About two years ago, a blog reported that Mercy Aigbe’s husband Lanre Gentry had beaten up his wife following a domestic dispute between the couple. The actress immediately squashed the rumors, but people still keep bringing it up.
In a recent interview with Punch, the couple shared their relationship story, including how they met, how they keep their marriage from collapsing, and controversies that have trailed their union especially the wife-beating rumor.
Read snippets from the interview below:
On him beating his wife and embarrassing Mercy Aigbe in public:
“Lanre: How can I embarrass my wife in public? I never do that because I respect her as a person, wife and mother. A short time ago, a blogger reported that I beat my wife. I was very angry because I could not understand why I would want to condescend that low. I don’t beat my wife and I have never beaten a woman. I don’t even know how to argue with people.”
On How Lanre met Mercy Aigbe:
“Lanre: I met her through one of my friends eight years ago. When I told her I fancied her, she waved it aside. She also told me she already had a fiancé in Malaysia, whom she loved and did not want to let down. One morning, she called to tell me she was at my office. When I got there, she told me she had agreed to marry me. I asked about her fiancé and she told me she only did a bit of leg-pulling. She told me she used to be married and already had a child .That was a non-issue as far as I was concerned.”
On the proposal:
“Mercy: He took me to an eatery and when we finished eating, he popped the question. I was surprised because I was not expecting him to ask me to marry him. He had not taken me out for a long time so I was stunned when he said we should go out. In fact, I teased him that he had changed, not knowing he had something up his sleeve.”
On getting married the second time:
“Mercy: Yes, I was. That was why I said I was not expecting it. I had a bad experience the first time, so I had some reservations and I just wanted to face my career, even though I loved him. I decided to put my trust in God and just go with the flow. I was happy and scared at the same time.”
On Lessons from Mercy Aigbe’s first marriage:
“Mercy: Then, I was young and naive. Now, I handle issues differently. Also, the major reason my first marriage failed was because my ex-husband’s mum did not want him to marry from another tribe.”
On rumors that Lanre left his ex-wife to marry Mercy:
“Lanre: Not too many people know me or how I live my life. Mercy was not instrumental to the breakup of my first marriage. We had been divorced for almost three or four years prior to the time I met Mercy.”
On handling controversies and scandals:
“Mercy: I do not think I have had any controversies since I got married. They were just misconceptions. People thought I married a married man and I was a second wife. What they did not know or care to know was that he was already a divorcee when we met.”
On the secrets of their successful marriage:
“Mercy: I would say God. This is my second attempt and I decided to leave everything to my creator. I have handed over my marriage to him so He is in charge. That my marriage has been a success is not my making, even though I have had a role to play in it.
I made up my mind to stay in my husband’s house, irrespective of what happens and we both agreed to stick together as a couple irrespective of whatever challenges we might encounter.”
On why some celebrity marriages fail:
“Mercy: We are always under scrutiny by the public, and things which are normal with non-celebrities become a big deal when celebrities are involved. People should give us a break. They think celebrities are perfect and do not make mistakes. There is so much pressure on celebrity marriages and that brings about problems.”
On tips for saving celebrity marriages from collapse:
“Mercy: I have taken the time to study celebrity couples like Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva who have been married for a long time. They keep their private life away from the public. If celebrities can do that, it would help. Also, they must fight for their home and marriage.”