Tina Turner died on 24 May 2023. Image via Getty Images

Tina Turner’s ‘abusive’ marriage: Why the singer finally forgave Ike

It’s no secret, Ike and Tina Turner were hailed as the most famous married musical duo of all time, but behind the scenes lay a dark secret.


Tina Turner died on 24 May 2023. Image via Getty Images

The Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll Tina Turner—real name Anna Mae Bullock passed away at the age of 83 on Wednesday, 24 May. Her death has resurfaced several old memories that happened during her life, including her toxic relationship with her ex-husband Ike Turner.


Tina Turner was said to have had a long history of health problems. She was reportedly diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and also had a kidney transplant in 2017.

Ike Turner
Tina Turner was abused by her ex-husband Ike for 16 years. Image via Getty Images


In the past, Tina Turner revealed that she had been abandoned by her parents as a child. She met her ex-husband Ike at 16, however, their relationship blossomed later in life when Ike was in a relationship and living with his girlfriend at the time Lorraine Taylor. At this time, Ike had already introduced Tina to the world of rock ‘n’ roll.

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After getting married to Ike, Tina Turner previously shared that for her honeymoon, she was taken to a brothel in Tijuana, Mexico.

According to Fox News, in a bombshell interview in 1981, Tina Turner revealed that her marriage wasn’t as picture-perfect as it appeared on stage. She was said to have dished that in one incident, she had to flee the hotel where she had checked-in with Ike. In her 1986 autobiography, she reportedly shared that her relationship with Ike had changed and that he had become abusive towards her. She reportedly said that he had hit her with a wooden shoe stretcher on her head whilst pregnant. According to Vanity Fair, on another occasion, Tina Turner reportedly said that Ike had even burned her with scalding coffee which gave her third-degree burns. She divorced him in 1978.

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In an interview with People Magazine, the Queen of Rock ‘N’ Roll said,

“He used my nose as a punching bag so many times that I could taste blood running down my throat when I sang. He broke my jaw. And I couldn’t remember what it was like not to have a black eye.”

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According to the New York Post, Tina Turner endured 16 years of violence and abuse at the hands of Ike which left her scarred even several years after leaving him. She was to have had nightmares about all that she had experienced and even became suicidal at some point of it all.

Ike had reportedly been irritable and had beaten the singer from the airport to the hotel they were headed to. Tina Turner was said to have run away with a few cents in her pocket as he micromanaged her finances and never turned back. They reportedly never spoke for decades since.

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Ike died in 2007 at the age of 76 and Tina Turner reportedly never attended his funeral. In her 2021 documentary, she was quoted as saying,

“It hurts to have to remember those times, but at a certain stage, forgiveness takes over — forgiving means not having to hold on. It was letting go because it only hurts you. By not forgiving, you suffer, because you think about it over and over. And for what?”

After Ike’s death, an autopsy had reportedly determined that he died from a cocaine overdose, Hollywood Life reported.

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