I wish I had a quid for the number of times I have been asked, in interviews over recent weeks, 'So how did Bill Wyman get away with it?' There is doubt in the minds of many that he committed any kind of crime. For the record, he was not prosecuted, never stood trial, and was not punished because no formal complaint to the police or the Crown Prosecution Service was ever made. Without any formal complaint, no charge can be brought, nor justice sought. Although Mandy revealed all in 'It's All Over Now', her memoir co-written with Andy Coulson, and was subsequently encouraged to press charges which would probably have placed Bill behind bars, she refused to do so. Her reflections in a variety of newspaper interviews down the years expose her as a classic abuse victim - so damaged that she regards herself as having been to blame. She could never have been at fault, however: she was a child. Nor could she ever have consented to their sexual relationship. She was under the age of consent.
I have been torn into by critics for having written about my involvement in this scandal in my memoir TUMBLING DICE. But I had every right to do so. I too was used. There were others. Friends of mine to this day. When we first discovered how young Mandy was, we were afraid that we had done something wrong, and that we would get into trouble. We ran away from what was happening, rather than speak up about it. The guilt has haunted us for decades. We should have done something to help her. We did nothing.
The Sheffield docfest were absolutely right to drop Bill's new documentary 'The Quiet One'. Shame on New York's Tribeca Film Festival for having run with it. There is no other way of saying it: they have endorsed child abuse.
TUMBLING DICE, the debut memoir by Lesley-Ann Jones, is out now.
From Amazon and www.lesleyannjones.com