During a Sunday interview at the Hay Festival, Tom Jones became emotional while discussing his enduring love for his wife, Lady Melinda Rose Woodward, who died of cancer eight weeks ago. “I now realize she might have been the most important thing in my life — and she still is,” he said.
While speaking to GQ editor Dylan Jones about his six-decade career in the music industry at the thirty-year-old annual gathering of artists, writers and thinkers, People magazine reported that Jones, 75, broke down in tears. “I realized that she’s always been very important to me, throughout my life, but I now realize she might have been the most important thing in my life – and she still is,” he said.
The “Delilah” singer, known for being showered with attention (and unmentionables) from his vocal female fans, wiped his eyes while discussing the woman who stood by his side for 59 years. “I felt very lucky to have fallen in love at an early age,” he said of Woodward, who he married when they were 16 after she became pregnant with their son, Mark, Jones’ manager. “We knew this thing was forever, for as long as we would be alive. That’s how strong the marriage was.”
Though Jones, in his first public appearance since Linda’s death, has claimed to have had affairs with hundreds of women, he would not hear of it when the subject of separation or divorce came up. “No. Never crossed my mind: it didn’t cross her mind,” he said. “We had a strong marriage that nothing could shake and we both felt that.”
The Daily Mail reported that many in the audience also shed tears as the singer spoke about his love.