Tina Turner is getting real.
The iconic singer released her first autobiography, “I, Tina,” in 1986, but there’s more to her story. In her upcoming memoir, “My Love Story,” Tina shares new details about her marriage to Ike Turner, and reveals she once tried to kill herself in an attempt to escape their tumultuous relationship.
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Ike and Tina first met in the late 1950s when he was 25 years old and she was just 17. According to Tina, it didn’t take long before their relationship turned romantic — or abusive. In a previous interview with Spin magazine, Ike said, “Yeah, I hit her, but I didn’t hit her more than the average guy beats his wife… if she says I abused her, maybe I did.”
“First, he was verbally abusive. Then, he picked up a wooden shoe stretcher. 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,” Tina claims in her new memoir, via People. “I was so shocked I started to cry. Ike ordered me to get on the bed. I hated him at that moment. The very last thing I wanted to do was make love, if you could call it that. 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.’”
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In 1960, Tina gave birth to their first child together, son Ronnie, and two years later they married in Tijuana. But as Tina writes, “Our life together was a mockery of a ‘normal’ relationship: defined by abuse and fear, not love, or even affection.”
Just a few years later, Tina decided she couldn’t take it anymore. “At my lowest, I convinced myself that death was my only way out. 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],” Tina says. “I was unhappy when I woke up. But I came out of the darkness believing I was meant to survive.”
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Tina and Ike split in 1976, and divorced in 1978, but their relationship continued to be a focus of the media. The pair’s story was the center of the 1993 film, “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and the biographical musical, “Tina,” opened on London’s West End earlier this year.