BBC Caribbean
April 5, 2004

Media 'out to get me' says Marley

Rita Marley has accused the British media of a witch-hunt against her after rape claims she made against her late husband Bob Marley made sensational headlines last week.

In her recently published book No Woman, No Cry: My Life With Bob Marley, she said that there were occasions when her husband would ask for sex and she would refuse because she knew he was having unprotected sex with other women.

Fifty-seven-year-old Marley told the black British newspaper The Voice on Monday she called it rape because she did not officially consent.

She said the matter was being blown out of proportion by the British tabloid press and accused the media of being "out to get her".

"The way the guy put it in the newspaper, he made it look like Bob had me by the neck. When you think about it, you ask yourself whether a husband can actually rape his wife."

Rita Marley stuck with the reggae icon for 15 years despite his frequent extra-marital affairs the most significant relationship of which was with 1976 Miss World Cindy Breakspeare for whom he wrote the song Turn The Lights Down Low.

Marley was constantly unfaithful to his wife

Marley told BBC Caribbean Service that the extra-marital affairs were "painful" but she endured because she was in love with the reggae icon.

"As they say you grunt and bear it, that's what I had to do because I was so in love with this man and love grew stronger, itís not that it grew weaker," she said.

"It's a natural thing, Jamaican men have a thing where they want more than one woman, and more than one pickney," Marley said. "I had to see it as I may not be getting the wife treatment, but he's my brother."

The former I-Threes singer said she was so distraught by the furore that she roamed the streets of Central London pleading with her dead husband for forgiveness.

Marley now lives in Ghana where she heads The Rita Marley Foundation. She released her album Sunshine After Rain last month.