Singer P.P. Arnold is opening up in her new memoir, Soul Survivor, about a dark period in her career during which she claims that bandleader/songwriter Ike Turner raped her while she was part of his and former wife Tina Turner‘s band. According to The Telegraph, the 75-year-0ld singer born in Watts, Los Angeles joined the Ike & Tina Turner revue in 1965 for a one-year stint during which she performed live and sang backing vocals on Ike-produced songs on the duo’s 1966 River Deep — Mountain High album.
“What can I say? It was awful. I despised Ike on that level, but I didn’t know how to express myself,” Arnold told the Telegraph of the incident she claimed found Ike Turner trapping her in a hotel room before the alleged sexual assault that she had not previously revealed. Turner, who was accused of sexual and physical assault by ex Tina Turner, died at age 76 in December 2007 of a cocaine overdose. “I was told Tina wanted to get rid of me because Ike was after me. If I had run to Tina or called my parents, it would have meant I would have [had] to come home.”
Arnold said she also was afraid to go home out of fear of further violence at the hands of her then-husband, who she described as having a “deep anger.”
She left the band in 1966 at the suggestion of Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and stayed on in London to record her 1967 debut, The First Lady of Immediate and the following year’s Kafunta, which featured orchestral arrangements from a pre-Led Zeppelin John Paul Jones. Though not as well-known in the U.S., Arnold established a solid career in the U.K. in the 1960s, which included a 1967 cover of Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut in the Deepest,” followed-up in 1968 with a cover of “Angel of the Morning” produced by Jones.
She collaborated with a number of other major English artists at the time, including Rod Stewart, the Rolling Stones’ Jagger, Ron Wood and Keith Richards, as well as the Bee Gees’ Barry Gibb and later served as a backing vocalist for acts including Roger Waters and the KLF. Not only did Jagger champion the powerful R&B/soul singer, but in the memoir she notes that she had a brief dalliance with the Stones icon and his then-girlfriend, singer Marianne Faithfull, who she says “enthusiastically joined” their affair.
“Mick was in heaven but Marianne was more interested in me,” she writes in the book. “I had always been a good kisser and so was she. I tried to let myself go but I was also uncomfortable … ultimately it was Mick that I was infatuated with, not her. There was a plantation feel about it, like I was a plaything.”
She also reportedly claims in the book that she got pregnant, and she and Jagger agreed she should have an abortion, noting that the rock legend sent flowers but did not cut short his holiday to Morocco at the time. The Telegraph reported that a spokesperson for Jagger declined to comment on the report.
Elsewhere in the memoir, Arnold touches on her friendship with Jimi Hendrix and romances with Small Faces singer Steve Marriott and Stewart.