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Erin Everly and Axl Rose | Erin Everly | Source: Getty Images
Erin Everly and Axl Rose | Erin Everly | Source: Getty Images

Erin Everly Was Axl Rose’s Wife & Built a Family after Their Split

Akhona Zungu
Oct 15, 2023
09:15 P.M.

Erin Everly's relationship with Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose began in the mid-1980s, but the former couple was only married for one tumultuous year.

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Erin Everly drew her first breath in Los Angeles, California, on November 8, 1965, born to Don Everly and Venetia Stevenson. She married Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose in 1990, but their marriage was annulled the following year.

The pair had been together since 1986, after which Rose allegedly began abusing Everly. Although she tried getting legal justice for the alleged physical and emotional torment he dealt, Everly said she felt sorry for Rose. It's part of why she refused to leave him initially.

Axl Rose and Erin Everly attend an event on January 1, 1990, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Axl Rose and Erin Everly attend an event on January 1, 1990, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Erin Everly's Troubled Childhood

Everly was empathetic toward Rose's troubled childhood, as hers also had difficulties. Her father abused drugs and suffered a breakdown two years before she was born. He was subsequently hospitalized and received electroshock treatments.

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Speaking of her father, Everly alluded to an estranged relationship. "I never had bad memories of him. I had no memories," she said. He separated from her mom in 1970; they divorced two years later. When asked to pay child support for his kids, he insisted he was too poor to afford it.

Axl Rose during Axl Rose File Photo on Septemer 1, 1998, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

Axl Rose during Axl Rose File Photo on Septemer 1, 1998, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images

This forced Everly's mother to find work as a clothes designer. She relocated with Everly and her siblings from Studio City to a modest home in Los Angeles and transferred them to public schools.

Everly also had dyslexia, which slowed her academic progress. She enjoyed being home, playing with her dolls and baby brother. As she grew older, she took on the role of emotional support for her mom. "I always felt like I had to look after her. I'm a caretaker," she said.

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Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses performs at the Poplar Creek Music Theater on July 19, 1988, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. | Source: Getty Images

Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses performs at the Poplar Creek Music Theater on July 19, 1988, in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. | Source: Getty Images

Erin Everly and Axl Rose's Relationship Timeline

Everly and Rose moved in together soon after they became a couple. Everly was a model, and she continued working to pay rent for their apartment in Hollywood. She spent many nights with Rose and his bandmates (one of whom married model Susan Holmes) when they performed at the Sunset Strip bar.

Everly wanted to spend every minute she could with Rose. "My life was taking care of Axl," she said. However, despite her love, Everly said Rose assaulted her throughout their relationship.

Axl Rose of Guns N Roses performs at L'Amour on October 29, 1987, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Axl Rose of Guns N Roses performs at L'Amour on October 29, 1987, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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"There's so much anger in him. Maybe I was this easy person to take it out on," she reflected in a 1994 interview. Many loved ones pleaded with her to leave, but Everly refused. She was convinced things would get better.

In an ironic turn of events, Rose moved out of their apartment and found a new place of his own. Yet, one early morning in April 1990, he appeared at her door, announced, and threatened to kill himself if she didn't marry him. They drove to Las Vegas and wed the next day.

Axl Rose's love notes writen to Erin Everly on display at "Icons & Idols: Rock n' Roll" on December 3, 2013, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Axl Rose's love notes writen to Erin Everly on display at "Icons & Idols: Rock n' Roll" on December 3, 2013, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

Erin Everly's Eventual Separation from Axl Rose and Life After

Three years after their marriage was annulled in 1991, Everly sued her ex-husband for abusing her, but the matter was settled out of court. She found love again and married Jack Portman in 1997. The couple had three children before reportedly divorcing in 2006.

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Everly has since maintained a low profile, living a quiet life away from the public eye. She has an Instagram account, but as of this writing, it is private. In 2013, she auctioned off the love letters Rose wrote for her. Rose also penned his 1988 hit single, "Sweet Child O' Mine," for Everly.

He also moved on with Stephanie Seymour and proposed to her shortly after divorcing his first wife, with whom he nearly had a child. The former couple split in February 1991, and in 2015, Rose legally demanded she repay or return the gifts he gave her before their wedding.

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