Tina Turner started carrying a gun after she was told Ike Turner had a hit out on her.
The late ‘Private Dancer’ singer spent years being subjected to physical, verbal and mental abuse by her first husband, and after she finally divorced him in 1978, she says he had “goons” who shot her late manager Rhonda Graam’s car and into the house they shared.
Tina, whose death aged 83 was confirmed on 24 May, said in her memoir ‘My Love Story’ about refusing to work with Ike Turner after their split: “Ike, meanwhile, was so furious that I refused to collaborate with him on music projects that he struck back the only way he knew how – with violence.
“One night at home, we heard this loud ‘bang, bang, bang’ coming from outside. The back window of Rhonda’s car had just been blown out with bullets.
“Another night, the goons actually shot into the house. A friend later heard them bragging about it. We were so scared that Rhonda slept on the floor of the boys’ room while I slept in my closet.”
Tina Turner added about hearing Ike wanted to have her killed: “Then I heard from a reliable source that Ike had talked to someone about solving his Tina problem.
“He’d tried to arrange for a hit man to take me ‘to the ballpark’ – slang for a killing. After that, I made sure I carried a gun.”
Tina hired Rhonda to help get her career back on track after her divorce from Ike even though he had seduced her.
The ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’ singer added about her old friend, who died in January 2021: “We’d met in 1964, when she was just a young fan, but she had soon become a vital part of the Ike and Tina Turner operation and a close friend.
“Yet even Rhonda had ended up having an affair with Ike. He had seduced every woman in our circle. That’s what he did. In his mind, s*x was power. When a woman became his conquest, he believed he owned her.
“I forgave Rhonda because, in a funny way, we were in the same boat, dependent on Ike, constantly at his beck and call, ruled by him, abused by him.
“We were like members of a cult. Sister wives who always came through for each other, despite Ike’s attempts to divide us.”
Tina, born Anna Mae Bullock, asked the judge at her divorce hearing for only one thing from Ike – the stage name he had given her and trademarked.
She said: “I told the judge, ‘Forget the jewellery, forget everything. It’s only blood money. I want nothing.’
“Although I did have one request. I wanted to continue using ‘Tina Turner’, which Ike owned because of the trademark he had obtained when we first started performing.”