Tina Turner opens up about the night she decided to leave the abusive Ike Turner. From dodging trucks across the highway to breaking an old promise, the singer holds nothing back.
“I walked out without anything and had to make it on my own for my family and everyone so I just went back to work for myself,” she said on an episode British talk show “The Jonathan Ross Show” airing Saturday, Oct. 27 according to People magazine. “It was very difficult and dangerous because Ike was a violent person and at that point, he was on drugs and very insecure. I had no money. I had no place to go.”
The episode played out in Turner’s hit 1993 biopic “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” starring Angela Bassett. Turner had been on tour with her husband in 1976 and left the hotel room with a gas card and a few cents on her.
Turner, 77, has detailed her abuse before in her 1986 autobiography, “I, Tina.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, she endured her husband’s battery for years which resulted in a broken jaw and a fight in a Las Vegas limo that left her bloody.
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“I just took a chance, I said, ‘The way out is through the door’ and while he was on one of his sleeping times, I just left the hotel, went out the kitchen way and down to the freeway,” she told Ross of her escape. “I didn’t measure the speed of a car. I was running across the freeway and this big truck was coming and it [beeped its horn]. It felt like it was over me and I thought, ‘Well, I won’t try that again.’”
The couple divorced in 1978, putting Turner out of a relationship that she said was “constantly abusive” and allowed her no control or freedom.
“‘Life is not worth living if I’m going to stay in this situation,'” she recalled thinking.
Turner explained she stayed with her ex-husband so long because of a promise she made to him, who had been struggling to get his career off the ground early on.
“But then it got to the point where it became really bad, really bad so it was time to go.”
Ike Turner, who died in 2007, told Spin magazine in 1985 that he had no regrets before acknowledging he did beat his wife.
“I don’t regret nothing I’ve ever done, absolutely nothing, man, because it took all of that to make me what I am today — and I love me today, I really do,” he said. “Yeah, I hit her, but I didn’t hit her more than the average guy beats his wife. The truth is, our life was no different from the guy next door’s. It’s been exaggerated. People buy bad news, dirty news. If she says I abused her, maybe I did.”