The showbiz space, it seems, never runs out of scandals and heated discords that keep the tongues wagging and fans bantering about who’s right and wrong.
Nigeria’s own celebdom is no different.
Not long ago, it was Tonto Dikeh and Prince Kpokpogri, her ex-lover, that stirred the unending pot of controversy. Now, the baton has been passed onto Mercy Aigbe whose labyrinth of marital controversies has become a topic to chat about over brunch.
It is no shock that these marital tussles spill into the public domain but, for those involved, it’s often a constant struggle between preserving their public image and still making those choices that satiate their human yearnings.
Aigbe’s first marriage had ended after the alleged interference from her mother-in-law. In 2014, she married Lanre Gentry, a hotelier with whom she had two children (Juwon Gentry and Michelle Aigbe).
But in 2017, she separated from Gentry due to claims of domestic violence and started a campaign against it.
Aigbe would, five years later, unveil Kazim Adeoti, the movie promoter, as her new partner.
However, what was expected to give her solace after years of emotional misfortune dipped the actress into yet another bout of marital kerfuffles.
ALLEGED CHEATING PRIOR TO THE BREAKUP
In April 2021, Aigbe had announced her engagement with a photo of a ring. “I said yes to the owner,” she wrote on social media.
About five months later, Gentry would also announce his marriage to Oluwabusayo, his new lover.
As the identity of Aigbe’s lover became public knowledge, Gentry shared an old photo of himself, Aigbe, and Adeoti.
The photo — said to have been taken while the pair were still together — was a subtle dig at the actress and Adeoti.
Gentry, who hinted at an affair, said “thank God the truth is out”. He also said the photo was “just one out of many”.
Adeoti, a father of four, is also married to Oluwafunsho, a fashion designer who lives in Minnesota in the United States.
His first wife claimed Aigbe began having an affair with the movie promoter when Juwon, the actress’ son with Gentry, was 5.
Oluwafunsho also alleged that Aigbe was still married to Gentry when she began an intimate relationship with Adeoti.
Aigbe and Adeoti, who founded the popular movie streaming service IbakaTV, have been friends from way back.
TALES OF FRIENDSHIP AND BETRAYAL
In a viral interview, Adeoti, in response to public scrutiny, argued that he has the right to marry a second wife as a Muslim.
The movie marketer also said Aigbe did not snatch him as rumoured and that he is still married to his first wife.
But Oluwafunsho issued a statement where she narrated how Aigbe allegedly betrayed her despite their friendship.
She also debunked claims by her husband that she had accepted the actress as a second wife.
“I introduced you (Mercy Aigbe) to Kazim as my friend. I called and personally invited you and your ex-husband to the 40th surprise birthday party I did for my soon-to-be ex-husband,” Oluwafunsho wrote.
“You were a constant friend of mine back then. I brought you close as a friend because I liked you. But you repaid me by sleeping with my husband, Kazim.
“As for you, Mercy, let us cut the crap. We were friends, but shame and your glam lifestyle will not let you admit it.”
AIGBE ADVISED LADIES DATING MARRIED MEN TO “CASH OUT”
Since January 23 when Aigbe’s marriage to Adeoti became public, the union has been received with mixed reactions.
Aigbe is known for her unorthodox marriage advice. In February 2020, she had advised women who date married men to focus on making money from the relationships.
”It’s bad enough to be dating a married man. But if you are, you better let it be worth it,” she had said in a vlog post.
“So, if you are a side chic to a married man, girl, you had better be cashing out. Secure the bag, get that dough, get that money because that man isn’t yours. Sis, he isn’t yours.
“He belongs to another woman so please it had better be worth it. Don’t go and collect chocolate and flowers as gifts from a married man oh.
“If you do, your head needs to be examined. If you are dating a married man, chop his money, collect his money because that man is already married.
“Some stupid girls will be dating a married man will be doing love…sis he is not yours. He belongs to another woman so use your brain.”
Is Aigbe swallowing her own words by living in contrast to her own erstwhile convictions?
ADEOTI-AIGBE RECENT INTERVIEW AMID THE MARITAL TUSSLE
In a recent and joint interview, Aigbe begged Nigerians to respect her choice, adding that being a second wife is a personal choice she’s happy with.
“I’m not the first person to be a second wife. It is my choice, and I’m happy with it. If you can be happy for me, be happy for me. If not, go and get busy. I am happy. Just leave me to enjoy my marriage, please,” she argued.
“I did not marry my husband for his money but because he is my best friend, and I love him. After my bad marriage, I decided to concentrate only on my career and children.
“But when he came into my life, there was so much joy and peace. He is a good man, and I tell him all the time, so when he proposed to me, I decided that I didn’t want to lose that beautiful experience.”
On his part, Adeoti denied claims on social media that Aigbe snatched him from his US-based first wife.
“I am an adult, and I decided to marry Mercy of my own volition. Mercy and my first wife were never friends. My family is in the US and I shuttle between the US and Nigeria because my business is in Nigeria,” the promoter said.
“Some people think I am separated from my [first] wife because my family is not in Nigeria, but that is not true.
We are good together. Although there were issues due to what was going on, everything is under control, and we are back to normal. I am a Muslim, and my religion permits me to marry more than one wife. Everything is good.”
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