“I had an abusive life,” admits Tina Turner, 81, in a new documentary from Academy Award-winning directors Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin.
“There’s no other way to tell the story. It’s a reality. A truth.”
The upcoming film, Tina, delves deeply into the dramatic and violent relationship that she endured while married to Ike Turner.
The Proud Mary hitmakers were married between 1962 and 1978 and whilst he was abusive to her during their relationship, she admits there are a few good memories hidden among the trauma.
She said: “For a long time I did hate Ike, I have to say that. But then, after he died, I really realised that he was an ill person. He did get me started and was good to me in the beginning. So I have some good thoughts. Maybe it was a good thing that I met him, that I don’t know.”
And Turner’s current husband Erwin Bach has revealed she experiences terrifying nightmares and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after the failed relationship.
He said: “She has dreams about it, they’re not pleasant. It’s like when soldiers come back from the war. It’s not an easy time to have those in your memory and then try to forget it.”
Turner admitted it was like a “curse”, adding: “That scene comes back. You’re dreaming it. The real picture is there, it’s like a curse.”
It comes after Turner admits she considers her marriage to Erwin to be her only union because she was forced to tie the knot with her abusive first husband Ike.
She said: “It was the first time that I got married, as far as I was concerned. When Ike asked me to marry him, I knew it was for a reason. But I had to say yes … or it was gonna be a fight. And so then, when we drove to marry, that wasn’t my idea of my wedding. I get emotional with certain conversations. I get emotional because in the beginning, Ike was very good to me.”
Turner believes Ike – who passed away in 2007 at age 76 – “was cruel because he depended” on her and he hated that he relied on her for his own success.
She added: “He didn’t like that he had had to depend on me. And I didn’t want to start a fight because it was always a black eye, a broken nose, a busted lip, a rib.”
Turner also has other tragedies that she wishes to put behind her. In 2018 her eldest son, Craig Raymond Turner, took his own life at age 59.
Martin, co-director of the upcoming Tina documentary, admits that sharing her pain has been very hard for Turner.
“Every time she’s asked to re-tell her story, as beneficial as it may be for other people to hear and be empowered by, it can be extremely painful and re-traumatising for her,” filmmaker Martin, 41, told The Post.
“The spotlight is not interesting to her any more,” Martin continued. “She worked for 60 years, and now she’s done with being repeatedly reminded of her past trauma.”
Turner, who now lives in Switzerland just wants to forgive and forget, as best she can.
“Forgiving means not to hold on. You let it go because by not forgiving, you suffer.”