Tina Turner's daughter-in-law reveals the pain caused by her children

EXCLUSIVE: Tina Turner lived in agony for years… but her biggest heartache was her children: Singer’s daughter-in-law reveals her fears that Ronnie would ‘turn out like’ abusive father Ike – and how she could never overcome devastation of Craig’s suicide

  • Afida Turner, 46, was married to Tina’s late son Ronnie for 16 years until his death from colon cancer in December 2022
  • Now, she’s spoken exclusively to DailyMail.com about her mother-in-law’s death 
  • In a searingly candid interview, Afida opened up about Tina’s relationship with her kids, revealing how the singer ‘cried every night’ over son Craig’s suicide 
  • READ  MORE: FEMAIL lifts the lid on Tina’s many personal tragedies

The truth about Tina Turner’s agonizing final years and the many health battles that she faced leading up to her death has been laid bare in great detail since the music icon passed away at the age of 83. 

Her strength and resilience during those years has been celebrated by many of her friends, family, and fans in recent days – but now, one person who knew her more intimately than most could ever have, is opening up about the very personal pain that Tina was grappling with long before she was diagnosed with any illness. 

In her first interview since Tina’s death earlier this week, the Proud Mary singer’s daughter-in-law Afida is opening up in searing detail about the incredible heartache that she suffered as a mother two four children – two of whom she tragically outlived. 

Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com from her home in France, Afida, 46, who like her mother-in-law is also a musician, laid bare the truth about Tina’s heartbreaking fears that her son Ronnie would ‘turn out like’ his abusive father Ike Turner – and the grief over her other son Craig’s suicide, which clouded her life until her dying day. 

She also revealed the family’s shock over Tina’s passing – admitting that, despite knowing she had been sick for so long, her strength and resilience made them all think that she would live forever. 

Tina Turner’s daughter-in-law has candidly laid bare the late singer’s heartbreak over her children’s struggles – days after the icon (seen in 1987) passed away at age 83

Afida Turner, 46, was married to Ronnie, Tina’s son with her ex-husband Ike Turner, for 16 years before he passed away in December 2022 after a brief battle with colon cancer 

In a searingly candid interview with DailyMail.com, Afida revealed Tina’s enduring heartache over her son Craig’s suicide – and her fears that Ronnie (seen with his brother) would ‘turn out like’ his abusive father Ike Turner

‘She was ill for a long time, but she was extraordinarily strong too,’ Afida shared. ‘She was fighting for her life from 2017 until now. We knew how sick she was, but she was doing so well that this was not expected.’ 

Over the years, Tina was battered with a number of serious health conditions, including hypertension that led to a stroke and kidney failure, intestinal cancer, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Still, Afida says that her death rocked her surviving family members to their very cores.  

The news of Tina’s death came as an even greater shock for the family because they are still dealing with their gut-wrenching grief over the loss of her son, Afida’s late husband, Ronnie, who died from colon cancer in December – just five months before his mother passed away. 

It was an almost unthinkable tragedy for Tina, who was, Afida says, already ‘extremely sick’ when her son passed away and who had already had to suffer through the loss of one son, Craig, who shot himself dead in 2018 at the age of 59.

According to Afida, losing Craig was a heartache that Tina carried with her every day – even as she battled her own ailing health. 

According to Afida, losing Craig was a heartache that Tina carried with her every day – even as she battled her own ailing health. 

‘If you lose a child, or a loved one, you are going to cry every morning and every night.’

However she says that Tina found strength in her Buddhist faith, adding that the only dim light to come out of her mother-in-law’s passing is the knowledge that she has finally been reunited with her sons. 

‘They never had time to spend together and now all three of them are together,’ she said. 

Speaking to DailyMail.com from her home in France, Afida shared her ‘shock’ over Tina’s passing, explaining that the family was stunned when the singer died 

Like Tina, Afida pursued a career in music – and she believes it was her similarity to the singer that made Ronnie fall in love with her 

Afida says that Tina (who is seen with Ronnie, Afida, and Craig) warned her away from her son at the start of their relationship

Tina (seen with ex-husband Ike and their four children in 1972) was terrified that Ronnie (seen bottom left) was going to become a wife abuser like his father  

Craig was Tina’s only child from her relationship with Kings of Rhythm saxophonist Raymond Hill and she gave birth to him when she was just 18 years old. Upon learning of the news of his suicide, Tina expressed her shock – admitting at the time in a public statement that she had thought he was happier than ever before, having found love with a woman who he had been planning to introduce to his mother. 

‘I still don’t know what took him to the edge,’ she told the BBC. ‘Because at that stage he had said to me that he had never met a woman that he felt that way about. 

‘He was bringing her to meet me [for] his birthday in August. He had decorated his apartment, that I bought him years ago.

‘I have no idea what pulled him down, except something that followed him with loneliness. I think it was something with being alone.’

Just five years after Craig passed away, Tina lost her second son, Ronnie, to a severe form of colon cancer, which claimed his life just three weeks after he was diagnosed – a loss that left both his mother and his wife ‘traumatized’, Afida says. 

‘It destroyed me. It traumatized me,’ she candidly admitted. ‘It was hard for me to stay in the house, I lost weight.

‘Tina was already extremely sick [when Ronnie was diagnosed], she could not fly to Los Angeles and [care for him]. I had to do it all on my own.’

Although Tina was too ill to care for her son in his final weeks, Afida says that her infamous ‘force of nature and endurance’ was clear to see in Ronnie even as he battled the cancer that ravaged his health so quickly. 

It was, she explained, a testament to the family’s incredible resilience that both remained so strong in their final weeks on Earth. 

‘I believe it is force of nature and endurance,’ she said. ‘I believe you are born like that. You are born with her kind of energy. Ronnie was so like that too. He was so strong. He never got sick. 

‘One time he was in the snow with his long dreadlocks, and I was like you are going to get sick and he was like, “No I don’t get sick!” The two of them had very strong genes.’ 

Although Ronnie inherited his mother’s incredible spirit, Afida revealed that Tina feared for years he would ‘turn out like’ his father Ike – whom the singer said put her through years of hellish abuse during their marriage, beginning on their wedding night when she revealed he forced her to visit a brothel. 

When Ronnie (pictured) and Afida met, she says he began displaying behavior that suggested he was going to realize his mother’s fears  

Tina spoke out many times about the abuse she says she endured at the hands of Ike (seen together in 1963), revealing how he forced her to visit a brothel on their wedding night  

Ronnie’s death came only four years after his older brother, Craig (seen with his mother), killed himself in his Studio City home at the age of 59. Afida says Tina never got over his death 

In an incredible admission, Afida says Tina – who also adopted two of Ike’s sons from a previous relationship – actually warned her away from Ronnie in the early years of their relationship out of terror that she might subject another woman to the kind of abuse she says she faced at the hands of her husband for so long. 

‘[Tina] sometimes told me, “You don’t want to stay with him. He is going to be like his father,”‘ Afida shared. ‘It is pretty rare for a mother to say that.’ 

She admits that, at the start of her relationship with Ronnie, it looked as though Tina’s fears might might be realized, confessing that her partner initially began to show signs of the kind of behavior that his mother had warned her about. 

‘At first, he was kind of like his father, but after that he was going very well,’ she revealed, noting that she made clear to Ronnie she would not stay with him if his behavior continued. 

‘He made a very big effort to keep me. In the beginning it was very hard because I was not willing to stay with him.’

Before meeting Afida, Ronnie had faced a history of drug-related arrests, and was busted in August 1999 for possession of cocaine — with authorities alleging he was selling the drugs.

The arrest came just two years after he was convicted of possession of a controlled substance just two years earlier, as well as sale of a controlled substance in 1987 and possession of cocaine in 1988.

Ronnie’s cocaine use was a harrowing echo of his father’s own struggles, which would ultimately claim his life when he died on December 12, 2007, from a cocaine overdose. 

Afida believes that Ronnie struggled during his childhood – during much of which his parents were working – explaining that, in place of the time her husband wishes he could have spent with his father, Ike would offer financial rewards and lavish gifts. 

Speaking about Ronnie’s death in December 2022, Afida (pictured with her husband and Tina) said his passing left her ‘traumatized’ 

When Afida first met Ronnie (seen together in 2007), she says he was a ‘heavy drinker’, however she insists that he had changed his ways long before he was diagnosed with cancer

‘[Ronnie] was extremely sensitive,’ she revealed. ‘He told me that his father gave him $100 every day. Him, Craig, Mike, and Ike Jr. got all the best gifts from Ike when they came back from tour. He told me Ike bought a Porsche for Craig.’ 

When Afida first met Ronnie, she says he was a ‘heavy drinker’, however she insists that he had changed his ways long before he was diagnosed with cancer. 

‘I made him stop drinking and go to the gym. He was doing very well,’ she recalled. 

However, in 2022, Ronnie’s health suddenly took a turn for the worse – and Afida returned home from a tour to find that he was incredibly sick. 

‘I was on tour for two weeks. I came back and his stomach was huge,’ she revealed. 

‘I knew something was wrong right away. He said, “When you are on tour you don’t cook for me. So, I just eat burgers.” 

‘But I knew [his condition was not caused by] a burger. So, I just took him to the ER to do a scan. Every month for ten years, he had a blood test because he was a heavy drinker.’ 

The couple received the devastating colon cancer diagnosis – however Afida says that Ronnie was ready to battle the illness with the same fighting attitude as his mother had done for much of her life.  

‘When we got the results that it was a colon cancer, we were ready to do chemotherapy,’ she revealed. ‘And one week after the result he passed away. And now his has mother passed.’

Afida says that Tina’s husband, Erwin Bach, who she was with for 27 years before their 2013 wedding, is currently in the process of organizing her funeral  

Still reeling from the death of her husband, Afida says she has found small comfort in the knowledge that Ronnie and Tina have now been reunited – along with Craig. 

And, as Tina did for so long, Afida plans to seek comfort in her music – something that she says was a key part of her strong bond with her mother-in-law, as well as their shared larger-than-life personalities. 

‘I am very honest and sometimes I can be very shocking,’ Afida jokes, ‘[Tina] was the same. Sometimes people are just shocked [when they see me], like, “Oh my God.” When she first saw me, she was a little shocked. But after we talked, she was never shocked at all.’

She also believes that her similarities to Tina helped to form the foundation of her years-long relationship with Ronnie, who she says always struggled to find a woman who understood him in the way that his mother did. 

‘Maybe that is why Ronnie was in love with me so much, because he did not think that much of women,’ she said. ‘A woman was never good enough for him.’

Afida says she does not yet know what the exact plans are for Tina’s funeral – however she was quick to pay tribute to her mother-in-law’s husband, Erwin Bach, whom she praised for being such a pillar of support to the singer for so many years. 

‘She is having a funeral, but I am not the one who organized it,’ she explained. ‘I am not the one who is doing this. Her husband handles that. She has a husband who handles all of that and has handled everything for many years. 

‘He did a good job at it too. He did a good job at helping her.’

Until Afida is able to say goodbye to Tina at her official funeral, she says she will continue to honor her legacy with the rest of the world – while also seeking solace in the bittersweet knowledge that her mother-in-law has been reunited with the children she loved so much. 

‘Tina Turner will be with us forever. Rest in peace with your two sons, Ron, and Craig. I love you all very much.’ 

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