Tina Turner has bared it all in her upcoming memoir “My Love Story,” writing that her abusive marriage to Ike Turner once drove her to attempt suicide as a means of escape.
In excerpts of Turner’s new book obtained and published by People, the 78-year-old music icon writes candidly about the physical, verbal, and sexual abuse she endured at the hands of her late ex-husband.
The pair met in the 1950s, when Ike was 25 years old and Tina was only 17 and still called Anna Mae (Ike would later coerce her into changing her name to Tina). Their marriage got off to an unpleasant start, she explained; two years after their son Ronnie was born, they tied the knot in Tijiuana, Mexico and visited a “whorehouse” right after the ceremony. Their marriage, she wrote, was “a mockery of a ‘normal’ relationship,” one that was “defined by abuse and fear, not love, or even affection.”
Tina recalled what happened when she initially resisted changing her name from Anna Mae Bullock to Tina Turner — Tina being a name Ike had chosen because it was the same name of a character on a TV show that he liked. He reacted to Tina’s initial reluctance with anger and violence.
“First, he was verbally abusive. Then, he picked up a wooden shoe stretcher,” Tina wrote, according to People. “Ike knew what he was doing. If you play guitar, you never use your fists in a fight. He used the shoe stretcher to strike me in the head — always the head. I was so shocked I started to cry.”
She explained that after that, Ike “ordered [her]” to get onto the bed, People reports.
“I hated him at that moment. The very last thing I wanted to do was make love, if you could call it that,” she wrote, according to People. “When he finished, I laid there with a swollen head, thinking, ‘You’re pregnant and you have no place to go. You really have gotten yourself into something now.’”
Years later, the abuse was so unbearable that tried to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills, People's excerpts reveal.
“At my lowest, I convinced myself that death was my only way out,” she wrote, according to People. “I actually tried to kill myself. I went to my doctor and told him I was having trouble sleeping. Right after dinner, I took all 50 of [the pills he gave me]. I was unhappy when I woke up. But I came out of the darkness believing I was meant to survive.”
Tina left Ike in 1976 and the pair’s divorce was officially finalized in 1978. She held on to her iconic name, however, reportedly writing in her book that keeping it was her only request of the judge during divorce proceedings.
“My Love Story” is scheduled to hit shelves on Oct. 16.
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