“When Mick had a baby with someone else, that was the end for me” … Jerry Hall. Photo: Bryan Adams/trunkarchive.com/Snapper Media
Actress, model, single, 57
My father was a truck driver who was away from home a lot. He was a violent man and it was like walking on eggshells with him around the house. I grew up in two worlds – the fun, girly world we shared with Mom and the fearful violent one with Dad. It was scary.
Dad was a hard worker and a good provider but he left school at nine, after his mother died, to look after lots of brothers and sisters. He drove dangerous chemicals across the country and would arrive home in foul moods and lash out at us. It wasn't pretty.
My twin sister Terry and I are especially close and I have three older sisters. Mom, who died earlier this year, raised her daughters to all get along. Gonzales, Texas, where I grew up, was the epitome of a place with a small-town mentality. Mom was the one who supported us and encouraged us to move out of home and follow our dreams.
My first boyfriend was a rodeo rider and I was part of the rodeo groupie scene when I was about 14. We kissed, no more than that.
I was always attracted to the good-looking guys. I wouldn't say I chased love or had deep and meaningful discussions with my sisters about guys growing up, but I was curious.
My dad valued education and was always teaching himself new vocabulary and reading books. His appreciation for education rubbed off on me – I was very academic. I skipped a year in school and won a scholarship to study chemistry at university. Ultimately though, I chose to do modelling.
I left home at 17. Mom was the one who told me to pack my bags and go to the French Riviera. We always watched To Catch a Thief and if [being discovered] was going to happen anywhere, it would happen there. She was right. On my first day there, on the beach in St Tropez, a guy from a modelling agency came up to me and asked me if I wanted to be a model. I said yes. I was young and naive, but was expecting that to happen.
Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre was the first man I ever had a real conversation with, and that happened when I arrived in Paris. I sat next to him and feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir at a cafe. I couldn't believe my luck. He loved hearing about the small town I came from and was fascinated with my stories about rodeos. He was the sort of guy who could talk about anything. I still find existentialism a fascinating way of thinking. What is life about? And are we here or not? Philosophical men stand out to me.
I've met some very difficult men working as a model but, funnily enough, I always seemed to get along really well with these sorts. I think that had a lot to do with having a volatile father.
Helmut Newton photographed me a lot. He certainly helped my career and we did some wonderful pictures together, many of which have become iconic and appear in magazines all the time. He was a tricky person, always in a bad mood, impatient and losing his temper. Like most men, as long as you were doing what he wanted, he was happy. I like men who know what they want. He was a real artist with a vision and I became good friends with his Australian photographer wife Alice Springs.
I was engaged to singer Bryan Ferry at 19. He hired me to model for the cover of Roxy Music's Siren album. We photographed it in Wales – I was painted blue, dressed as a mermaid, and had to lie on sharp rocks. He was holding an umbrella.
I loved music and Bryan was very handsome. When we got engaged, I moved to London and we lived together for two years. He was lovely and had an elegant style, a little avant-garde – he reminded me of Elvis Presley. But he was also difficult and quite jealous about my work and my travel. It was fun, but it didn't last.
Mick [Jagger] and I were together for 23 years. We met in 1976 in London and started dating and living together in 1977. He is such a poet and has a way with words. He was a handful but we got along really well.
We got married in 1990 and it was over by 1999. We never fought - domestically we agreed on everything and he always made me laugh. We took great family holidays and he loves his four children he had with me. When he had affairs ... well, they were annoying and exhausting, but it was when he had a baby with someone else, that was the end for me.
I dated an Australian guy [West Australian millionaire Warwick Hemsley] for two years. It was a long-distance relationship. I guess seeing my youngest child, who is now 15, get through school is my biggest priority – and I love my work.
I like men who can make me laugh, who don't bore me, who are faithful and intellectual. Dating and taking holidays is where I am at right now. I don't need to get married to have someone look after my kids, because their father is involved in their lives and does a great job at that, but marriage is worth committing to. It's a nice idea.
Jerry Hall stars in The Graduate, Her Majesty's Theatre, Melbourne, from September 24.