Tina Turner gets ‘emotional’ thinking of former husband Ike: ‘In the beginning, he was very good to me’

The "What's Love Got To Do With It" singer also revealed that she had to accept Ike's initial marriage proposal ‘or it was gonna be a fight’

Adam White
Monday 01 July 2019 11:17 BST
Tina Turner confesses she gets 'emotional' about marriage to Ike

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Louise Thomas

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Tina Turner has revealed that she gets “emotional” when thinking of her time with late husband Ike, who notoriously abused her throughout their relationship, and that she only married him in the first place in order to prevent further abuse.

Speaking to US television personality Gayle King in a rare sit-down interview for CBS News, Turner explained that her current marriage to the German music executive Erwin Bach is “the first time that I got married, as far as I was concerned”. Turner was married to Ike from 1962 to 1978.

She continued: “When Ike asked me to marry him, I knew it was for a reason. But I had to say yes … or it was gonna be a fight. And so then, when we drove to marry, that wasn’t my idea of my wedding.”

Turner did, however, confess that she gets “emotional” when thinking of Ike, who died in 2007, as their relationship was not entirely driven by abuse.

“In the beginning, Ike was very good to me,” she explained. “He didn’t like that he had had to depend on me. And I didn’t want to start a fight because it was always a black eye, a broken nose, a busted lip, a rib.”

Tina and Ike were musical collaborators throughout the 1960s, before their on-stage chemistry developed into a real-life love affair. But their relationship and subsequent marriage was plagued by physical abuse, with Tina attempting suicide in 1968 following years of her husband’s abuse and infidelities, both spurred on by his drug addiction.

Tina would eventually flee the marriage in 1976, with a court allowing her to maintain the “Tina Turner” stage name that Ike had given her years prior and trademarked for himself. In the wake of their divorce, Turner embarked on a creative and commercial resurgence, reemerging in the 1980s with signature hits including “Let’s Stay Together”, “Private Dancer” and “Simply the Best”. Her life story and marriage to Ike was subsequently adapted into the Oscar-nominated feature film What’s Love Got to Do with It in 1993.

In the same interview, Turner also spoke about her late son Craig, who died by suicide in July 2018. “I think Craig was lonely, that’s what I think really got him more than anything else,” Turner said. “I have pictures all around of him smiling, and I think I’m sensing that he’s in a good place. I really do.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can get help and advice on the 24-hour National Domestic Violence helpline 0808 2000 247 or visit http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/

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