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The Sex Bomb singer, 80, was married to Melinda Rose Trenchard, known as Lady Linda, for nearly six decades before she passed away five years ago. They were childhood sweethearts and tied the knot at 16 after Linda fell pregnant with their son Mark Woodward, now 63. After Sir Tom rose to superstardom in the Sixties, following the release of his first UK number one It’s Not Unusual, he became a sex symbol for adoring fans.
The singer admitted to sleeping with up to 250 women a year at the height of his fame, while he was still married to Linda.
He also boasted about having a separate dressing room nicknamed “the workbench” because it was where he “entertained groupies”, he told the Telegraph in 2012.
After Sir Tom was pressed about the impact of his affairs, he described them as “fun and games” and added that Linda was a “wonderful woman”.
According to The Sunday Times journalist Bryan Appleyard, the singer made it “clear” that Linda had “let herself go” in later life.
Tom Jones married Melinda Rose Trenchard, known as Lady Linda, when they were 16 years old
Tom Jones and Linda were childhood sweethearts. They met in Pontypridd, Treforest, in Wales
In 2016, Sir Tom said: “Linda is the love of my life and she still is – even though she doesn’t look like she did.
“I don’t look like I did either but I try my best.”
He also claimed she had “lost her spark” and that he preferred to speak on the phone because it allowed him to forget they “had aged”.
The comments about Linda, who died from lung cancer in 2016, sparked fury from Sir Tom’s former bandmate Vernon Hopkins, who described the remark as “betrayal”.
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Tom Jones admitted to have up to 250 affairs a year at the height of his fame
The 80-year-old, who now lives in Swansea, was part of The Squires – the group that helped propel Sir Tom to superstardom until they parted in 1969.
Mr Hopkins spoke out after Sir Tom’s recent appearances on ITV show The Voice.
He told Express.co.uk: “I was saddened like many others when I read about Tom’s put-downs of Linda.
“It was as though he was attempting to put the blame on her for the way he went about notching up women on his bedpost.”
The musician, who released the 2012 memoir about his time with Sir Tom, titled Just Help Yourself, felt the singer took “no accountability” for his impact on Linda.
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Tom Jones was married to Linda for 59 years before she died from lung cancer in 2016
Mr Hopkins said: “She became a recluse, smoking and drinking excessively, she lost her spark, let herself go and lost her good looks, according to Tom.
“Nothing to do with how she was treated of course, as far as he was concerned it was all just ‘fun and games’, as he so eloquently put it.”
He believed Sir Tom “lacked empathy and conscience” for speaking about his wife in that way and left “a trail of misery and heartache behind him”.
Mr Hopkins believed Linda was “damaged” by the singer “the most” and “hit below zero” when he made remarks about changes in her appearance.
Tom Jones and The Squires released It’s Not Unusual in 1965 and shot to number one in the UK
He told Express.co.uk: “He really should be praising her to high heaven and begging for her forgiveness for giving her such a miserable and lonely life.”
Mr Hopkins claimed to have been asked many times about why Linda “put up with it all” when she could have divorced him.
He claimed that getting married at the age of 16 to Sir Tom meant he was “the only man she had been with all her life” and she might have felt unable to break away.
Mr Hopkins told Express.co.uk: “Her loyalty was cemented in the schoolyard, never having the opportunity of experiencing a different relationship.
Tom Jones and Linda had one son together, Mark Woodward, now 63
“Tom was confident Linda would never leave him, she was somewhat a shy Valleys girl – intelligent, attractive, kind but innocent.”
Mr Hopkins claimed Linda was a firm believer in the sanctity of marriage and would never have divorced Sir Tom.
He continued: “Tom was aware of Linda’s loyal nature, he took advantage of it.
“Marriage vows in the Valleys back in the day were adhered to – ‘for better, for worse’ and ‘till death do us part’ seemed sacred compared to today, giving him licence to thrill!”
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If Linda had divorced him, Mr Hopkins believed the press would have had a “field day”. He claimed she “wanted peace in her life”.
Mr Hopkins believed that Linda “became more of a recluse” because she was “humiliated” by Sir Tom’s affairs.
He believed she struggled “living with the thoughts” of her husband “getting up to more ‘fun and games’” while she lived in her “gilded cage, her chosen prison”.
Mr Hopkins felt compelled to speak out “in defence of Linda” after noting Sir Tom’s comments about her appearance.
Tom Jones first performed with The Squires after their lead singer missed a performance
He said: “I knew Linda and respected her well back in Pontypridd and after the band relocated to London, during the challenge of releasing It’s Not Unusual.
“Linda and Mark joined Tom and their future looked rosy, only for Tom to be openly critical of her.
“I have had to respond to his comments with equal openness in her defence.”
Sir Tom has been asked how he felt about his affairs on multiple occasions but appeared to show no remorse.
Tom Jones performed with Vernon Hopkins (above) for nearly a decade, when he was part of The Squires
In 2015, he told The Big Issue: “All in all, no matter what happened, my marriage is still solid and my son still loves me.”
When The Sunday Times asked Sir Tom if he regretted “all the girls” in 2016, he flatly replied: “Naw.”
He continued: “I never hurt anybody, it never backfired on me and my marriage is solid.”
Sir Tom Jones’ representatives did not respond to a request for comment from Express.co.uk.
Vernon Hopkins’ memoir Just Help Yourself: Tom Jones, The Squires And The Road To Stardom was published in 2012 by Seren. You can buy the book here and listen to it in audiobook format later this year.