Bianca Jagger paused and looked at her listener. ''I'm sorry," the glamorous socialite bristled, "I really don't talk about those days anymore."
For decades now, the former wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger has been brushing aside questions about a celebrated past in favor of highlighting her 20 years of human rights activism.
Ms. Jagger would just as soon that the world forgot her past image - epitomized in the mid-1970s as the young woman who once partied while riding a white horse at the chic New York nightclub Studio 54 - and remembered instead the images she faces in her current work.
As a human rights activist, Ms. Jagger, who is now 54, has participated in numerous international fact-finding missions and testified on human rights issues before the U.S. Congress. Leaving behind a life of acting, she now produces current affairs documentaries, such as this year's "Nicaragua in Transition," traveling widely to the world's more hellish destinations.
Her work has taken her from the rainforest-depleted regions of South America to the death squad trails near her native Nicaragua. As an opponent of the death penalty, she has spent time with inmates of death row in the United States.
Most recently, she accompanied a television crew from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to the provinces of the former Yugoslavia.
In a passionate speech at the State of the World Forum (being held in San Francisco this week), she presented the case for the ethnic Albanian people suffering Serbian aggression in the "autonomous" province of Kosovo. In graphic detail, she described incidents of rape, starvation, and other atrocities that she documented for the BBC. In her speech, she described the Serbian onslaught as the worst act of genocide to have taken place on European soil since the Nazi Holocaust.
She advocates that the war crimes tribunal, set up to make the perpetrators of such ethnic cleansing activities accountable for their actions, be made to live up to its mission.
While gloomy about the chances of Serbia's leadership bringing about peace, she hoped that the findings made by her and other human rights monitors would yet provoke a concerted response from other Western nations. She did not say what type of response it was that she hoped for.
"Working for this kind of change is what gives me satisfaction," she said.