Not only is he a celebrated rock star with a career that spans more than 50 years, Rod Stewart has actually lived the typical rocker lifestyle.
Having eight children – aged from nine to 57 – with five different women, it’s safe to say Rod’s love life has been as colourful as his music career.
Rod, now 75, met Rachel back in 1990 when he was 45 and she was 21.
It was instant chemistry for the pair, with the rocker already being a household name while Rachel was gracing the cover of every big magazine in the world.
He once said: “In the eight years we were together, I was entirely faithful … Rachel was everything I wanted; I became a devoted husband overnight.”
The pair went on to welcome two kids, a son named Liam and a daughter named Renee.
They were the definition of a power couple and needless to say, 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 – leaving him confused as to how anyone could ever leave a rock star.
He told Mail On Sunday’s Weekend magazine: “I couldn’t believe it.
“I was a rock star. You don’t dump a rock star! It knocked me for six. It was a huge shock.”
Rachel is 26 years younger than Rod and the hitmaker admitted the age difference impacted their relationship.
“She was just 21 when we married and a mum a year later. My sister Mary told me she was too young for me as we were walking down the aisle. And she was right.”
Rod was sure Rachel was the woman he wanted to marry after they met at an LA nightclub.
Writing in his autobiography, Rod: The Autobiography of Rod Stewart, Rod previously revealed he had been in the midst of plans to propose to model Kelly Emberg (the mother of his daughter Ruby) at the time.
In fact, plans were more or less set in stone, as he had already hired a plane to trail a banner that popped the question.
And just one night before he was planning on asking for Kelly’s hand in marriage, Rod met Rachel.
“There was a connection straight away,” he wrote.
“She was extremely beautiful, but there was something no-nonsense about her as well. It was there in her New Zealand accent, but also in her face, which was open and smart.”
What seemed to draw Rod in even more was the fact that Rachel had made a living for herself, and wasn’t looking for a man to financially support her.
He wrote: “Not only was she as far removed as could be from the stereotype of the flaky model, but she already had money and fame.
“That was a relief. In my position, that suspicion was always there: does this woman really like me, or just the stuff that surrounds me?”
But although from the outside looking in the pair had a marriage others could only dream of, Rachel later admitted she found the lifestyle “oppressive” and began to feel like she had lost her sense of self.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror back in 2001, she said: “To the outside world, I was mother of two beautiful kids, a wife to Rod and a successful model without any financial worries, but, inside, I was in torment.”
She added: “By the time I was 29, I had spent eight years with someone else’s group of friends.
“In the nine years we were together, I’d never done anything for myself. If you’d asked me then what I liked or didn’t like, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. I didn’t even have a hobby.”
She added: “Like lots of women who marry young and find themselves mothers by the time they’re 25, I felt I no longer had an identity. I was just nothing.”
Rod was devastated and was plunged into a deep heartbreak that would debilitate him for four long months.
He said: “I lost 12lb in weight. I felt cold all the time. I took to lying on the sofa in the day, with a blanket over me and holding a hot water bottle against my chest. I knew then why they call it heartbroken: you can feel it in your heart. I was distracted, almost to the point of madness.”
In a desperate bid to cope, he turned to therapy and took up yoga before the dark cloud gradually lifted and he met his current wife, Penny Lancaster, a year later.
These days, Rod and Penny, 49, remain on good terms with Rachel, 51, and Rod’s first wife Alana Stewart.
Rod is also a proud dad to daughter, Sarah, 56, 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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