Marvin Gaye’s Widow Explained Why He Reportedly ‘Tried To Kill Her’

Posted On : April 2, 2021
Marvin Gaye with his wife, Jan Gaye

The details behind the relationship between the beloved Marvin Gaye and his ex-wife, Jan Gaye, (also known as Janis Gaye) never cease to shock us. Jan and Marvin started dating when Jan was just a 17 year old fan from a foster home and Marvin was 34. As if that isn’t surprising enough, there is a whole lot more that Jan revealed throughout the years, including their threesomes with other celebs, orgies, and drug addictions. This time, she revealed a particular incident where she thought that she was about to take her last breathe at the hands of her husband, Marvin.

In her book, After The Dance: My Life With Marvin Gaye, Jan recalled one of Marvin’s many drug induced anger outbursts, she said he was high on cocaine and magic mushrooms. The drugs caused him to become very angry and then accuse Jan of cheating on him…what she says he did next is scary:

“This time the madness reached a new and dangerous level,” Jan says.

“His eyes turned red with hatred. I was filled with fear…he took a kitchen knife and put it to my throat. I was petrified, paralyzed. I thought it was all over.

“’I’ve loved you so much,’ Marvin said. ‘This love is killing me. I beg you to provoke me. Provoke me right now so I can take us both out of our misery.’

“I was too frightened to say a word, too frightened to move. Fortunately, his rage subsided and he put the knife away. But by then I knew what I had to do.”

Jan eventually packed up herself, their two children, and moved out of their Los Angeles home, and that was when the true trouble began for both she and Marvin.

Jan Gaye

Jan said Marvin was all about being closed off from the outside world, so he kept an AK-47 and two guard dogs on deck at all times. Although Jan learned early on about Marvin’s battles with drugs and such, she couldn’t deny the fame and the glamorous life he provided for her:

“I realized that a million other women would jump at the chance that I had been given,” she says.

“It didn’t matter to me that he was using me to fulfill his fantasies. I was willing to be led and fed whatever stimulants he offered.”

Jan says that Marvin’s persistent insecurities that she was sleeping with other men, along with his abusiveness and drug addictions is what ultimately pushed her into the arms of other men- including Teddy Pendergrass and Frankie Beverly (of Maze)…yep you just read that right (see the details on that here).

Marvin and Janis Gaye

Because of their tumultuous relationship, their marriage finally crashed and burned and they divorced in 1982. That was the year that all hell broke lose for Jan- she fell into deep poverty because she no longer had Marvin’s help and she turned to crack cocaine to numb her pain. As she tried to raise their two children, Frankie and Nona, she was also doing whatever she had to do to support her habit:

“I borrowed money from ex-lovers, friends, and family,” she says. “I got a job cleaning house for a lady who paid me half in cash and half in cocaine.”

Like we always say here at ILoveOldSchoolMusic, some of our favorite entertainers, like Marvin Gaye, have accomplished many great things in life, but that does not always mean that they are great, perfect people- nah, not at all- they are simply perfectly flawed human beings, just like the rest of us. That doesn’t justify any of their wrongdoings, just as it doesn’t justify our’s, but it just makes them human with personality/character issues that they need to work hard to repair.