"He Had to Step Down From a Pedestal and Say ’Yes, I’m Her Dad’,’’ How Mick Jagger Fixed a Complex Relationship With His Eldest Daughter
This British rocker is known for a number of things, but being a family man is certainly not one of them. His numerous romantic relationships and two marriages resulted in him being the father of eight children, ranging from 5 to 51-years-old. Although it seems like he’s enjoying being a father and grandfather now, that was not always the case. Jagger has long been estranged from his oldest daughter, but an unexpected turn of events brought them close together, straightening their bond like never before.
Bright Side brings you the story about the rocky relationship between Jagger and his daughter Karis that proves how powerful a father-daughter bond can be.
78-year old Jagger is the father of 8 kids.
When the now 78-year-old rocker was in his 20s, he dated American model, singer, and actress Marsha Hunt. The pair met during a photo shoot in 1970, and soon after, their passionate but short affair began. Hunt admitted that Jagger’s “shyness and awkwardness” swept her off her feet. Their romance was kept mostly private due to differences in their social lives.
Hunt admitted that even though they planned on having a baby, they didn’t intend to stay together. Jagger thought about proposing to her, but didn’t think he loved her enough to spend the rest of his life with her. Hunt felt the same about Jagger.
Their romance was short but passionate.
The romance ended in June 1970 while Marsha was pregnant. Their daughter Karis was born on November 4 in London. She was the first of Jagger’s 8 children and the only child of her mother, Marsha.
The couple soon parted ways, with Jagger becoming increasingly distant from his former partner. He even refused to legally acknowledge that he was Karis’ father, forcing Marsha to battle in court for child support.
He was not in love with her but said she was very talented.
He didn’t wait long to move on with dating other women. His then-girlfriend Catherine James remembers: “When I moved into Mick’s house, I knew about Marsha, but his relationship with her was already over. It didn’t seem a big deal to him. He just mentioned that she was a girl he had met who had got pregnant. He said he wasn’t in love with her, but she was very talented.”
Marsha was alone during the delivery of their daughter, and Jagger only visited her and the baby once a couple of days later. For the next several years, Marsha struggled to make her ex-partner pay child support and medical bills. Finally, in 1977 she moved to the United States and after almost 2 years, she was able to hire top lawyers to help her.
However, Jagger’s lawyers made Marsha sign papers stating he was not the father, to which she unwillingly agreed. “I don’t know why Mick did that because he told me at the time that Karis was his child,” Jagger’s then-girlfriend, Catherine James said. Finally, in 1979, a court in Los Angeles ruled Jagger was indeed the father of the child, and he was forced to pay monthly child support.
But despite his rejection, Marsha wanted Karis to know who her father is. When The Rolling Stones’ songs came on the radio, she would tell her, “that’s your daddy.” When asked if she feels bad for raising a child in such an unfavorable situation, Marsha says: “No. What happened was not my fault. Besides, whatever happened with Mick, she went on to have such a fabulous life.”
Jagger claimed their daughter Karis was not his child.
Then out of the blue, when Karis was 12, Mick decided it was time to get to know her better. But it was not an easy step for him either: “He had to step down from a pedestal and say ’Yes, I’m her dad, come home with me,’ when he had publicly said something else,” Marsha recalls.
This seemingly sudden change of heart was actually developed as a long-term influence of Jerry Hall, Jagger’s wife at that time. Hall regularly invited Karis to family gatherings and made sure that all Mick’s children would spend a part of the summer holidays together.
Jerry Hall wanted to keep the whole family together.
Hall and Jagger, together with Marsha, attended the graduation ceremony at Yale University in 1992 when Karis earned her bachelor’s degree in contemporary history. The father and daughter started spending more time together, which made their bond grow stronger.
They were there for each other for all their milestones. Mick walked Karis down the aisle on her wedding day, and he invited her to Buckingham Palace for his knighthood acceptance ceremony in 2003. Karis was by her father’s side in 2003 at the funeral of Mick’s father, Joe, in 2006.
Karis started spending more time with her dad.
It seemed that Mick had finally started acting more mature, and both Marsha and he decided to let go of the grudges from the past. Karis was also accepted by her siblings and became an equal member of the large Jagger family.
All members of the Jagger family accepted Karis as their sister.
In 2014, Karis was by her father’s side during his darkest moments when he was grieving the tragic loss of his long-term girlfriend, L’Wren Scott. Mick flew straight to Karis’ Los Angeles home after he heard the sad news. Karis organized the funeral and was there for him throughout it.
Unlike some of Jagger’s other kids, Karis had always maintained a good relationship with L’Wren, even though they were not very close. The fact that Mick chose to try to heal while spending time with the daughter he once disowned speaks volumes about their relationship. ’’Mick feels safe with her. She’s never judged him, even though, God knows, he’s given her reason to,’’ a source close to Jagger once revealed.
Unlike most of Jagger’s kids, Karis keeps her life away from the spotlight.
According to those who know her, Karis is a gentle, down-to-earth person and very different from Jagger’s other kids: “Choosing to be with Karis at this time is a simple choice for Mick. He’s picked the adult child of his who is the furthest away from showbiz nonsense and who doesn’t come with any entourage or baggage.” But thanks to her calm personality, she gets along well with all of her siblings and is reportedly closest to Jade Jagger, Mick’s second oldest child.
Karis’ mom wonders if things would be different if Mick had been part of her life.
Her mother Marsha credits Karis’ sensibility for her steady lifestyle: “I have no idea how different things would have been if Mick had been part of her life, but I know that the influence of celebrity, and all that goes with it, is difficult for children,” she added. No matter the past, it appears that Karis’ relationship with her father is only growing stronger as time goes by.
How important do you think a father figure in a child’s life is? Let’s talk about it in the comments.