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Maggie Trudeau goes clubbing with the Rolling Stones

The Story

It's one of the biggest scandals in Canadian history and As It Happens is part of the press having a field day. On their sixth anniversary, March 4, 1977, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau and wife Margaret Trudeau go their separate ways. The public learns about the split in dramatic fashion, when Maggie is spotted at a Rolling Stones concert at Toronto's El Mocambo club. As heard in this retrospective As It Happens clip, Mick Jagger and both Trudeaus attempt to defuse the scandal. 

Medium: Radio
Program: As It Happens
Broadcast Date: Sept. 22, 1980
Guest(s): Mick Jagger, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau
Host: Alan Maitland
Duration: 2:23

Did You know?

• The relationship between Pierre and Margaret Trudeau is one of the most publicized in Canadian history. The couple met in Tahiti in 1967 and were married in secrecy in 1971. Margaret Sinclair was 22 (half Pierre's age), a flower child who spoke no French and had little interest in politics. The press followed their every move during their six-year marriage, the birth of the couple's three children, a very public divorce and Pierre Trudeau's death in 2000.

• Margaret Trudeau described her scandal with the Rolling Stones in her 1979 autobiography Beyond Reason. She claims she ran into Ron Wood in a hotel corridor and he invited her to take pictures of the band at the El Mocambo. She says that the following day she looked after Keith Richards' son Marlon when Keith overdosed in the hotel, and later had the band over to "drink, play dice, smoke a little hash."

• Margaret went to New York the next day and says she never saw the band again.

• The press suggested the event was more like a sex orgy. Margaret Trudeau says the incident branded her as a "promiscuous, irresponsible wife."

• Margaret went on to become a professional photographer, writer, actress and television host.


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