In his long career as every father’s nightmare, Mick Jagger rarely allowed convention to interfere with his satisfaction. But when his own daughter Jade, 16, was expelled from her $11,000-a-year English boarding school three weeks ago for climbing out a dormitory window to meet her boyfriend—just tryin’ to make some guy, as the Stones might put it—the former street-fighting man reportedly reacted more like a Bond Street banker. “My dad will kill me!” wailed Jade, according to the London tabloid the Sun. A spokeswoman for Mick—who immediately whisked the wayward girl off to Jagger père’s Loire Valley chateau—allowed that “Mick knows what it’s like to be a teenager in love, but he’s also a concerned father.”
It was only three years ago, after all, that the 44-year-old rock star plucked Jade, his daughter by ex-wife Bianca, out of Manhattan’s snooty Spence School and sent her off to the even snootier St. Mary’s School in the quiet village of Calne, 90 miles west of London. Small and academically rigorous, St. Mary’s was apparently handpicked by Mick, whose working class background and extracurricular aspirations didn’t keep him from being an excellent student during his own school days. Fretting about his daughter’s failure to meet that paternal standard, Jagger told Interview m 1985, “There’s just too much distraction for her in Manhattan.”
For Jade, however, England now holds one big distraction—21-year-old Josh Astor, a son of raincoat tycoon Lord Kagan, later adopted by the late conservative MP Michael Astor. A well-known London party boy, Astor is said to live off his inherited wealth while dabbling in stocks and bonds. Police also believe he dabbles in other things, and Astor is scheduled to appear in court this month on drug conspiracy charges. Unamused, Jagger has reportedly ordered Jade to stay away from Astor, who was booted out of Eton at the age of 15.
According to the Sun, Astor was out drinking with Jade’s best friend, “Wild Child” Emma Ridley, 16, and her husband, Robert Pereno, 31, at Pereno’s London nightclub last month when he received a desperate phone call from Jade in Calne. “I can’t cope with this place anymore,” Jade reportedly told her friends, who immediately charged off to her rescue. But her late-night rendezvous with Astor was foiled by a flashlight-toting housemistress, who spotted Jade and a cohort attempting a 2 a.m. exit. The next day the school confirmed that both girls had been expelled “for a flagrant breach of rules.”
Jade, Ridley told the Sun, was “stunned and bewildered” by the expulsion. No more so perhaps than Mick, who has been a devoted dad not only to Jade but to Karis, 17, his daughter by singer Marsha Hunt, as well as Elizabeth, 4, and James, 2, his children with model Jerry Hall. (Several years ago he even did time behind the punch bowl while chaperoning one of Jade’s dances at Spence.) “Mick and Jade spent a quiet weekend in France discussing her future,” said Jagger’s spokeswoman a few days after the St. Mary’s escapade. “I’m sure they’ll be thinking about another school for Jade to go to in the fall.”
Back in Calne, meanwhile, Jade continues to be the topic of the hour. Pub descriptions of Jagger’s errant daughter classify her variously as a spoiled brat who terrorizes waiters and as the proverbial normal kid. Says one sympathetic villager: “If you examine any 16-year-old life, I’m sure you’d find incidents similar to this one.”
—By Susan Toepfer, with Janine Di Giovanni in London