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Tina Turner says she no longer hates her abusive ex-husband Ike

Tina Turner has opened up about her extraordinary ability to forgive her abusive ex-husband Ike.

In the lead up to the release of her self-titled documentary Tina, the 81-year-old iconic singer revealed how becoming a Buddhist allowed her to come to terms with her violent past and look towards a positive future.

Speaking to The Sun Herald, Tina admitted that she hated Ike ‘for a long time’, but that she started to learn forgiveness following his death in 2007.

Forgiveness: Tina Turner has opened up about her extraordinary ability to forgive her abusive ex-husband Ike

‘After he died I realised he was a sick person, an ill person at the soul. He did get me started, he was good to me in the beginning, so I do have some good thoughts,’ she said. 

‘I don’t look back. I don’t dwell. I wouldn’t change anything because every experience, good or bad, has made me the person I am today. Buddhism has taught me that life is a process.’

In 1981, the American singer first spoke out against domestic abuse and shared her story of survival after leaving her abuser.

At the time it was a move that was deemed influential, so much so that she admits fans reached out to thank her for her honesty.  

Tina, who is now a practicing Buddhist, says she still gets emotional when people say they’re inspired by her story. 

‘So many people have reached out to me to say that “If Tina could do it, I think maybe I can do it”,’ she added.     

Horror: The music legend, 81, admitted that even today, she still has flashbacks of being beaten by the musician, who she divorced in 1978 (pictured 1964)

Horror: The music legend, 81, admitted that even today, she still has flashbacks of being beaten by the musician, who she divorced in 1978 (pictured 1964)

The music legend admitted that even today, she still has flashbacks of being beaten by the musician, who she divorced in 1978 – with her new husband Erwin Bach comparing her to a ‘shellshocked soldier’ in new film Tina. 

Referencing her battle with PTSD, Tina explained in the candid documentary: ‘It hurts to have to remember those times.’

‘But at a certain stage forgiveness takes over, forgiving means not to hold on, you let it go, because it only hurts you. I had an abusive life, there’s no other way to tell the story, it’s a reality, it’s the truth, you have to accept it.’   

Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock, and still just a teenager when she met the man who would change her life, Ike Turner.

Ike and Tina became known in the 60s and 70s for The Ike and Tina Revue – but behind closed doors Ike was inflicting sickening violence on Tina.   

Grand finale: The Best hitmaker told viewers that she has a form of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the beatings and numerous health issues in recent years

Grand finale: The Best hitmaker told viewers that she has a form of post-traumatic stress disorder caused by the beatings and numerous health issues in recent years

Later came well known years of domestic violence. 

‘Busted lips, black eyes, dislocated joints, broken bones and psychological torment became a part of everyday life,’ she wrote in her 2020 book  Happiness Becomes You: A Guide To Changing Your Life For Good.

‘Buddhism found me. The abuse I endured in my 20s and 30s had become obvious to people around me, and at different times a number of them suggested that I learn about Buddhism.  

‘I tried to keep myself sane while managing his insanity,’ Tina adds.

But her depression and despondency from Ike’s abusiveness and infidelities led Tina to attempt suicide in 1968 by downing 50 sleeping pills backstage before a concert.   

The music crew backstage realized something was wrong and rushed her to the hospital to save her life.

Initially disappointed to wake up, she decided to just make the most of her life,  but where she was headed she didn’t know – before turning to Buddhism.    

Career renaissance: Ike and Tina finally divorced in 1978 - with Tina finding greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45

Wow: Tina soared to worldwide fame once more in the 1980s with her album Private Dancer (pictured 1982)

Career renaissance: Ike and Tina finally divorced in 1978 – with Tina finding greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45  (pictured right in 1982)

The pair finally divorced in 1978 – with Tina finding greater success than she had ever experienced in her youth with the release of her 1984 album Private Dancer when she was aged 45. 

In 1986, she met current husband, Erwin, the two married in 2013 and she often refers to him as her ‘soul mate.’

Tina premieres on Foxtel Movies at 11am Sunday March 28 and is available to watch on demand.

The Best: Tina has been married to German music exec Erwin Bach since 2013 - she has called him her 'soulmate' (pictured 2018)

The Best: Tina has been married to German music exec Erwin Bach since 2013 – she has called him her ‘soulmate’ (pictured 2018)


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