Not long ago, Rod Stewart told reporters that "Brighton Beach," a song on his upcoming album Time , is about Suzannah Boffey, the mother of his first child. They were teenage lovers, but when Suzannah got pregnant, the baby, Sarah , was put up for adoption. Now, Suzannah says she's angry that Rod's written the song, because his depiction of their relationship is far from reality.
Speaking to the U.K. paper The Daily Mail, Suzannah, now Suzannah Hourde , says, "Over the years, he has made both me and Sarah suffer. He’s wasted so many years of both our lives, so to write something like this now is nothing but hypocrisy as far as I am concerned." She adds, " From what I can glean from the lyrics I’ve read, most of what he’s written is no reflection at all of what really happened between us."
For example, in the song, Rod suggests their passionate, star-crossed relationship ended because Hourde's father disapproved. But as she tells the paper, "
My father was dying when I found out I was pregnant, so my mother kept it from him. He never knew, and he died before Sarah was born." What really happened, says Hourde, is that when Rod found out she was expecting, he was "horrified," and stopped talking to her.
Left to fend for herself, Hourde was ejected from her apartment and ended up in a home for teenage mothers, which she describes as "horrible." When she gave birth to Sarah, she claims, Rod showed up and told her that they could continue their relationship, but only if she gave the baby up for adoption.
"I was so hurt. And obviously what he was promising wasn’t true either, because even though I did eventually give Sarah up, he ignored me forever afterwards," she tells
Hourde gave Sarah up for adoption when she was one; for the next four years, she lived with different foster families, until she was finally adopted by one of them. Hourde, meanwhile, moved to France, married and got on with her life. When Sarah was 19, the two finally met up but, Hourde claims, by that time, she knew Rod was her dad and it was all she wanted to talk about.
Hourde says she didn't mind that; she was just upset that Rod kept on letting Sarah down by promising to spend time with her and then reneging on the deal. Finally, she and Rod met face to face, so she could tell him to be a better father to Sarah. She claims he tried to make an effort, but he and Sarah became estranged again; meanwhile, her own relationship with Sarah was strained as well, and they simply stopped seeing one another.
Rod recently told reporters that he and Sarah are "very much in touch...now" and have "just begun to call each other father and daughter, which was hard because I didn’t change her [diapers] or take her to school." Hourde snorts, "That was his choice ...It’s like he’s the victim of a cruel twist of fate rather than the architect of it. "
Summing up the situation, Hourde says, " The reality is that he’s got a daughter whose life he messed up for a very long time, and he messed up my life, too. I don’t blame him for the way he behaved in the sixties...But I blame him for what he has done since, for what has happened to both me and Sarah."
Counting Sarah, Rod has eight children by five different women, and one grandchild.
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