Jerry Hall, wearing a Vivienne Westwood dress, arrives at St Bride’s Church in Fleet Street where her marriage to Rupert Murdoch (84) was blessed early last month. The world’s most influential media mogul embarked on his fourth marriage to the delectable Jerry Hall (59), surrounded by 10 of her children, in a ceremony where rock royalty and politicians mingled to the delight of those privileged to see them tie the knot in a star-studded service that followed a low-key civic ritual. Jerry was beaming with joy, and perhaps laughing all the way to the bank for having landed a billionaire of a husband to eclipse her previous consort, both in wealth and generosity.
In my book, Women (1987), I interviewed Jerry Hall on various topics and this is what she told me:
My early influences
In my family I have a twin sister and three other sisters – five girls and my mother – and I had eight aunts and my grandmother lived with us a lot. My father travelled. He drove explosive chemicals across the country, and he’d be gone most of the week, so our house was definitely a totally female house and my mother and grandmother were always teaching us how to cook and sew and this and that. My grandmother said I had to learn all these things to get a man. My mother had different ideas. She always said, you can be anything you want in the world, you just have to think positive; any goal you want you can have if you believe in yourself. So she was always telling us, especially around twelve years of age, now is the time you have to start thinking what you want to be, and you can be anything, so don’t stop yourself just because you’re a woman. You can do anything now, because it’s a great age. She read a lot of Norman Vincent Peel – she totally believed in that. So, in our house, all the girls were walking with books on their heads. We had to learn all the social graces and manners, plus the cooking and the sewing.
Advantages and disadvantages
I always feel that men are very patronizing. But I feel that I have an advantage in a way. I can smile sweetly and things. I know that they’re being patronizing, but I don’t mind, because I usually get my way. I always say to myself, beneath this peroxide lies a smart brunette.
I’ve never been to a shrink. I think it’s disgusting, I hate psychiatrists, with a passion. I think it’s ego-masturbation, I really do. All these people talking about their childhood, their this and that and all the problems; their mother did this, their father did that, as if it was some important key to unlock why you’re messed up. It’s too much self-involvement. I think people should wipe the slate clean – every day is a new day, think positive, what do you want to do today? – and go and do it. There’s no reason to think something is holding you back. That’s all in your mind. If you go to any of these doctors they encourage you more and more to think about yourself and then you pay a fortune to spend all your afternoon with some boring old guy in his office. It’s the worst, it’s the most boring. I know so many girls, their day in New York is the hairdresser’s, shopping at Bloomingdales and the psychiatrist in the afternoon. That is such a sick life. I think I’d rather not be alive than have to live like that. It’s horrible. I get really upset about it. Every time I hear of anybody who’s going to one, I stop them.
When I was sixteen I thought, when you’re twenty-one you’re old. Then I was afraid, but not any more. Now I’m very in love with Mick, we’re very happy, we have two beautiful babies, I feel so fulfilled. I’ve been modelling now for sixteen years, and I think, oh God, I’ve had all that time that I didn’t think I was going to have, so I felt that was an extra bonus, and I’m still working, and I just don’t worry any more. I think a lot of women have a real sickness. They go around doing all those weird things to themselves: they change their eyes, they change their nose, they get silicone breasts, they scrape their thighs, and they have all those horrific operations and I think it’s like Frankenstein, it’s horrible. I do. I can understand if you have something really wrong with you and you want to fix it. I know so many models, beautiful girls, who have been modelling for years; all of a sudden they start doing these things to themselves and then they are very depressed afterwards because when they did it they thought it was going to make them so much better that every problem would disappear. It’s just like psychiatry. You can’t count on anything but yourself. If you think, this is going to solve all my problems, when it doesn’t then you’re ten times more depressed. It’s like taking cocaine. You get up then you crash further. All those things are just escapism, and they make you worse off than you were before. People should be more relaxed and comfortable with themselves. Everyone would like them better, and life would be easier. I want to live to be as old as I can. I’d like to be old and eccentric, and have lots of young friends call up.
Before I had the children I used to think women’s lib such a bunch of bull: all these women going on about all this stuff, yet there are still all these girls who live with a guy for two years and get millions of dollars alimony and then there’s secretaries who want to be executives and if they don’t get their way in the office they burst into tears. I thought, women wanted to be liberated, but they’re still using their old tricks; the whole women’s lib campaign is too anti-men, so many things you read are so anti-men, and so aggressive; I don’t think women should be like that. But when I got pregnant, then I started seeing the unfairness of being a woman, because your body gets deformed, it gets huge, and the man stays perfectly normal, and that’s so unfair that one sex gets deformed for the benefit of both sexes. That made me think more about women, that maybe they’ve got a point. Then you have to look after the children, they’re your responsibility, you have to be the perfect mother, you have to be the perfect wife, you have to run the house. And to be important in our society, you have to have a career – you have to be this sort of superwoman, and it’s very difficult.
I don’t think you have any control over what your children do about sex. I think they do what they want to do. I mean, my mother always told me, your virginity is very special, and you must save it for Mr Right, the man you love and will marry, but none of us did. And very few girls do now.
I think men can have sex with anyone, with all sorts of girls, anyone. For them it’s like changing the TV, like a toy, something to pass the afternoon. For them, it’s very light-hearted. I’m not saying love – I’m saying sex. But women have to be in love to enjoy sex with a man. They have to be in love, otherwise it’s a bit revolting, I think. Sure there’s a lot of girls who fuck people all the time, but I don’t think they enjoy it as much as they could if they were in love. That’s the big difference. It makes women feel sick and dirty. Women feel dirty, men don’t.
I can’t understand what’s wrong with all these women who don’t have orgasms. Maybe they’re thinking about it too much. To me, sex has always been very easy, very normal and uncomplicated. I suppose some people are unlucky and have all sorts of problems, so that’s why they get obsessed. But there are so many women who don’t have orgasms. Maybe it’s because they’re not in love, maybe it’s too much promiscuity. And it’s been encouraged, all along, in all the magazines: how to get a man, this and that, first night, forms of contraception, comparing men sexually. All that is very unhealthy and very bad. I think sex is private and I don’t think you have to get so complicated. But I’ve always been very lucky and never had problems with orgasms.
I certainly can’t say that being pregnant for nine months is fun. And having a baby is very painful. But when the baby comes out, the thrill of it is so fantastic, the adrenalin rushes through your body, it’s like you took some amazing drug. It really is the most exciting moment I ever had in my life, and of course, the wonderful thing is that women immediately forget how much it hurt, and I’m sure God made us this way so we continue to have babies for the survival of the species. I had another one right away, one in 1984, one in 1985, and I forgot from the first to the second. And it’s amazing how the body goes back. It’s amazing, it’s such a miracle.
I had two abortions before I had my children. I had to have them because I had the coil inside, and they were wrapped around the coil. If I’d had the babies they might have been deformed. The doctor said it was a miracle to get pregnant twice with the coil, but I did it. It was very, very sad, very sickening. I had the most horrible feeling, as if the spirit of this baby was screaming, no, no, no! I could hear it in my mind, screaming, don’t! And then I felt so sick afterwards and I kept saying to this spirit, you’ll come back another time, I promise I’ll have you another time. It might be all fantasy and imagination, but I felt really terrible about it, terrible. But sometimes it’s inevitable; you have to sometimes. I think most women have an abortion because they have to, not because they want to. It’s important that you have the option, but I wouldn’t do it again. I would never do it again.
Every time Mick buys me a present for no reason, I think, I’m sure he must have done something. I never say anything, but in the back of my mind, I think, umph, oh well, I didn’t have any heartache, I didn’t hear anything, I don’t know anything, I’m not going to make a big fuss about it. But I always suspect that the reason I’m getting this present is because he’s done something.
I actually think that women are the stronger of the species. That’s why they’re chosen to have children, too. Because if men had to have children, they’d probably die. We’re not as strong physically, but women can suffer pain more. When men are sick, they’re really sick. The end of the world. When a woman is sick, she can get up and do things a man wouldn’t. Women have much greater intuitive powers. All of my family are very intuitive, we always know when something is wrong with one of the others. We have very strong feelings from great distances. My twin sister and I have such a strong intuitive feeling together because we’re twins. We slept in the same bed until we were sixteen, we spent every single day together. We always knew we had a special thing. We would know exactly what the other was thinking. If a friend said let’s do this, anything like that, we always knew what the other was going to say. And when we left home, when I went to Paris and she stayed in Texas, when something was wrong with her, I would feel it, and when something was wrong with me, she would feel it. Once I was at a fashion show and fainted, and I’d never fainted before, I don’t faint. I woke up with a terrible pain in my side, so I thought I was having an appendicitis, and they took me to the hospital and I had a very high temperature. They gave me tests for three days, my temperature went away after a day. They couldn’t find anything wrong with me, though they thought it was very strange, and so they sent me home. Then I called my mother, because I didn’t want to call her until I knew what was wrong, and she said, oh, I’m so glad you called, because the other day Terry had an appendicitis attack. She fell down, they had to take her to the hospital and take her appendix out.