Tina Turner's son Craig was 'extremely emotional' and was 'deeply affected' by his mom's abusive marriage
Singer Tina Turner’s eldest son Craig Turner who committed suicide on July 3 was extremely emotional as a child and was deeply affected each time he witnessed Ike abuse his mother
Singer Tina Turner’s eldest son Craig Turner, 59, committed suicide on July 3. Law enforcement said that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Studio City home in California, reported TMZ.
Craig was born to 18-year-old Tina Turner and Raymond Hill, a saxophonist for Ike Turner's band the Kings of Rhythm. Tina and Raymond’s relationship fell apart, and Tina began a relationship with Ike and joined his band and later marrying him. Craig’s childhood was far from ideal. He grew up away from his biological father and in an environment where he constantly witnessed domestic abuse.
After Tina married Ike, he adopted Craig and raised him as his own son. Tina and Ike's marriage was far from peaceful and they bickered constantly, usually resulting in a black eye for Tina. When she couldn't take it anymore, Tina left Ike and left Craig behind just as he was finishing up high school.
Craig also has a younger sibling named Ronnie Turner, 57, who is his half-brother. Ronnie is Tina and Ike’s son. He too was a musician and has performed with his parents several times. Tina also adopted two of Ike’s sons, Michael and Ike Turner Jr.
Back in 2005, in an interview with Oprah, Tina opened up about the alleged abuse she suffered when she was with Ike. She also that Ike’s abuse took a toll on Craig. She explained that Craig “was a very emotional kid.” “He’d always look down in sadness,” she said of when he witnessed the alleged abuse himself. “One day when Ike was fighting me, Craig knocked on the door and said, ‘Mother, are you all right?’ I thought, ‘Oh, please, don’t beat me at home.’ I didn’t want my children to hear. I tried to have meals with the children, talk to them about life. But Ike had no sense of that. He'd always come home late from the studio. It was awful."
Tina even provided advice on how to deal with an abusive relationship. She asserted that it is important that people put themselves first in such situations, even if they have children to worry about. She said, "Go. Nothing can be worse than where you are now. You have to take care of yourself first—and then you take care of your children. They will understand later."
When asked how old her children were when she left, Tina replied, "Old enough. Craig had graduated from high school. My youngest son, Ronnie, was still in school. The housekeeper was there. I made sure they would be all right. But before you can really help them, you have to strengthen yourself. You're the priority."
According to People, Tina told The Times that she was just 16 when she met Ike. He wasted no time in asking her to join his band. She felt like she had no choice but to date him. She said, “I felt awful. I didn’t know how to say no because I needed the work. I think I wasn’t educated to handle that.” Their relationship soon turned into a marriage, but it was infested with violence and abuse.
“There was violence because he had this fear that I was going to leave him,” Tina revealed, despite the fact that it was Ike who had the extramarital affairs. “The other women, because I didn’t love him that way… The other women weren’t so bad, but it was the constant, constant ill-treatment.”
Fourteen years after they married, Tina finally mustered up the courage to leave him. The hurt took years to fade away too. She confessed: “As an old person, I have forgiven him, but I would not work with him. He asked for one more tour with me, and I said, ‘No, absolutely not.’ Ike wasn’t someone you could forgive and allow him back in. It’s all gone, all forgotten. I don’t know what the dreams are about. The dreams are still there — not the violence, the anger,” she continued. “I wonder if I’m still holding something in.”
In an exclusive interview with People, Ike opened up about his relationship with Tina. He said, “All the fights Tina and I had were about her being sad about something. I get real emotional if you’re worrying and don’t tell me what it is. Then I can’t think about nothing else. So I’d slap her or something like that.”
In 2007, Ike told Jet magazine that he regrets many of his actions as a husband. “If I owe anybody an apology, that would be Tina,” he said. “I put her through hell with other women. I regret it today, but I can’t undo it.” Ike passed away later that year in December.
Tina Turner is a legendary singer, dancer, actor, and author. She rose to fame when she joined her former husband Ike Turner's band, but soon established her own identity as an artist as well. According to Guinness World Records, Turner has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. Her son Craig was recognized in his field of work as well. He worked as a real estate professional in Rodeo Realty. According to the company’s website, Craig was also a part of organizations for his line of work like The National Organization of Realtors and The California Association of Realtors.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).