Mandy Smith calls for age of consent to rise

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MANDY Smith, the former wife of Bill Wyman, has called for the age of consent to be raised from 16 to 18 after admitting that she slept with the Rolling Stone when she was only 14.

The rock star's ex-wife and former wild child has confirmed that she had an illegal relationship with Wyman – an experience that has led to her to rethink her views on teenage sex.

"It's not about being physically mature," Smith said. "It's emotional maturity that matters. I don't think most 16-year-olds are ready.

"I think the age of consent should be raised to 18 at a minimum and some girls aren't even ready then. 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."

She added: "You can never get that part of your life, your childhood, back. I never could."

Smith's relationship with Wyman, who is 34 years older than her, was the subject of much media speculation in the 1980s when the couple were a fixture on the London club scene. They wed when Smith was 18, but the marriage did not last long.

Yesterday, Smith admitted that their relationship had been physical before she had reached the age of consent.

"If it happened today he (Wyman] would be absolutely vilified by the press," she said. "He'd be in jail. For me, for a long time, it was a grey area. I was underage, but I was complicit.

"Now I see it in black and white. I work with teenagers. I see how vulnerable they are under all that bravado."

Smith, 40, who says she has now "found God" and is celibate, works with teenagers. Her life now is a far cry from the showbiz scene that she inhabited in her wilder days.

As well as marrying Wyman, she had an ill-fated liaison with the footballer Pat Van Den Hauwe. Another relationship, with male model Ian Mosby, resulted in her having her son Max, who is now nine.

Looking back on her relationship with the Rolling Stone, she recalled that it only became public knowledge after she was 16. But she was questioned by the police and, to this day, her family has refused to press charges.

"Of course, people say: 'Where the hell was the mother? How could she not have known?' But my mum is quite naive."