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Keith Richards Meets the Mounties and Faces the Music

Page 6 of 8

During the hearing, Margaret Trudeau checks out of the Harbour Castle and leaves for New York City. Ron Wood and Mick Jagger also leave for New York -- separately. The Harbour Castle lobby is suddenly overflowing with Canadian and London writers looking for Margaret.

At 5 a.m. I get a frantic call from Wasserman. "Did you see the Globe? It says Margaret ran off to New York with Mick and Ron. Jesus."

"Wasso, don't you realize that's the writer you bought dinner for last night? Why bitch to me?"

I can't possibly sleep so I go downstairs and check out. Wasserman has just come back from the newsstand with the morning Sun, which is bannered WHERE'S MAGGIE? Inside, an angry editorial complains: "C'mon Maggie, either behave with distinction or stay at home."

Reading the editorial, Wasserman becomes even more agitated. "I've got to get out of this fucking country before they find me," he says. "Carter, I'm leaving. Meet me at the airport. They threatened to arrest me yesterday for allegedly tipping off the press to that hearing. I've got to go. C'mon, Flippo."

"Well," I say in the cab, "you've been here a week and you've disrupted the entire country and created an international incident and the Stones may topple the government."

"Yeah," he says, "not bad for a week's work."

We are joined at the airport by Carter. As we get through customs we are stopped and Carter is pulled aside by the inspector in charge.

"It's every man for himself," says Wasserman, forging on ahead. I break my promise to myself not to quote any Stones lyrics and start singing, "Take me to the airport and put me on a plane/I've got no expectations to pass through here again."

We finally get on the plane and I ask Carter about the delay.

"They were apologizing about detaining my client Mick Jagger so long last night before they would let him leave the country."

"What?"

"Yeah, I had to come out here last night when Mick called the hotel and said they wouldn't let him leave the country." No reason was given.

Wasserman, who surely hadn't slept for days, goes to sleep immediately. As soon as the plane takes off, Carter wakes him: "Wasso, I hate to tell you this but the prime minister just radioed the pilot to turn the plane around."

Wasserman groans, and falls back to sleep. At LaGuardia, he starts out of his seat and screams. Who can blame him?

Peter Rudge finally met with me in New York and said he was afraid it was all over for the Rolling Stones.

And Keith Richards still had to go to court.

Every Day thereafter, the daily newspapers were full of speculation about Margaret and the Stones. One Toronto radio station offered Rolling Stone $500 to tell them where Margaret was. Pierre said at his weekly televised press conference that he didn't think his wife's musical taste had anything to do with his ability to govern. The London press went berserk with such headlines as PREMIER'S WIFE IN STONES SCANDAL and THE FIRST LADY WHO GOT TURNED ON BY THE STONES.

March 14th, I am back in Toronto, in Courtroom 26. On the way into old City Hall, I run into attorney Clayton Powell, who had just gotten Anita off with only a $400 fine.

The court hearing takes about 20 seconds. Crown prosecutor Scott walks over to a calendar hanging on the wall, leafs through it idly and sticks his finger on June 27th. He returns to the bench and proposes that June 27th be the day that Keith is remanded to court, at which time a plea may or may not be entered and at which time an actual trial date will be set. Agreed. Keith is spirited back to the Harbour Castle.

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