Is axing of Bill Wyman film linked to his dating of teen?

LONDON • Did Bill Wyman's relationship with a young girl prompt the organisers of a film festival to axe a documentary about his life?

Such talk has surfaced after entertainment portal Deadline reported that the organisers of the event, slated to be held in Sheffield in Britain on June 7, had cancelled the screening of The Quiet One.

Netizens speculated that the organisers received flak, in the light of the former Rolling Stones bassist's dating of Mandy Smith, when she was just 13 and he was 47.

The organisers could also have been frightened off by the boycott of Michael Jackson's music after the documentary, Leaving Neverland, detailed allegations of sexual abuse of two men when they were young.

Wyman, a serial womaniser, and Smith married in 1989 when she was 18. They divorced in 1993.

More headlines were made when her older sister asked the authorities to prosecute Wyman over the relationship. Smith herself owned up in 2013 that she and the musician had sex when she was 14.

Wyman said he did speak to the police, asking them: "'Do you want to talk to me? Do you want to meet up with me or anything like that?', and I got a message back: 'No'. I was totally open about it."

The movie about Wyman, who is now 82, is set to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on May 2.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2019, with the headline 'Is axing of Bill Wyman film linked to his dating of teen?'. Print Edition | Subscribe