Bill Wyman's former child bride Mandy Smith swaps clubbing for communion

14 April 2010

True faith: Mandy Smith is now helping youngsters prepare for their Holy Communion
True faith: Mandy Smith is now helping youngsters prepare for their Holy Communion
In her teenage years she found notoriety as the schoolgirl girlfriend of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman.
Mandy Smith was just 13 when they began dating, 18 when they married and barely in her twenties when they divorced.
But the former wild child has found God - and says He is calling her to use her experiences to help young girls who covet a similar lifestyle.
Now a 39-year-old single mother and devout Roman Catholic who is working with the Church, she said in an interview: 'I think the younger generation are missing out on a good set of values.

'Sometimes I drive through the city on a Saturday night and see young girls wearing hardly any clothes on their way to a nightclub, while others are being sick on the pavement from binge drinking.
'I would never judge another person but I can identify with them.
'Many of these girls have no proper older role models. They take their values from some rubbish TV show or wannabe celebrities.'
Miss Smith has been teaching youngsters preparing for their first Holy Communion, working for several charities and mentoring teenagers preparing for their GCSEs.
She said she didn't want young women to make the same mistakes she did.
Young people need to learn better values and realise they don't need to fall out of pubs and clubs drunk, or for girls to throw themselves at boys, she added.
'I used to feel terribly guilty about the life I had left and felt there was no hope for me,' Miss Smith said. 
'One day I received a letter from one of my old teachers, an amazing nun, who told me Jesus does not look at the mistakes I have made or the times I ignored him.
'They have passed. Returning to my Catholic faith has been so wonderful. I love being involved in my parish.'
Bill Wyman to model Mandy Smith.
Cause celebre: The former wildchild caused a sensation when she married the then 52-year-old Rolling Stone rocker Bill Wyman, she was just 18
She does not know if the 15 and 16-year- olds she has been mentoring as they prepare for exams are aware of her past.
But she said she would be happy to draw on it to offer them advice if they need it.
Model Mandy Smith
Devotee: Mandy, pictured here in December 1996, has found happiness with her revived interest in Catholicism

She told the Mail: 'I would never bully them into education, but I think it's important to give young people-some focus.
'I've experienced most things in my life, from every angle, and it doesn't make you any happier, nothing material makes you a better person.
'If I can help young kids now in some way, shape or form as they move forward then that's great.'
Miss Smith was seduced by bass player Wyman in 1984 and their relationship was initially kept a closely guarded secret.
He was 52 when they married in 1989, but within weeks they had separated and they divorced after just two years.
Later she had a two-year marriage to footballer Pat van den Hauwe, who was ten years older than her, before beginning a relationship with model Ian Mosby, with whom she had a son, Max, nine.
Miss Smith said she was well aware that her life is a world removed from the path she followed as a teenager.
She believes she saw Wyman as a 'father figure' and 'mentor' at a time when she was lonely.
Mandy Smith, pictured here in July 1994, said she was touched when she received a card from Cliff Richard during one stay in hospital and his message helped rekindle her interest in her faith
Faith: Mandy, pictured here in July 1994, said a message from Cliff Richard helped rekindle her interest in her faith
'I think a lot of young girls get into relationships and friendships because they are seeking a father figure,' she said.
She added: 'I'm nearly 40 now and I really enjoy what I'm doing. It's what I want to do, that's what life is about, doing what you enjoy. I feel like I've got a purpose.
'I'm not in a relationship, if one comes along fantastic, but I'm content.'
'In the darkest moments, I would cling to God, just saying his name over and over'
Miss Smith, who shares a flat in Manchester with her sister, with whom she runs a PR company, takes her son to church every Sunday.
She also attends mass twice a week and prays every day.
She volunteers for HomeStart, a family support organisation, and sees her role as offering reassurance and a 'friendly ear'.
The ex-model is also an ambassador for myplace, a government programme designed to create great places for young people to go.

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