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Marvin Gaye's 2nd Ex-Wife Janis Cheated on Him with 2 Famous Singers Amid Abusive Relationship in the 1970s

Gracious Egedegbe
Sep 16, 2021
01:00 A.M.

Find out the details of Marvin Gaye's relationship with his second ex-wife, Janis Hunter, who had three children with him and wrote a book to tell the tale of their love.


Marvin Gaye is regarded as one of the most iconic singers in music history. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, which earned him the nickname "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul."

In his lifetime, Gaye was married twice. His first marriage was to Motown founder Berry Gordy's sister, Anna Gordy. They married in 1963 but separated in 1975 before officially divorcing in 1977, two years after Gordy filed for divorce.

Marvin Gaye and wife Janis Gaye on October 31, Halloween, 1977 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Marvin Gaye and wife Janis Gaye on October 31, Halloween, 1977 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

With Anna, Gaye shared an adopted son named Marvin III. Marvin III was the biological son of Anna's niece, Denise Gordy. After their divorce, Gaye married Janis Hunter in 1977, and with her, he shared two children, Nona and Frankie.

Gaye's past romance had been filled with controversies, and a story came to light when Hunter wrote a book titled "After the Dance: My Life with Marvin Gaye," where she described details of their relationship.


"After the Dance" is a riveting cautionary tale about the dangers of loving Gaye. In the book, Hunter revealed she met Gaye in 1973, after her 17th birthday.

Marvin Gaye on stage at De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, July 1, 1980. | Photo: Getty Images

Marvin Gaye on stage at De Doelen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, July 1, 1980. | Photo: Getty Images

They began a relationship despite their 17-year age gap and Gaye's marriage to Anna. From being a high school student in one moment, Hunter started accompanying Gaye to parties and rolling with his peers.

However, she and Gaye's love was complicated by the burdens of fame, the chaos of dysfunctional families, and the hard-to-resist temptations of drugs.

Hunter spoke about her and Gaye's relationship in a chat with WBLS.


In her memoir, she narrated how he tortured her and made her participate in an orgy against her will. Hunter also wrote about Anna's reaction the first time they met, revealing the latter told Gaye she never wanted to see her again.

After being mistreated by Gaye for a long time, Hunter slept with Maze singer Frankie Beverly and hooked up with Gaye's main music rival Teddy Pendergrass.

Gaye, who was very jealous, turned violent. One day, he started talking about her betrayals and became enraged. He took a kitchen knife and put it to her throat, causing her to become petrified and paralyzed.


He then pleaded with her to provoke him so he could take both of them out of their misery because his love for her was too much. Although his rage subsided before he could harm her, Hunter saw that act as the last straw. Hence, she took her kids and fled.

The next five years after saw the couple engaged in several battles. After some setbacks and financial issues, Hunter filed for divorce from Gaye, who was then destitute and could not pay child support.


On April 1, 1984, Gaye was shot to death after a brutal fight with his dad. In her memoir, Hunter said it took her years to forgive herself for her part in the insanity her life became. However, she later learned to feel more deeply for Gaye than she ever did.

Hunter spoke about her and Gaye's relationship in a chat with WBLS. She said she has no regrets about their relationship, adding that they met, connected, and made beautiful children.

Hunter and Gaye's daughter, Nona, is a singer and is doing well in her craft. At 14, she signed a record deal with Third/Stone Atlantic and has released many hits since then.

Nona is also an actress and has starred in hit movies like "Ali," where she portrayed Khalilah "Belinda" Ali, next to Will Smith. She also played Zee in the "Matrix" sequels.

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