What’s Love Got To Do With It, the film that depicted the life and times of Tina Turner as well as her tumultuous relationship with husband Ike Turner, has always been subject to inaccuracies. The film was released in 1993 to widespread critical acclaim, with both Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett who played Ike and Tina respectively receiving Oscar nominations for their roles.
The film was a depiction of Tina Turner’s autobiography “I, Tina”, but it’s been known to have incorporated much fictionalization. Many scenes in the film can be fact-checked, while Tina herself has spoken on her own issues with the production. As her life was wrought with abuse from Ike, Turner shared with Vanity Fair in 1993 that producers felt “a deep need” to point the film’s direction toward “a woman who was a victim to a con man.”
“How weak! How shallow! How dare you think that was what I was,” Tina said. “I was in control every minute there. I was there because I wanted to be, because I had promised. […] O.K. so if I was a victim, fine. Maybe I was a victim for a short while. But give me credit for thinking the whole time I was there. See, I do have pride.”
Admittedly, the film studio took many liberties while creating the story. Doug Chapin, co-producer of the film told the Los Angeles Times in a 1993 interview that “We never envisioned it as a biography as much as a very dramatic story of a woman’s journey, from being a bright young thing to being caught in a destructive situation and then getting out of it and standing on top of the mountain, really.”
Amid the film’s many tumultuous scenes was one very hard to watch portrayal of Ike Turner sexually assaulting Tina. However, in an interview with DailyMailTV, one of Ike’s daughters has come forward to say that that particular scene was pure fiction.
Mia Turner, daughter to Ike and one of his backup singers/“Ikettes” Margaret Ann Thomas, gave a “no-holds barred interview” to the publication where she matter-of-factly states “That r*pe did not happen.”
Mia shared that she wasn’t a direct witness to any incident between her father and Tina as well as the struggles with coming to terms with all that went down in their relationship. “Obviously I wasn’t there that night,” she said, ”but after I saw the movie I called Tina’s sister Aillene and said: ‘What in the world?’ She then called Tina and [Aillene] confirmed to me that it never happened.”
Mia is creating her own documentary that depicts the relationship between her father and step-mother. Ike Turner has since passed away, but prior to his death he was able to share his life story in his 1999 autobiography “Takin’ Back My Name”. In it, he denied that he raped Tina, but did admit to other incidents. “Sure, I’ve slapped Tina,” wrote Ike. “There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I never beat her.”
Also in Mia’s interview she shared that much of her childhood she witnessed a great relationship between the Turners, and that her mother and Tina were “best friends”.
“A high percentage of Tina’s account has been accurate,” Mia shared. “When she signed off on the movie it was the way she wanted it, but it was edited heavily afterwards. We find out later it was tweaked. It was made Hollywood, so there’s quite a few scenes, primarily the rape scene. It didn’t happen. In Hollywood, sex sells, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent.”
She added, “They didn’t argue much in front of me. When it came to rehearsals, daddy was the choreographer and composer, so they might quibble over things, but I never saw him hit her. I’m not saying those things didn’t happen, I just never saw that.”
When asked about her relationship with Tina now, she states: “Tina was like a second mother to me, I have a lot of love and respect for her, I still do. I was like the daughter she never had, we did everything together. Tina will always have a very special place in my heart because that’s my other mother. If I saw her today, I would hug her and say, ‘I love you and I miss you.’”
Tina shared in a 2018 interview with Oprah that after all these years, she’s finally brought herself to watch the film. “I watched a little bit of it, but I didn’t finish it because that was not how things went. Oprah, I didn’t realize they would change the details so much,” she said.