Rod took his and Rachel's split badly

Rod Stewart was heartbroken when his ex-wife Rachel Hunter told him she wanted a divorce after 8 years of marriage in 1998.

The singer was shocked that Rachel, 43, was unhappy in their relationship because he’d been ‘entirely faithful’ to her – something he admits he’d never been before.

‘I lost 12lb in weight. I felt cold all the time. I took to lying on the sofa in the day, with a blanket over me and holding a hot water bottle against my chest,’ recalls Rod, 67.

‘I knew then why they call it heartbroken: you can feel it in your heart. I was distracted almost to the point of madness.’

Rod married Rachel, then 21, after a whirlwind 3-month romance in 1990 – but says she ended up feeling trapped because she never had time to find herself outside of their life together.

In order to get over their break-up, Rod tried seeing therapists and attending yoga classes, but only began to feel better when one of his old friends came to stay with him in LA.

‘I think of my marriage now as eight amazing years spent with someone I deeply loved,’ Rod writes in his new book Rod: The Autobiography.

‘At the heart of those years was a girl who was too young, who hadn’t grown up and who eventually needed to spread her wings.’

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Anna Duff