Tina Turner Looks Back on the Night She Fled From Abusive Husband Ike Turner

The singer fled in 1976 with nothing but a gas card and 36 cents in her pocket

Updated 10/27/17

Michael Ochs Archives

Ike and Tina Turner and were known for their dynamic performances, but behind the glitz and glamour lay an abusive relationship. After having enough of Ike's physical and mental torment, Turner fled her monstrous husband in 1976 with nothing but a Mobil gas card and 36 cents in her pocket. Fans caught a glimpse of that terrifying moment in the 1993 biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It, but during an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, airing this Saturday on ITV, the singer finally opened up about the night she decided she'd finally had enough.

“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 told the host. “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.”

Turner made her way out while the pair were on tour and staying at the Statler Hilton in Dallas. She remembered: “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. 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.' ”

Despite the immense risk of being caught by her ex-husband, Turner, who is now married to Erwin Bach, has no regrets. “It was just time to not take any more," she said. "It was constantly abusive, other things going on, there was no control, there was no freedom, it was just the same this, same this and the violence.You just get fed up and you say, ‘Life is not worth living if I’m going to stay in this situation.' ”

Victims of abuse often find themselves completely consumed by their abuser, and are often left with a cynical outlook on love. It's important to remind the victim that they are not alone during their recovery time. Friends and family can provide comfort and support, including a number of available services and hotlines.

“If you’ve been in a previous relationship where you had an abusive partner, it’s not your fault,” said Qudsia Raja, advocacy and policy manager of Young Women's Christian Association USA. “You’re a survivor and you’re brave for leaving.”

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