Videos making the rounds on social media show the moment Justin Trudeau was booed by the crowd at a Rolling Stones concert in Vancouver, B.C., when lead singer Mick Jagger praised the prime minister on stage.

“Mick Jagger compliments Justin Trudeau and immediately regrets it,” reads the title of one video posted to YouTube.

But it turns out Jagger was probably just trying to make a joke about the night Trudeau’s mother partied with the Rolling Stones and sparked an international scandal.

“We love your Mr. Trudeau,” Jagger said on July 5 at BC Place stadium. The crowd started to boo before the Rolling Stones frontman could finish his thought. “I mean, his family has always been such big fans of our band,” he concluded. The crowd continued to boo loudly.

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Jagger froze on the spot for several seconds, looking a little stunned at the crowd’s response. He then pivoted away from the topic by congratulating the nation on the success of the Canadian soccer team, which had just reached the semifinals of the Copa America tournament. He also recounted what Canadian cuisine Vancouver-born musician Brian Adams had recommended to him: caesar cocktails, beaver tails and Nanaimo bars.

The Rolling Stones were performing as part of their Hackney Diamonds tour when Jagger mentioned the Trudeau family.

While many took the crowd’s response as just another sign of the prime minister’s waning popularity across the country, Jagger was likely referring to his controversial ties with Margaret Trudeau, the ex-wife of former prime minster Pierre Elliot Trudeau.

Margaret attended a Rolling Stones concert in Toronto on March 4, 1977 on what was her and Pierre’s sixth wedding anniversary. She also reportedly partied with the band. This set off a media storm and a slew of rumours regarding a possible romantic connection between her and Jagger.

“Premier’s wife in Stones scandal,” a Daily Mirror headline said.

Margaret Trudeau in 1979
Margaret Trudeau dancing at the Opening of Daddy Long Legs Disco at International Plaza Hotel in North Vancouver on July 31, 1979.Photo by Bill Keay / Vancouver Sun

When asked at the time if there was any link between him and the prime minister’s then-wife, Jagger vehemently denied any such relation, CBC reported. “It’s really embarrassing. It just isn’t true, ya know? She just came for a two-night concert, she just wanted to have a good time, I dunno.”

Jagger also criticized the press for their focus on the matter.

“I mean they’ve sort of got nothing to talk about basically, ya know? So they start all these, blow up these … I mean she should be able to do what she wants, I don’t want to get her into trouble. I mean, she just wanted to see the shows and that was it, that’s the end of it. It’s a bit ridiculous I mean, it’s honestly just absurd,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned it’s very upsetting.”

In a clip posted by CBC, Margaret herself was repeatedly asked at the time if she was happy in her marriage. She stated that she was “happy” but refused to clarify if this was in reference to her marriage and would not make any further comment about her personal life.

The Trudeaus announced their separation in May of that year and would go on to formally divorce in 1984, making Pierre Trudeau the first sitting prime minister to go through a separation while in office.

The Rolling Stones perform at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, July 5, 2024.
The Rolling Stones perform at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, July 5, 2024. (Arlen Redekop / Postmedia staff photo)Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

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