David Bailey: Yes, I slept with a lot of women but they had a choice – it wasn"t rape

Yes, I slept with a lot of women but they had a choice – it wasn't rape, says fashion photographer David Bailey (who's still sex mad at 74!)
Legendary lothario dated model Jean Shrimpton and married actress Catherine Deneuve before fourth wife Catherine Dyer finally tamed him

|

UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 21 December 2012

'I'm mad about her': The photographer with his fourth wife Catherine

'I'm mad about her': The photographer with his fourth wife Catherine

His reputation as a lothario during his heyday earned him the nickname Big Bad Bailey.
Several decades on, with four marriages under his belt and about to turn 75, David Bailey is as controversial as ever.

The fashion photographer reveals he still enjoys making love to his 51-year-old wife Catherine, is friends with his ex-girlfriends and ex-wives – and remains unapologetic about his penchant for one night stands.

It was a habit which saw him clash with feminist critics in the 1970s.

But in a new TV interview he says of
his conquests: ‘Like it’s my fault they slept with me They had a
choice, it wasn’t rape or anything.’

The
East Londoner, who will be 75 on January 2, is inextricabily linked
with the Swinging Sixties. The Beatles, Mick Jagger and the Kray
brothers all posed for him.

He
established himself at Vogue where he took pictures of Jean Shrimpton,
now 70, who was his girlfriend at one stage, and also developed his love
of women.

In the past
he has said: ‘You used to be a bad boy if you slept with a lot of
women. And I did. People can’t bear that. I can’t see what’s wrong with
that really.’

In his
interview with Sky Arts programme Living The Life to be screened on
January 8, he says: ‘It was a bit of fun really. I got used, they got
used.’

But he adds: ‘I had a terrible time in the 70s with all those silly feminists.’

In
a previous interview Bailey told how he was brought up by his mother
and aunt after his father walked out when he was young, and said: ‘I was
surrounded by strong women so it had never even occurred to me that
women were anything other than equal to men.

‘Then
all those bloody feminists started attacking me, the silly uptight
cows, having a go because I slept with more than one woman.’

His
girlfriends included Miss Shrimpton, who lasted three years, and his
former muse and model Penelope Tree, who survived eight years.

Happy marriage: Model Catherine Dyer appears to have finally tamed Bailey - the couple have three children

Happy marriage: Model Catherine Dyer appears to have finally tamed Bailey – the couple have three children

Swinging Sixties: David Bailey with Jean Shrimpton in 1963 - the photographer established himself at Vogue taking photos of the model

Swinging Sixties: David Bailey with Jean Shrimpton in 1963 – the photographer established himself at Vogue taking photos of the model

His
marriage to first wife Rosemary Bramble lasted three years, and his
second, to actress Catherine Deneuve, now 69, lasted two. Third wife
Marie Helvin, 60, was with him for ten.

But it is model Catherine Dyer, his fourth wife, who appears to have tamed him. They married in 1986 and she is the only one to present him with children – they have three: Fenton, Sascha and Paloma.

And Bailey appears to be as enamoured with her as the day he first set eyes on her. He said: ‘I love making love, I love sex… I am mad about my wife. I think she is the sexiest woman I’ve ever met and we’ve been together for 30 years and if I could choose this moment who I’d sleep with tonight it would be her. If I can persuade her.’

However, Bailey confesses he is still close to most of his former lovers, especially 62-year-old Miss Tree. ‘I love Penelope. I’m mad about her, I think she’s wonderful but we couldn’t live together.

‘All my ex-girlfriends or wives are all kind of great friends and I’ve never understood somebody who can live with somebody for five or six years and then not like them.’