Tina Turner Opens Up About Suicide Attempt During Her Disastrous Marriage To Ike

Tina Turner and old photo of Tina and Ike
Miguel Villagran and Evening Standard / Getty Images

For the first time, Tina Turner admits that she attempted to commit suicide while married to her ex-husband Ike. Radar Online reports that the singer writes about one of the darkest times in her life in her forthcoming autobiography, My Love Story. At one point in her stormy marriage with Ike Turner, the singer tried to kill herself as a way to escape her husband’s constant abuse.

Turner has been very vocal about her incredibly abusive marriage. Not only did he physically beat her up, but he cheated on her and mentally abused her too. According to People, she writes that she realized that they would never have a normal relationship because Ike knew that she was going to be his “money-maker.”

“He needed to control me, economically and psychologically, so I could never leave him.”

The psychological abuse was such that he stripped her of her birth name, Anna Mae Bullock, and gave her the name Tina against her will. His last name was Turner and he wanted her to have it as it implied that he owned her and that they were married. Tina only married Ike two years after their son, Ronnie, was born. In fact, she recalls that on their wedding night, Turner took his bride to a whorehouse. She felt too embarrassed to ever tell anyone where she spent her first night as Mrs. Turner.

Turner writes about the day that she decided to take her life. She was convinced that the only way she would ever escape the beatings and her marriage was if she committed suicide. She goes into excruciating details about how she lied to the doctor to get the pills and how she timed taking them.

“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]. I was unhappy when I woke up. But I came out of the darkness believing I was meant to survive.”

At the time, she had her team around her and they noticed that Turner was acting suspiciously. She was having trouble speaking and putting on her makeup. They rushed her to the hospital where her stomach was pumped.

Her nightmare continued when she woke up to Ike sitting at her hospital bed. She recalls that he called her a “mother f**ker” and told her to die. Turner escaped her marriage in 1976 while on tour with him. She walked out of her marriage with two Jaguars and her name, which the judge ruled that she had the right to use.

My Love Story comes after Tina’s estranged first-born son, Craig, committed suicide in July this year. The book is due out on October 16, 2018.


If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.