I’ve never gone into why I left him. He was somebody who drank a vast amount. It started out being funny the first 10 years, and then it got monotonous. After I left him, strangely enough, he wrote the most beautiful and best songs he ever wrote for me.
Our friendship went on until his dying day. He rang me in London to say he bought me a big diamond because I had lost one that he’d given me. I said, “Oh, stop drinking, Serge.” And a day later, on March 2, 1991, he was dead.
He comes back to me as a ghost in his corduroy coat, and I clasp him around his waist saying, “Stay on for a bit longer.” And he says, “No, I’ve got to go.” I miss him. So does all of France. He had been faithful and kind to the end.
—Jane Birkin on Serge Gainsbourg