Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Burt Bacharach was honest for sake of health

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Burt Bacharach was honest for sake of health

Burt Bacharach thought he'd get cancer if he lied, his former spouse has claimed.

The 88-year-old songwriter stunned his then-wife Carole Bayer Sager in 1990 when he told her that he felt "nauseated" when she touched him and admitted he felt "trapped" sharing a bed with her, but his therapist had told him it was important to be honest with his spouse to avoid getting sick.

Carole recalled: "One Sunday, eight years into our marriage, Burt and I were getting ready for bed. He was flossing his teeth and watching the tennis highlights, then he muted the sound on the television and turned to me. 'I need to tell you something so I don't get cancer.' 'What?' I asked, a little startled. 'Well, my therapist says if I don't tell the truth I'll get sick.'

"He put his hand lightly on mine. 'It's not easy for me to say this but sometimes, when you touch me... Now please don't take this the wrong way, but I... I just can't stand it. It makes me feel sick, uh, almost nauseated.'

"What was the right way to take this? I pulled my hand away quickly. 'It's hard for me to say this,' he continued, in his musical voice, 'but sometimes lying next to you at night, uh, I feel so trapped. I'm working on it all in therapy but it's important for me to just tell you the truth, so I did.'

"He got up and walked into the bathroom. 'You know,' he said re-entering the room, 'I'm really glad we can have these talks. I always feel better after I'm able to tell you how I'm really feeling. Don't you?'

Without waiting for a response, he turned off the light. We decided on a separation."

And shortly after the conversation, Burt announced he was having an affair, much to Carole's fury.

She added: "Then, a few weeks later, he told me he'd been seeing another woman - 28 years old to his 63 - for eight months.

"I called him a f***ing bastard and threw my Diet Coke in his face."

Carole, 69, wrote a number of songs with Burt and she admits their marriage was more about the music than any romance or affection.

In an extract from her book, 'They're Playing Our Song', published in Event magazine, she explained: "I wanted to think that living and working with Burt was going to be forever, but the truth is that our married life was predominantly about the music.

"We didn't spend a lot of time having romantic dinners or making passionate love.

"Burt's fondness for porno videos left me feeling he was more connected to the porn star he was watching than he was to me."