Ronnie Wood's ex-wife JO is grateful to the young Russian waitress who stole her husband of 23 years - because the rocker's drinking made her so "unhappy."
The Rolling Stones legend dumped his wife in 2008 to set up home with 21-year-old Ekaterina Ivanova.
The pair split after a tumultuous 18-month relationship which ended in the star being cautioned by police last year (09) after he allegedly choked his young lover during a heated 30-minute argument outside a restaurant in Surrey, England.
Wood has now sought professional help and joined a rehabilitation centre in London for the eighth time to conquer his demons once and for all, according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.
And in an interview published in the same newspaper the day after Wood allegedly entered rehab, his former wife, ex-model Jo, has revealed his affair with Ivanova was actually a blessing in disguise - because being married to the musician was so tough.
She tells the Daily Mail, "He is an absolute darling when he doesn't drink, but I don't feel that sort of special feeling for him any more. I still love him, he was my husband and the father of our two children, but I love him as a friend.
"You know something? Katia did me a favour. I'd never have left Ronnie, but there were times when I was so unhappy. His drinking was far worse than anyone ever knew. The whole family covered up for him.
"It was like having another child in the house. We hardly ever went out because I knew he'd end up getting drunk and embarrassing everyone. Now, I can go out whenever I want and enjoy just being myself."
The former couple share two children; 31-year-old Leah and Tyrone, 25.
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