Tawny Kitaen's divorces: Tragic story of '80s music video vixen's marriages with David Coverdale, Chuck Finley

After several run-ins with the law and a staggering addiction problem, Kitaen's personal life saw two failed marriages with two celebrities


                            Tawny Kitaen's divorces: Tragic story of '80s music video vixen's marriages with David Coverdale, Chuck Finley
Tawny Kitaen with David Coverdale and Chuck Finley (Getty Images)
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Tawny Kitaen, the '80s icon, died on May 7, 2021. The 'music video vixen', who was a Whitesnake signature back in the day, was known for her appearances in music videos for songs such as 'Here I Go Again', 'Still of the Night', 'Is This Love' and 'The Deeper the Love'. The other heavy metal band that Kitaen was a signature face in was Ratt. Her covers from their music video for the song 'Back for More' still lives on. 

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With credits in films such as 'Bachelor Party', 'Gwendoline' and 'After Midnight', Kitaen left acting to find success in reality television and was quite known for starring in the likes of 'The Surreal Life', 'Botched' and even 'Celebrity Rehab With Dr Drew'. But as racy as Kitaen's professional life had been, her personal life was just as scandalous. Kitaen was married to not one, but two famous faces who were big names when she was at the pinnacle of her success. Unfortunately, after several run-ins with the law and a staggering addiction problem, Kitaen's personal life saw two failed marriages.

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Actress Tawny Kitaen arrives at the premiere of Relativity Media's 'Take Me Home Tonight' at the Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 on March 2, 2011, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

Tawny Kitaen and David Coverdale

Some of Kitaen's most memorable onscreen appearances are from music videos for songs from the band Whitesnake in the 1980s. But that wasn't Kitaen's only association with the band. She was also in a relationship with lead singer David Coverdale at the time. The couple got married in 1989 and divorced just two years later. One of the reasons behind Kitaen and Coverdale's split has been cited as substance abuse. "David (Coverdale) and I, when we were married, I quit smoking and he continued," Kitaen had once opened up during an interview with Just a Rock N Roll Junkie in 2015. "It would be snowing in Tahoe and I'd say, 'Not in the house.'"

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Rocker David Coverdale of the rock group Whitesnake poses with his girlfriend Tawny Kitaen at the 1987 MTV Music Awards at Universal City, California (Getty Images)

Kitaen and Coverdale had allegedly grown apart after their split, which was sometime in 1991. She had admitted in the same interview that while she hadn't communicated with the rocker in years, she still considers him to have "the best rock and roll voice ever". But that was in 2015. By 2019, one of her vlogs saw the former entertainer call her first husband a "pain in the butt" and a "narcissistic idiot" whom she accused of using her to get famous. Coverdale shared a heartfelt tribute in the wake of Kitaen's death as he tweeted, "Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news…Waiting on confirmation…but, if it is true, my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans…"

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Tawny Kitaen in a music video with then-husband David Coverdale (YouTube)

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Tawny Kitaen and Chuck Finley

Kitaen and Chuck Finley married six years after her divorce from Coverdale, during which time she is also believed to have had an affair with OJ Simpson while he was married to Nicole J Simpson. Kitaen went on to have two daughters, Wynter and Raine, with the MLB pitcher before their divorce in 2002 which followed a domestic violence arrest. Kitaen was taken into custody after she had physically assaulted her then-husband Finley inside their car. ESPN reported that she had attacked Finley with her high-heel shoes as they drove home from dinner.

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Former Anaheim Angels pitcher Chuck Finley with Tawny Kitaen in a 1992 file photo (Getty Images)

Finley had filed for divorce three days later and even though the charges were dismissed after Kitaen agreed to undergo counseling and avoid contact with Finley, their marriage had already fallen apart after just five years. In a declaration to the Orange County Superior Court, Kitaen had claimed Finley used steroids and other drugs. She had also alleged Finley had bragged about being bulletproof to MLB's testing policy.

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Kitaen also alleged heavy marijuana use and alcohol abuse, to which Finley had responded with: "I can't believe she left out the cross-dressing." After their messy 2002 divorce, during an April game the same year against the Chicago White Sox, the stadium's music director tried taking a dig at him by playing 'Here I Go Again' by Whitesnake. He was later fired and the White Sox apologized to Finley. 

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TV Personality Tawny Kitaen arrives at Relativity Media presents the premiere of 'Take Me Home Tonight' held at Regal Cinemas LA Live Stadium 14 on March 2, 2011, in Los Angeles, California (Getty Images)

Kitaen died at the age of 59, according to the Orange County Coroner's office. She was in her Newport Beach, California home, although the cause of death hasn't been revealed yet, except reports station there was an "injury description", which was listed as "residential death".

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