Anita Pallenberg (born 6 April 1944) ) is an Italian-born actress, model, and fashion designer, who is mostly known for being a Muse the Rolling Stones..
Young Anita became fluent in four languages, studied medicine, picture restoration and graphic design. At 21 she met Brian Jones (an original Rolling Stone) in Munich, where she was working on a modelling assignment. After a relationship of only two years Anita could no longer deal with his drug abuse. She had become Brian’s ‘full-time geisha, flatterer, punchbag – whatever he imagined, including partaker in orgies, which Anita always resolutely refused to do.‘I decided to kidnap Brian. It sounds ridiculous but they even made a film about it, about kidnapping a pop star ['Privilege'] starring Paul Jones. This was the original story, Brian seemed to be the most sexually flexible. I knew I could talk to him. As a matter of fact when I met him I was his groupie really. I got backstage with a photographer, I told him I just wanted to meet him. I had some Amyl Nitrate and a piece of hash. I asked Brian if he wanted a joint and he said yes, so he asked me back to his hotel and he cried all night. He was so upset about Mick and Keith still, saying they had teamed up on him. I felt so sorry for him. Brian was fantastic, he had everything going for him, but he was just too complicated.’ .
Anita & BrianBrian & Anita had become almost identical in style of hair and clothes .
Keith Richards later said he had to rescue Anita from Brian, because they were both on a very destructive course. It happened during a road trip to Morocco. Brian sensed something had happened between Anita and Keith and became violent to his girlfriend again. In the end she and Keith fled from Morocco and set up home in St John’s Wood, North London.
Anita and Keith together had three children: son Marlon Leon Sundeep (born 10 August 1969), daughter Angela (her middle name, which she chose to go by after initially being named and called Dandelion by her parents), born 17 April 1972), and a second son, Tara Jo Jo Gunne (26 March – 6 June 1976), who died in his cot 10 weeks after birth.
Anita & Keith
In 1979, a 17-year-old boy, Scott Cantrell, shot himself in the head with a gun owned by Keith, while in Anita’s bed, at the New York house shared by Keith and her. The boy had been employed as a part-time groundskeeper at the estate and was involved in a sexual relationship with Anita. Keith was in Paris recording with the Rolling Stones, but his son was at the house when the teen killed himself. Anita was arrested; however, the death was ruled a suicide in 1980, despite rumours that she and Scott had been playing a game of Russian roulette. The police investigation stated that she was not in the room or on the same floor of the house at the time the fatal shot was fired.‘That boy of 17 who shot himself in my house really ended it for us [Keith and her]. And although we occasionally saw each other for the sake of the children, it was the end of our personal relationship.’
Keith later declared she shared his addiction to heroin and he wanted to clean up, but had to do it without Anita. Therefore he couldn’t stay with her, she would be a huge trigger for him. In 1981, after they had split up, Keith stated that he still loved Anita and saw her as much as he ever did, although he had already met his future wife Patti Hansen.‘I was too independent for Mick [Jagger]. I wasn’t proper enough for him. He’s a chauvinist. I wouldn’t put up with that. Keith, surprisingly, is not. Though I feel sorry for Patti [Hansen]. I love her and think she is a marvellous woman, but I would not want to be in her shoes now. It’s such a lonely existence, living with a rock ‘n’ roller. No matter how much he loves you, he will always love his music more. I know when Keith is working on his music nothing else matters to him. He can be in a room with fifty people and he won’t nothing anything but his guitar. A woman, to live with a rock star, must find her ways of independence.’
Anita Pallenberg, Bohemian Style
Anita studied fashion design as a mature student at Central Saint Martins in London; she graduated in 1994. After she divided her time between New York City and Europe, and sporadically appeared in public as a party DJ. She also had a clothes collection.
Anita, now 70, has retired and shares a farmhouse in Sussex with son Marlon and acts as caretaker to Keith Richards’s Redlands estate while he is out of the country in tax exile.
Anita Pallenberg appeared in more than a dozen films over a forty-year span. Most notably, she appeared as The Great Tyrant in Roger Vadim’s cult-classic sci-fi film Barbarella, and as the sleeper wife of Michel Piccoli in the film Dillinger Is Dead, directed by Marco Ferreri. She had a small part in Volker Schlöndorff’s Michael Kohlhaas – der Rebell which was filmed in Slovakia in 1969 and the 1970 avant-garde Performance in which she played the role of Pherber (actually filmed in 1968 but not released for two years). She co-wrote the script to with Donald Cammell, but had no intention of playing in the movie. She ended up replacing the original actress at the last-minute due to a medical emergency.
Anita Pallenberg as the Great Tyrant in Barbarella : ‘Hello Pretty, Pretty…..’
Anita Pallenberg, Fashion Icon
Maddie Daisy Dixon as Anita Pallenberg, Lovecat Magazine
photography: Sybil Steele / styling: Marisa Sidoti