Jo Wood insists the Russian waitress who ran off with her husband Ronnie Wood did her a "favour".

The Rolling Stones guitarist walked out on his 24-year marriage to the former model in 2008 when he eloped with Ekaterina Ivanova - who is 41 years younger than him - and although Jo initially found being alone "scary", ultimately the separation has given her a new lease of life.

The 55-year-old blonde told Britain's HELLO! magazine: "How do I feel about the girl he went off with? She did me a favour. She gave me my life back.

"My life had been all about looking after Ronnie. I was with him for 31 years and married to him for 24. I can't remember what it was like being his wife anymore. I gave up my life for Ronnie, now I have it back, I can put my energy into myself instead of him."

Jo's 36-year-old son Jamie - who is from her first marriage and was born when she was 18 - also insists he has noticed a huge change in his mother since Ronnie left.

Jamie doesn't harbour any resentment towards the 63-year-old musician - who is no longer with Ekaterina and is now in a relationship with Brazilian beauty Ana Araujo - he thinks he doesn't live "in The Real World".

He said: "I only realised what he was like when he left. Mum had always hidden it from us. For the first six months I was badly upset, but now I understand he's not in the real world. He blunders through life unaware."

Since their split, Jo has divorced Ronnie and sold the London house she used to share with him, to move to a new home in Surrey, South East England.