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MY STATUS WOE; I hate being poor when Francis blew thousands up his nose.

Sitting in her windswept caravan, poverty-stricken Jean Rossi said yesterday: "Sometimes I can't see an end to all the misery and pain."

Once, the ex-wife of Status Quo star Francis Rossi had wealth beyond her dreams. Now she ekes out a lonely existence on a pounds 60-a-week invalidity benefit, takes Prozac to cure her depression and looks back on a marriage which took her "to hell and back" as Rossi became hooked on cocaine.

Jean, 49 - mother of three of Rossi's eight children - said: "I don't hate Francis, but I hate having to live in poverty, especially when I think of the thousands of pounds he's wasted putting cocaine up his nose.

"I'm sick of seeing Francis make himself out to be some sort of saint.

"I've been a doormat for too long and it's about time I spoke out. After all, I'm the mother of his children and entitled to something.

"Francis has found happiness. But he can't pretend I never existed."

Jean has lived in her cramped caravan at Byfleet, Surrey, for the last two years.

Most of the other caravans on the site are deserted. And so few friends visit her that her niece has given her two Yorkshire terriers to keep her company.

Jean wed Rossi - now 47 - 30 years ago. She told how over the next 15 years together the star:

TURNED "wild-eyed and manic" as he blew a fortune on cocaine.

LEFT her alone in hospital as she haemorrhaged while pregnant.

MADE another woman pregnant before their marriage was over.

FAILED to call a doctor when Jean took an overdose of painkillers in a tragic cry for help.

Surrounded by her meagre belongings, Jean recalled how she met Rossi at Butlins, in Minehead. She was 18, he was 15.

In 18 months, Jean was pregnant with their first child Simon, now 29. Twelve years ago he confessed he was gay.

After family resistance, the couple wed in a register office with the birth just one month away. Jean said: "Those first years were our happiest. Francis always seemed to shy away from the wild parties. I thought he'd never be tempted. How wrong I was."

By the time the couple's second son, Nicholas, was born in 1972, Status Quo were a household name.

Problems began when they moved to a luxury home in Purley - where Rossi still lives with his second wife, Eileen, 40, and their four children.

Jean said: "By then, I was a separate part of Francis's life.

"I was never invited to parties and recordings, and when Francis was at home he'd lock himself in his studio. We even stopped having sex.

"When Francis came out of his studio, he'd be wild-eyed and manic. I knew it was cocaine. He was even snorting it when the kids were next door."

As the marriage crumbled, Rossi admitted he'd made a secret lover pregnant.

But the last straw came when Jean became pregnant with her third child, Keiron despite rarely sleeping with her husband.

She said: "I was seven months gone and started haemorrhaging.

"Francis was in the drive cleaning his new Porsche. He didn't seem to show any concern.

"When I got to hospital, I had to have an emergency Caesarean.

"Apparently, Francis only stayed to find out whether he'd got a son or daughter, then went home. " Soon afterwards, the couple decided to split. After Rossi left, anguished Jean swallowed a handful of painkillers. "I couldn't bear the hurt any more," she said.

Simon called his father. But Jean said: "Francis didn't even call a doctor. He stuck his fingers down my throat and drove home."

Rossi went on to have a baby daughter, Berna- dette - now 12 - with lover Liz Gernon.

Jean, meanwhile, went through a divorce and was was granted custody of her three boys.

Rossi, she claimed, had a string of affairs before settling down with second wife Eileen.

But her heartbreak wasn't over yet.

First, Simon moved out. Then Nicholas moved in with Rossi followed by Keiron. Jean was alone. Finally, last year a tearful Nicholas phoned her from Rossi's luxury home.

Jean said: "He was in a dreadful state. He said a friend had laced his drink with drugs.

"He was acting paranoid and put on anti-psychotic drugs. But he wasn't right for months."

As a last blow, Jean said her sons told her their father had not provided for them in his will.

As a result, she sold the house Rossi bought her following the divorce and moved into her caravan.

She said: "It was the only way I could ensure the boys would have something if I die.

"Now, the worst part is the loneliness. I find it so hard to cope."


FRANCIS Rossi has blown hundreds of thousands of pounds on booze, drugs and high living - but still has a fortune of more than pounds 10 million.

The guitarist has led heavy rock band Status Quo for 30 years with his partner Rick Parfitt.

The group have had more than 40 Top 20 hits, including Rockin' All Over The World, Paper Plane, Something 'Bout You Baby I Like and Caroline - and sold more than 120 million records.

Rossi lives in a sprawling 11-bedroom mansion in Purley, Surrey, with indoor swimming pool, three acres of lawn and garages for five cars.

The newly healthy star7 swims 40 lengths every day in his pool.

He married second wife Eileen, 40, seven years ago.

They live with Jean's sons Simon, 29, Nicholas, 24, and Keiron, 17, and their own youngsters Patrick, eight, Fin, six, Kiera, two, and two-month- old Fursey.

The star was embroiled in a cash row in 1992 with former lover Liz Gernon, who had his daughter Bernadette, now 12.

Liz endured almost two years of anguish during her legal fight - running up vast legal bills which would have crippled her if she had lost.

But after a High Court hearing Rossi agreed to pay pounds 16,000 a year maintenance - and the court costs.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Author:Hagan, Angela
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 7, 1996
Previous Article:Escaped cons' jail empire.

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