This Hard-Partying Rock 'N' Roll Goddess Was The Rolling Stones' Muse

There are few rock icons who have muses as complex and recognizable as Marianne Faithfull. Of all the Rolling Stones' groupies and girlfriends, Marianne stands out as the most influential. Her innocent yet haunting good looks and feathery-soft voice made her a star in her own right with a long-lasting musical career. But life was never easy for the British beauty.

She fought addiction for most of the first half of her life and struggled with the public's perception of her as Mick Jagger's hard-partying girlfriend. She escaped death multiple times and managed to turn her life around in the 1980s. 

So who is Marianne Faithfull? Though she may be clean and sober now, she has always been synonymous with the wild '60s and the Rolling Stones, and her exploits with Jagger and his bandmates are the stuff of legend.

  • During A Police Raid At Keith Richards's House, Marianne Was Caught Wearing Nothing But A Fur Rug
    Photo: Arnold Vente / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

    During A Police Raid At Keith Richards's House, Marianne Was Caught Wearing Nothing But A Fur Rug

    The legendary Redlands drug bust changed Marianne's image in the media forever. During the police raid at Keith Richards's house, she was caught wearing nothing but a fur rug and holding a Mars candy bar. She claims that it was an incredibly embarrassing time for her and that she still has a hard time forgiving the media for the way they portrayed her. She also said in an interview with Timeout that after the incident, Mars gave her a call and offered her a bunch of money for an advertising deal; she hung up on them.

    Interviewed years later, one of the officers present at the raid claims that the part about Marianne wearing a fur rug was true, but the part about the candy bar was just a myth.

  • She Got Married At 18 And Had A Child A Year Later - The Marriage Didn't Last Long
    Video: YouTube

    She Got Married At 18 And Had A Child A Year Later - The Marriage Didn't Last Long

    In 1965, Marianne married an art dealer named John Dunbar at the tender age of 18. They had a child, a son named Nicholas, later that year. However, the marriage wasn't meant to last.

    She began an affair with Mick Jagger shortly after the birth, leaving Dunbar and getting officially divorced in 1970. 

  • Marianne And Mick Became A Huge Part Of The London Party Scene
    Photo: Olavi Kaskisuo, Lehtikuva / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Marianne And Mick Became A Huge Part Of The London Party Scene

    Before dating Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull supposedly slept with Rolling Stones bandmates Brian Jones and Keith Richards, and she was already married to another man when she first fell for Jagger. Faithfull's wild relationship with Jagger lasted four years, and in that time, they became icons of the London party scene. Marianne was young and beautiful, and Mick was the hot rock god of the moment - they were unstoppable.

    The young couple was known around the world for their drug-fueled exploits. The fast-paced lifestyle soon took a toll on Marianne, who began to use progressively harder substances - she went from cannabis to coke to smack. 

  • She Attempted Suicide In An Australian Hotel Room

    Shortly after learning that Mick was cheating on her and that her pregnancy with Mick's child had ended in a miscarriage, Marianne and Mick flew to Sydney in 1969. Mick had landed a part in a biopic about legendary Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly. While in their hotel bathroom, Marianne looked in the mirror and thought she saw Brian Jones's face instead of her own; he had been found dead in his swimming pool only days before and Marianne was high.

    Losing her grip on reality, Marianne attempted to open the window of their 14th-story room to jump, but it was sealed shut. Instead, she took 150 barbiturate pills. Luckily, Mick found her, and after being rushed to the hospital, she spent the next six days in a coma.

  • While Hooked On Coke, Marianne Had A Miscarriage
    Photo: Ben Merk, Anefo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    While Hooked On Coke, Marianne Had A Miscarriage

    During the height of her relationship with Jagger, Marianne found out she was pregnant. That didn't stop either of them from sleeping around - he with Keith Richards's girlfriend and she with Richards as payback. Eventually, they settled into the idea that they were going to be parents and began to make plans for the future. They decided they would name the baby girl Corrina.

    Sadly, Marianne was still using regularly at that time and, perhaps because of this, she suffered a miscarriage at seven months in 1968. The tragedy was one of the events leading up to the dramatic split between her and Jagger that would come within the next two years.

  • After A Steady Downward Spiral, She Lost Custody Of Her Son And Ended Up Homeless

    After her relationship with Jagger fell apart in 1970, her resulting downward spiral was, in the words of a Daily Mail journalist, "swift and brutal." The raid at Redlands, her miscarriage, her suicide attempts, divorce, and the breakup with Jagger have all been cited as contributing factors to her heroin-fueled fall to rock bottom. 

    She lost custody of her son Nicholas after her divorce and soon ended up living on the streets in Soho. In a 2016 interview, she saw the positive side of her experience of being homeless in the 1960s and 1970s: 

    Suddenly, when I was living on the streets in St Anne’s Court [Soho], I realised that human beings were really good. The Chinese restaurant let me wash my clothes there. The man who had the tea stall gave me cups of tea. The meth drinkers looked out for me.