Published May 23, 2013
Jo Wood spent thirty years married to Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood until he dumped her for a Russian model. Her wild life is recounted in the book “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll,” a completely candid look at what it’s like being the wife of a Rolling Stone. Naturally there are lots of tales of sex, drugs and hilarious tales about Keith and Mick. Jo, who divorced Ronnie in 2009, now has her own beauty brand. She spoke to FOX 411 about it all.
FOX 411: You’re on good terms with Ronnie now. How is that possible?
WOOD: Because I forgave him. I met a great guy who told me it’s all about forgiveness otherwise you carry around all that hate with you. If you forgive somebody, you let go of all that. I found that very good for me in my heart to forgive him and you know he’s the father of my children and I know we had bad times but I adored him and loved him.
FOX 411: He left you for a 20 year old. It’s such a cliche!
WOOD: 19! She wasn’t even 20! I couldn’t imagine that she would be sleeping with my husband. I couldn’t get that together. I thought that it was just this young girl hanging around. I was stupid. I didn’t want to believe it. So it was a bit of a shock that realization.
FOX 411: I love how you handled groupies.
WOOD: It was difficult to go on my very first tour being pregnant and I thought in my head it would all be, “Jo, Jo, Jo,” but then there’s all these girls. They just threw themselves. I got really upset and was spying through the door and seeing Ronnie was lapping it all up, girls all over him. I thought, “Pull yourself together, you can’t carry on like this on tour,” so I went out there and made friends with them. I’d say, “Hi, have another drink,” and lots of times I’d get them completely wasted and lots of times they’d be thrown out of the room or they’d think I was so wonderful so Ronnie was out the window.
FOX 411: You two developed a pretty serious drug problem. You basically spent two years in your bathroom.
WOOD: Yeah it was my girlfriend Wendy, who made me come out. I feel very fortunate that I had the strength within me to say, “Ok I’ve done this. I’ve wasted my life for the last year and a half. I’ve got to pull myself together for my kids.” She was the one who said, “Jo, you’ve hardly left this house in a year.” She really helped me come out of the bathroom.
FOX 411: You were doing crack. Nobody did it then. You were pioneers.
WOOD: Pioneers of crack! It was called freebasing, now it’s called crack. You made it yourself. It was all about making it up. That was half the addiction I think, making the bloody stuff up and then you sat there and smoked it like a looney. Ronnie always used to say, “I never did chemistry at school so I’m making up for things.” We used to hang around with these mad people and sit there all of us with our pipes, my turn, his turn. It was just such a complete waste of time. I had a couple of seizures on it as well.
Keith hated us using it. He used to have a go at us for doing it. “What are you doing stuck in that bathroom smoking that bloody stuff?”
FOX 411: Hello! Isn’t that pot calling kettle black?
WOOD: (Laughs)- You know what Keith’s like. I love him. He’s like my family and I love Patti too. I went on holidays with them this year. Him and Patti.
FOX 411: How did you look after your kids?
WOOD: I had a wonderful nanny. I wouldn’t have been able to cope without her. She just sort of took over. She made sure I’d had my sleep. We kept it all away from the children.
FOX 411: Mick Jagger made plenty of passes at you.
WOOD: He loves women... He’s such a flirt. He flirts with all women especially then. I don’t know what he’s like the last few years. Women throw themselves at him, always have done. I only had eyes for Ronnie. I never fancied Mick. It was always Ronnie for me.
FOX 411: You and Ronnie were arrested and jailed for drug smuggling in St. Maarten’s. (They were innocent).
WOOD: I was in jail for six days and nights surrounded by men and they were so fabulous. My brother freaked out and called Keith and said, “My sister’s in a St. Maarten’s jail!” Keith said, “She’s probably being gang raped right now.” Thanks Keith!
FOX 411: You became a grandmother pretty young.
WOOD: I was 44 and I couldn’t believe I was going to be a granny. He’s 13 now and when we hang out I say, “Please don’t call me granny in public!” My granddaughter Lola turned to me and said, “You’re my cool granny!’ I thought that was really cute.
FOX 411: How did you become an organic guru?
WOOD: I suddenly got really ill. I was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease. They put me on steroids. I have the greatest sympathy for anyone who takes steroids for a long amount of time because they take your soul away and I had to find a way out and I met this wonderful herbalist who changed my life actually. He cleaned my body out with food and herbs, weaned me off my steroids and then they found out I had a perforated appendix. I had an operation and if I hadn’t cleaned my system out I would have never known what I had. So I made a vow to myself from that day one I was going to be an organic girl and I was going to try and change the world.