Sir Rod Stewart regrets treating women badly

The 73-year-old rocker has admitted he deeply regrets the way he used to break off relationships in his earlier days.

FILE: Penny Lancaster-Stewart with husband Rod Stewart. Picture: Instagram/

LONDON - Sir Rod Stewart has admitted he never used to treat women right but he didn't realise it until his second wife walked out on him.

The 73-year-old rocker has admitted he deeply regrets the way he used to break off relationships in his earlier days because it wasn't until his second wife Rachel Hunter - with whom he has daughter Renee, 26, and son Liam, 24 - walked out on him that he understood how devastating heartbreak could be.

Speaking to _The Sun _newspaper, he said: "I haven't treated women badly but I'm not proud of the way I broke up relationships. I was a real coward. It wasn't like Phil Collins. I didn't send an email but I've left a lot of broken hearts. I've apologised or at least tried to since. When Rachel left me, I didn't have the tools to cope with a break-up. I went to pieces. It was terrible. If ever karma got me back, it was then.

"The other day, one of my boys had his heart broken and I said, 'Well, it's just as well it happened now because it happened to daddy late in life and I didn't have the hammer and nails and drill to deal with it'. You can't go over it, under it, round it. One of my daughters is in the same position right now having ­broken up with somebody. I told her: 'You've just gotta be brave, nothing lasts forever.' "

The Maggie May hitmaker - who also has Kimberly, 39, and Sean, 38, with his first wife Alana Stewart - went on to find marital bliss with his third spouse Penny Lancaster and thinks the key to their successful relationship is that she's British.

He explained: "Well she's a British girl, the first one I've married. Kelly (his ex-partner) and Alana (his first wife) are Americans and Rachel's a New Zealander so maybe that's the key! Penny's an Essex girl and she's proud of it. Apart from the visuals of Penny, she's tough but not too tough and she doesn't take any ­nonsense from me. She's a great mum. . . the whole package, as far as I'm concerned."

The couple - who have sons Alastair, 12, and Aiden, seven, together - got married in 2007 and never go to bed without kissing one another good night.

He said: "We hug every time we have to go away from each other. We always have a cuddle at night even if we're not having sex. And we never go to bed without kissing each other good night. It's just wonderful. I feel blessed many times over."

Stewart also has 31-year-old daughter Ruby with Kelly Emberg and Sarah Streeter, 55, with Susannah Boffey.