Yes, Melanie’s $100,000 diamond IS an engagement ring. But no, Mick Jagger isn’t going to marry her

Her engagement ring, say jewellery experts, is a particularly ‘romantic’ choice of cut. Likely to date back to the 1920s, the gently rounded corners of the art deco diamond apparently epitomise the enduring power of love.

And the fact that it has cost the fiance in question, one Mick Jagger, an estimated $100,000 (£78,000), surely would point towards it signifying a hell of a love match.

So can it be true? Is the eternal Rolling Stone really about to settle down with his lover of nine years, 36-year-old former ballet dancer turned Mills & Boon author Melanie Hamrick?

Despite Ms Hamrick’s sparkling smile being fixed firmly in place as she showed off her expensive rock this week, the fact is that all — as ever when it comes to Mick and women — is not quite as it seems. Indeed, the message delivered to the Mail from one of Melanie’s friends from the New York ballet world is that no one should rush to buy a hat just yet.

Because rather in keeping with Mick’s long-held attitude to commitment, this is a thoroughly unconventional engagement which both sides accept from the off is not actually going to end in a wedding.

Despite Ms Hamrick¿s sparkling smile being fixed firmly in place as she showed off her expensive rock this week, the fact is that all ¿ as ever when it comes to Mick and women ¿ is not quite as it seems

Despite Ms Hamrick’s sparkling smile being fixed firmly in place as she showed off her expensive rock this week, the fact is that all — as ever when it comes to Mick and women — is not quite as it seems

Melanie herself has spoken about the ring, which she has been wearing for over a year, telling interviewers: ‘I have to giggle because did Mick give me the ring? Yes. Is it for that finger? Yes. But . . . In my mind, it’s a promise ring. We’ll be immature and call it a promise ring.’ She told another interviewer: ‘I know there have been lots of, “Are they engaged or aren’t they engaged?” I’m not bothered. I’m neither here nor there.’ But if he proposed, she also said: ‘I wouldn’t say no.’

Then, last weekend, it was reported that the pair were engaged. Deciphering all these confusingly cryptic statements, Melanie’s friend tells me: ‘Yes, it is an engagement ring, but there are no plans to get married, which is why she said what she said about it being a “promise” or a “commitment ring”.

‘Looking at it from the outside, I can see it makes no sense. I mean, how committed are you if you are not going to get married?

‘But putting a ring on it is what you do to keep someone happy, so that’s what this is. With Mick Jagger and marriage, you aren’t on normal ground. This is the guy whose last marriage wasn’t even legal.

‘It’s all about how do you do the thing that the girlfriends want, without actually ever doing the thing. It’s almost like a magic trick.’

Melanie herself has spoken about the ring, which she has been wearing for over a year, telling interviewers: ¿I have to giggle because did Mick give me the ring? Yes. Is it for that finger? Yes. But . . . In my mind, it¿s a promise ring'

Melanie herself has spoken about the ring, which she has been wearing for over a year, telling interviewers: ‘I have to giggle because did Mick give me the ring? Yes. Is it for that finger? Yes. But . . . In my mind, it’s a promise ring’

And there, in a nutshell, is the essence of Mick Jagger’s lifelong appeal to women: the illusionist who pulls at heartstrings, with a ‘will he, won’t he?’ magnetism that just keeps the ladies coming back for more. The friend adds that in her heart of hearts, Melanie Hamrick absolutely understands she will never be the second Mrs Mick Jagger.

She said: ‘They are very happy together and the ring gives her status. She likes to have that and has been celebrating being engaged with her family and friends. I think that the wise person would accept that, although Mick is about to turn 80, he will never get married again.

‘Partly, he’s against it in the way that rich men often are, because they don’t want to have to fork over money if it goes wrong. Everyone knows that Mick is very money-focused and Jerry [Hall] got a really small payout and didn’t even get the [family] house in Richmond when they split up. But it’s more than that — Mick just doesn’t want to do it. He thinks it’s bourgeois, tied to religion, and uncool — and he’s not someone who does things that he doesn’t want to do. He would find the spectacle of being the bridegroom embarrassing, as well as everything else.’

Mick’s spokesman does not return requests for comment, and Jagger rarely makes public pronouncements, let alone divulge details, about his private life. Regardless, it’s still clear that he’s no fan of marriage.

Indeed, the great ¿Mick illusion¿ is evidenced in the fact that his lover Jerry Hall thought they had got married in 1990 when, after having two of his children and spending a dozen years together, he finally consented to go through a ceremony in Bali

Indeed, the great ‘Mick illusion’ is evidenced in the fact that his lover Jerry Hall thought they had got married in 1990 when, after having two of his children and spending a dozen years together, he finally consented to go through a ceremony in Bali

He told one interviewer: ‘I’m very ambivalent in my feelings about marriage. I think it promises a lot to people — sort of like saying, once you get married you are on the highway to heaven, and quite often it isn’t that. I think marriage has always been based on a combination of religious and legal reasons.’

Another questioner was told that marriage is just one of ‘many different forms of social arrangements’, which makes the singer sound almost phobically opposed to it. It’s a fascinating state of mind when one considers that Mick’s parents, Basil and Eva, were married in 1940 and clocked up 60 years of matrimony, broken only by Eva’s death in 2000.

That shining example of traditional marital stability — and fidelity — is certainly something which the Rolling Stones singer appears never to have considered emulating himself.

Indeed, way back in 1967, four years before his wedding to Bianca, which was his only (brief, unhappy) venture into matrimony, he mused on the idea of getting hitched.

His words reveal that Jagger, the edgy icon of the Sixties counterculture, had rather old-fashioned, not to say misogynistic, ideas about women and their place in the world.

‘I can understand women wanting to get married, because they know that their man can always run off with another woman,’ he said. ‘And, as they’re dependent on him, they have to make it that bit harder for him to get out of his obligations. But I don’t really see why men want to get married.’

To give him his due, it’s a principle which he has stuck by ever since.

And despite all the women who have come and gone, he has never felt the urge to marry since divorcing Bianca in 1978, when he was 35.

Indeed, the great ‘Mick illusion’ is evidenced in the fact that his lover Jerry Hall thought they had got married in 1990 when, after having two of his children and spending a dozen years together, he finally consented to go through a ceremony in Bali.

Yet after they split in 1999, she was astonished to be told that their romantic beach ‘wedding’ had no legal status. Subsequent girlfriends, most notably the late fashion designer L’Wren Scott, failed to elicit a formal commitment from him either. L’Wren, who died by suicide in 2014, did end up with a giant rock on her ring finger, but never steered Jagger down the aisle.

Woundingly, Jagger once described her as his ‘main point of interest’. Later on in their romance, there was an official denial when it was suggested that they were engaged.

And despite all the women who have come and gone, he has never felt the urge to marry since divorcing Bianca in 1978, when he was 35

And despite all the women who have come and gone, he has never felt the urge to marry since divorcing Bianca in 1978, when he was 35

And a profile of L’Wren in GQ magazine quoted a friend as saying: ‘He’s not with-able.’

You could hardly find a greater contrast with bandmate Keith Richards, who married model Patti Hansen in 1983 and has remained devoted ever since. But then Keith and Mick are a study in contrasts. Keith is an open book — impulsive, pleasure-seeking, laid back. Mick, however, is closed, status-conscious, a networker and a planner. He has his passions — art, cricket, ballet, women — but pursues them like a lone wolf.

Even his friends complain that he’s not a man you can get close to. Jann Wenner, the publisher and one-time friend of the Rolling Stone, said Mick ‘could be unfriendly and cold, and do it with ease. It was gratuitous, possibly a test or perhaps a way of establishing another person’s status as a supplicant’. Meanwhile, Keith Richards once said: ‘It’s very hard to be Mick’s friend, despite how much you want to because he never opens up. He just doesn’t.’

For all Mick’s complexity, his romance with Melanie appears as happy and functional as any of his long-term romances. The pair met in February 2014 when he was in Tokyo with the Stones and she was touring with the American Ballet Theatre. At the time she was engaged to a classical dancer. She and Mick kept in touch, and their romance began after L’Wren Scott died the following month in her Manhattan apartment.

For all Mick¿s complexity, his romance with Melanie appears as happy and functional as any of his long-<a href=term romances. The pair met in February 2014 when he was in Tokyo with the Stones and she was touring with the American Ballet Theatre” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

For all Mick’s complexity, his romance with Melanie appears as happy and functional as any of his long-term romances. The pair met in February 2014 when he was in Tokyo with the Stones and she was touring with the American Ballet Theatre

They were first spotted together on the balcony of the Dolder Grand hotel in Zurich, 11 weeks after L’Wren’s death. Like all his women, Melanie has had to close her ears to talk that she’s not the only one.

The most serious of her rivals so far was film producer Noor Alfallah (who has just had a baby with actor Al Pacino, 83).

Noor and Mick met at his birthday party at New York’s Bowery Hotel in the summer of 2015 — only a year or so after he and Melanie got together. The fling came to light in October 2017 when Noor was pictured attending some Rolling Stones’ concerts in Paris.

The couple were pictured stepping into a car together and it was reported that they had shared three nights at Mick’s flat in Paris.

Before this Paris tryst, Noor had also been seen on Stones’ dates in Cuba in March 2016; in Zurich, Switzerland, in September 2017; and in California in October 2017.

One report suggests that in May 2016, when Mick was in Los Angeles for recording sessions, he and Noor spent nights in his penthouse suite at the five-star Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Seven months after this reported sighting, Melanie gave birth to Mick’s baby, Deveraux, his eighth child, in December 2016. She told You magazine: ‘He’s the most incredible, wonderful, loving father, and, to me, he’s the most wonderful man in the world.’

A friend says this ¿don¿t-ask-don¿t-tell¿ policy is probably the only way to have a harmonious relationship with the <a href=famously priapic Mick Jagger” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

A friend says this ‘don’t-ask-don’t-tell’ policy is probably the only way to have a harmonious relationship with the famously priapic Mick Jagger

She added: ‘I feel very secure in my relationship. There will always be rumours in the newspapers, but I know what Mick and I have so I don’t pay any attention.’

A friend says this ‘don’t-ask-don’t-tell’ policy is probably the only way to have a harmonious relationship with the famously priapic Mick Jagger.

She adds: ‘Jerry used to make demands on him. She wanted him to have a full domestic life and was always aware of the other women and would get jealous. She was devastated by his affair with Carla Bruni [which began in 1992 and lasted for seven years]. If Jerry had been able to put up with the affairs, they would still be married.’ It would be a superhumanly forgiving woman who wouldn’t mind her husband impregnating a Brazilian model, as Mick did with Luciana Morad in 1998, while still with Jerry.

The friend says: ‘Melanie may want to get married in some corner of her psyche, but if you ask her she will say that she doesn’t.

‘This is canny because Mick hates needy women and doesn’t like people who demand things of him. That has always just made him head for the door. Melanie is very good at being his companion and just bending to whatever he would like to do.’

Another baby, apparently, is more likely than a wedding ¿ although the joke runs that Mick, with eight children by five women, sees more children than Santa at Christmas

Another baby, apparently, is more likely than a wedding — although the joke runs that Mick, with eight children by five women, sees more children than Santa at Christmas

And it’s this flexibility which may turn out to be Melanie’s secret to success. Where L’Wren was formidable and exacting, Melanie is easygoing. Physically similar in looks, they are not cut from the same cloth. L’Wren insisted on black chewing gum, and had the walls of their Paris flat painted in shades of grey to perfectly reflect the light. She was known for her sophistication. Melanie, meanwhile, simply goes along with whatever Mick wants.

Some thought that when, during lockdown, Mick bought a house in Florida this signalled the beginning of the end — as it did with L’Wren after Mick bought her an apartment in New York. But the Florida house was recently sold, and Mick and Melanie have since been criss-crossing the globe, mostly together.

Another baby, apparently, is more likely than a wedding — although the joke runs that Mick, with eight children by five women, sees more children than Santa at Christmas.

As for that diamond ring? Well, it’s decorative . . . but don’t imagine it’s anything more than that.

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