Tina Turner Has Forgiven Ike Turner, But She Hasn’t Forgotten His Abuse
Peter Still/Redferns

At almost 80-years-old, international superstar Tina Turner is feeling reflective about life. As she readies her upcoming memoir, Tina Turner: My Love Story, the legendary performer sat down for a rare interview. In addition to talking about ditching America for Switzerland, practicing Buddhism, and working on new music, Turner kept it all the way real about her feelings about her former husband and musical collaborator, Ike Turner.

In a recent chat with British newspaper, the Times, Turner said she’s forgiven Ike Turner for abusing her during their marriage.

“As an old person, I have forgiven him, but it would not work with him,” she said. “He asked for one more tour with me, and I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’”

While Turner may have put their tumultuous history behind her so she could move on and experience peace, the 78-year-old singer said she would never forget what Ike Turner did to her during their time together.

“Ike wasn’t someone you could forgive and allow him back in,” she explained.

Turner said she endured 16 years of abuse at the hands of her ex-husband before finally breaking away from him in 1976 when she fled to a hotel in Dallas seeking help.

“I wanted to leave and knew that, eventually, I was going to; I just didn’t know when. I kept thinking, ‘How much longer do I have to go on like this?’ I wonder about talking about this because I don’t want to seem like a fool,” she recalled in a 1986 interview with Rolling Stone. “When I finally did leave him, it all made sense. I couldn’t have left before because I had to finish that karma, and karma is dealing with lessons that you have to learn.”

In spite of forgiving Ike Turner and cutting off all contact with him, Turner said she still has dreams about her former partner.

“I don’t know what the dreams are about,” she said. “The dreams are still there — not the violence, the anger. I wonder if I’m still holding something in.”

Ike Turner passed away in 2007. Though he admitted to hitting his former wife, in his 2001 autobiography he contended he never “beat” her.

“Sure, I’ve slapped Tina,” Ike Turner wrote in Taking Back My Name. “There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I never beat her.”


In addition to her upcoming book, a new musical about Turner’s life titled “TINA the Musical” recently premiered in London.