lieberman in London, Karen Nickel-Anhalt in Berlin and Natasha Stoynoff in Manhattan
- Joanna Blonska,
- Liz Corcoran,
- Ellen Lieberman,
- Karen Nickel-Anhalt,
- Natasha Stoynoff.