Why I Stayed – Mercy Aigbe

Peoples Digest Online-  Embattled Nollywood actress, Mercy Aigbe, says she endured beatings from her estranged husband Lanre Gentry for a long time because of her children. In a no-holds-barred interview on BroadwayTV, Aigbe said she stayed long with Gentry despite the consistent beatings because she wanted to keep her home. “I stayed because I loved him and because every time he beats me, he would plead with me and get his family and friends to beg me. He promised regularly to change but he never did. When my husband gets angry, he gets physical, not only to me but to anyone. He has done that with my house help who reported him to the Police years ago. I stayed because of my children and because a lot of people look up to me. I was a role model of some sort and I really wanted to keep it together. I just wanted a home,” Aigbe said the current crisis rocking her marriage began a few days after she discovered that her husband, Lanre Gentry, was sleeping with a certain lady and her personal assistants.

The actress who had accused her husband of physical violence which she said affected her sight and caused her to bleed internally for over three weeks, narrated that trouble started after she confronted him and it led to a huge argument, which was turning violent before she had to keep quiet. The actress who has since removed ‘Gentry’ (her husband’s name) from her social media accounts, also revealed the circumstances that led to the unfortunate event. Mercy said she had informed her husband that she was attending a burial of her colleague. After his hesitance, she explained that it would not be fair on the bereaved since she had promised to be there and even invited him to come along.

She said that her refusal to go and pick her husband up while she was still at her designer’s place angered him. She said he drove to the venue of the ceremony and began to beat her in the presence of everybody. She recalled, “Immediately, I opened the door, he kept beating me. I was begging him and asking why he was beating me. He said he would destroy my face such that no make-up would fix it and destroy my career. He was acting like someone who was possessed. I told him “Lanre, mo ma bi mo fun e” (translated as “I bore a child for you).
When she was asked why she has shielded being battered by her estranged husband with reference to their infamous 2013 video, she said, “I never for once came out to say that my husband did not beat me. The video people were referring to happened in 2013 when there were rumours of such and I recorded a video recording alongside my husband to debunk the claim. At that time, I had to do it to protect his image and my marriage. I had to do a live video at that time.”

Speaking further, the 39-year-old Nollywood star also defended her decision to move out her matrimonial home saying: “It’s not like I wanted to walk away but I just feel like we need help. I spoke to my husband’s brother about it. I told him I was going to pack out for some time while my husband seeks therapy. I just wanted to feel safe, that is why I moved my things out. This last beating was brutal. I actually thought I was going to die. I’m still coughing blood.” The Nollywood actress added that, “I’m still coughing and sneezing blood even after three weeks”.

In the interview, the Nollywood star said she agrees that she was a fool for staying that long in spite of the regular beatings and humiliation. “I believed that a wise woman builds her home. That’s why I stayed that long. If he had shown a bit of remorse, maybe things would have been different. He went on saying that I cheated on him several times. I never cheated. That’s why I told him to come out with proof. My husband was in detention for over 7 months and I never left him or went anywhere. Why would I want to go now? He says my bruises are all fake. He is not showing any form of remorse and still sponsoring lies against me.”

A fight between the couple allegedly led to her bleeding, a situation which informed her decision to storm the office of the Lagos State Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation Commissioner, Lola Akande, last week Tuesday, to report the matter. Mr. Gentry was remanded in Kirikiri Prisons in Lagos on Tuesday. The 52-year-old hotelier, who finally appeared in court after failing to show up twice, was remanded in prison until he meets the bail demands of N500,000 and two sureties who reside in Lagos and have landed properties. He was initially granted bail after he was arraigned at an Ikeja magistrate court on a three-count charge of domestic violence, assault and threat to life. The case was adjourned to July 12.

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