With eight children aged nine to 57 and five different women, it’s safe to say that Rod’s love life was as colorful as his music career.
And although he is now happily married to wife number three Penny Lancaster, it took him a while to overcome his separation from second wife Rachel Hunter.
75-year-old Rod met Rachel in 1990 when he was 45 and she was 21.
It was an instant chemistry for the couple, with the rocker already a household name while Rachel graced the cover of every major magazine in the world.
He once said, “In the eight years we’ve been together, I’ve been absolutely loyal … Rachel was all I wanted; I became a devoted husband overnight. ”
The couple welcomed two children, a son named Liam and a daughter named Renee.
They were the definition of a power couple and, of course, head over heels in love.
That was, of course, until their romance began to crumble just nine years later.
Rachel made the decision to leave Rod in 1999 – and left him confused about how anyone could ever leave a rock star.
He told the weekend magazine Mail On Sunday, “I couldn’t believe it.
“I was a rock star. You don’t drop a rock star! It hit me for six. It was a big shock. ”
Rachel is 26 years younger than Rod, and the hitmaker admitted the age difference affected their relationship.
“She was only 21 when we got married and a mother a year later. My sister Mary told me she was too young for me as we walked down the aisle. And she was right. ”
Rod was sure Rachel was the woman he wanted to marry after they met in an LA nightclub.
Rod wrote in his autobiography Rod: The Autobiography of Rod Stewart that he just had plans to model Kelly Emberg (his daughter Ruby’s mother).
In fact, the plans were more or less set in stone as he had already rented a plane to pursue a banner that raised the question.
And just one night before he was about to solicit Kelly’s hand in marriage, Rod met Rachel.
“There was an immediate connection,” he wrote.
“It was extremely beautiful, but there was also something nonsensical about it. It was there in her New Zealand accent, but also on her face that was open and clever. ”
What attracted Rod even more was the fact that Rachel had made a living for herself and wasn’t looking for a man to support her financially.
He wrote: “Not only was she so far removed from the scaly model stereotype, but she already had money and fame.
“That was a relief. In my position there was always this suspicion: Does this woman really like me or just the stuff that surrounds me? ”
But although from the outside the couple had a marriage that others could only dream of, Rachel later admitted that she found the lifestyle “oppressive” and felt like she had lost her confidence.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror in 2001, she said, “To the outside world, I was the mother of two beautiful children, a wife of Rod, and a successful model with no financial worries, but inside I was in agony.”
She added, “When I was 29 I had spent eight years with a group of friends of another.
“In the nine years we were together, I had never done anything for myself. If you asked me what I liked or didn’t like, I couldn’t have told you. I didn’t even have a hobby. ”
She added, “Like many women who marry young and find mothers by the age of 25, I felt like I no longer had an identity. I was just nothing. ”
Rod was devastated and plunged into deep heartache that would weaken him for four long months.
He said, “I lost 12 pounds. I was cold all the time. I started lying on the sofa during the day with a blanket over me and a hot water bottle against my chest. Then I knew why they were calling it. ”Heartbroken, you can feel it in your heart. I was distracted, almost insane. ”
In a desperate attempt to cope with this, he turned to therapy and began yoga before the dark cloud gradually lifted and he met his current wife, Penny Lancaster, a year later.
These days, Rod and Penny, 49, are on good terms with Rachel, 51, and Rod’s first wife, Alana Stewart.
Rod is also a proud father of 56-year-old daughter Sarah from a teenage relationship. Kimberly, 40, and Sean, 39, from his marriage to Alana; and Ruby, 32, from his relationship with Kelly.
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