Mandy Smith, who slept with Rolling Stone Bill Wyman when she was just 14, has made an impassioned plea for the age of consent to be raised to protect vulnerable young girls.
The appeal stems from Miss Smith’s wild-child teenage years when she first began a sexual relationship with the former Rolling Stone.
She was only 14 years old, and the experience shaped the views she now holds about teenage sex.
During an interview Miss Smith said: “It’s not about being physically mature. It’s emotional maturity that matters.
“I don’t think most 16-year-olds are ready. I think the age of consent should be raised to 18 at a minimum, and some girls aren’t even ready then.
“People will find that odd coming from me. But I think I do know what I’m talking about here. You are still a child – even at 16.”
She added: “You can never get that part of your life, your childhood, back. I never could.”
Mandy and her sister began clubbing when they were barely in their teens, and the former singer and model now fears for other young girls who are facing increasing sexual pressure.
During the interview she said: “My concern is that everything – clothes, films, talk – is so sexualised. The girls I talk to are under pressure to be a certain way.
“They think they should be having sex, living a certain life. I try to say to them: ‘Hold on. You don’t have to do this.'”
Miss Smith went on to warn that though she may have appeared mature as a teenager, in reality she was still young and vulnerable.
She said: “I might have seemed old for my years, but there was a naivety about me too.”
Miss Smith’s relationship with Mr Wyman, who is 34 years her senior, was a source of intense media speculation in the 1980s.
However, the true nature of the relationship was kept a secret until Mandy reached the age of 16.
In February a report commissioned by the Home Office revealed that children are being harmed by exposure to sexual and violent images in the media and parents have limited opportunities to prevent it.
The report recommended that games consoles should be sold with parental controls already switched on and that adult content should be filtered out by default on “child friendly” computers and mobile phones.
The author of the report, psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, said there was a clear link between the intake of sexual imagery and violence towards women.
The age of consent was raised to 16 during the Victorian era because girls as young as twelve were being sold into the sex trade.
The change came about thanks to the efforts of Christian campaigner, Josephine Butler, who fought to protect girls and prostitutes from exploitation under the liberal laws.
Listen to a lecture on the life and work of Josephine Butler: