Despite his numerous infidelities, Sir Tom Jones’ wife Melinda Woodward remained married to the British singer. Let’s get to know her.
British singer Sir Tom Jone might look like a regular old star with his grey hair and ginger steps, but he was a famous sex symbol at a time. “The Voice UK” coach and creator of hit songs like “Once Upon a Time” and “Delilah” also had a reputation of being a womanizer.
During an interview, he claimed to have slept with 250 women in a year. Some of his sexual escapades are also well documented in blogs and interviews. For someone who joined the likes of Sidney Poitier when he was knighted in 2006, this was a surprising revelation.
Despite all these, the singer was married to his wife Melissa Woodward for more than five decades. The couple had met and married while they were teenagers. They also became parents to a child during their relationship. Tom Jones and Melinda Woodward remained until her eventual death. Here’s everything you need to know about the two lovebirds.
Tom Jones and Melinda Woodward’s Romance
At age 12, Jones was diagnosed with tuberculosis and had to be kept quarantined at home for a long period of time. It looked like his life would end early without him achieving his dreams.
Yet, it was during this time while fighting for his life, that he saw the girl he wanted to marry. Jones had met Melinda Woodward before his Tuberculosis diagnosis. When the illness confined him to his home Jones’s wishes were to get better so he could meet up with Melinda and hold her. According to him:
“’I was in love with her when I had TB when I was 12. I would be thinking ‘oh my god, let’s get this TB over with so I can hold her’. So I really ached, you know. When they say heart ache, I physically ached.’”
The girl in question, Melinda Woodward, came from a family of local cinema owners who lived not far from Jones’s home. At 15, Jones and Melinda started dating and would meet at a phone box at Sir Tom’s street in Treforest, Wales.
They were so in love with one another that they ended up getting married in 1957 when they were both 16 years old. At the time, Melinda was also eight months pregnant with their child. She then gave birth to the couple’s son Mark a month later.
Melinda Coped With Jones’s Infidelities
Melinda witnessed Jones move from an upcoming singer to mainstream success, and she supported him throughout. However, as fame and money came, Jones started staying away from home more. During this period, stories of Jones’s infidelities flooded news publications. Women would throw underwear at him during his performances and make sexual propositions.
Although she remained married to Jones, Melinda struggled to cope with her husband’s affairs. According to Vernon Hopkins, a guitarist who knew the couple, Melinda was in an emotional trap.
He claimed Jones took advantage of her loyal nature because Melinda deeply believed in marriage vows. Her attitude gave Jones all he needed to do whatever he wanted. Due to her husband’s affairs, Melinda became more of a recluse, staying at home because she could not bear thinking about who her husband would be out with.
One of Melinda’s friends Jo Mills the wife of Jones’s early manager Gordon Mills also stated that the affairs saddened her. Ms. Mills noted that although Melinda hates Jones’s affairs, his presence made her feel different. Melinda believed Jones was hers whenever he was at home, and she closed her mind to whatever he might be doing outside.
Melinda Died in 2016
In April 2016, a statement on Sir Tom Jones’s website announced the singer had lost his wife. The singer had canceled all his tour due to his wife’s illness weeks before.
According to the statement, Melinda died peacefully at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. At the time of her death, Melinda was surrounded by her husband and loved ones, including her son Mark.
After her death, Jones, who asked for privacy, spent some time with their son Mark in Santa Monica. Throughout the period, Jone stayed away from the limelight, only posting his website once to thank fans for their support.
Jones Struggled To Deal With Melinda’s Death
Years after Melinda’s death, Jones opened up about his struggles dealing with the loss. The singer revealed he wondered about who would save him now that his wife had died. However, the couple’s son Mark helped him cope with the loss a bit better. Jones also sought the help of a grief therapist, who helped him find the strength to sing again.
The grief therapist encouraged him to perform Bob Dylan’s soul-searching love ballad “What Good Am I?” He noted:
“It’s a song that makes me think about my wife and whether I could have changed anything,” he says. “But I got some musician friends together in a hotel room, and I sang it. I got through it.”
Also, Jones had confessed to Melinda he was not sure if he would sing again if she died while the latter was ill. However, Melinda advised him not to die with her and to continue singing. Jones also claimed he would not get married again because he has no history with anybody else. However, the singer has since returned to the stage to continue performing.