Tawny Kitaen's ex-husband David Coverdale, the lead singer of Whitesnake, has spoken out about her death. Kitaen died on Friday, with news soon spreading to social media. Coverdale woke up on Saturday morning to learn of the news, which was then unconfirmed. He was obviously taken aback by the tragic news, as he expressed on his Twitter profile.
The 69-year-old rockstar called the death "sad" and "unexpected," and he passed on well wishes to her loved ones and fans. He then shared a few of the iconic Whitesnake music videos that featured Kitaen. The model famously appeared in the band's biggest music videos, such as "Here I Go Again," "Is This Love," "Still of the Night" and "The Deeper the Love." Her performances — especially in "Here I Go Again," in which she danced on top of cars — helped make the clips staples on MTV and subsequently became iconic pieces of '80s popular culture.
Just woke up to some very sad, unexpected news…Waiting on confirmation…but, if it is true, my sincere condolences to her children, her family, friends & fans…🙏🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/ioerp3ZRPa— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) May 8, 2021
After the videos' success, Kitaen and Coverdale went on to marry. They wed in 1989, but they split only two years later in 1991. In an interview with Loudersound, Coverdale later recalled the intense attention the pair's relationship received at the time.
"In America it’s very strange, because celebrity and excess can be celebrated," Coverdale said. "It’s extraordinary to me. Because the other side of the coin with me is that I’m an intensely private man. And once that huge kind of ’Snake mania was going on over here, Tawny [Kitaen], my second wife, and I, we couldn’t go anywhere without being mobbed. We were chased down Sunset Strip in my white Jag, and I’m going: 'This is not on. This is not what I’m here for.'"
In a 2019 video on her YouTube channel, Kitaen expressed some discontent around their divorce. She revealed she had just come across a YouTube video of Coverdale discussing their split (presumably recorded shortly after it happened). He apparently characterized the divorce process as rough, but she completely disagreed. She claimed that Coverdale himself held the proceedings up multiple times and she simply sent lawyers to hash out details as painlessly as possible. Kitaen then fired off some insults at her ex-husband, calling him a "narcissistic idiot" and noting she helped make Whitesnake's singles popular.
"No, David. You were a pain in the butt," Kitaen said. "You were the narcissistic idiot that I frickin' helped make a ton of money. Because after those videos, did anybody ever hear of you again? No, I don’t think so. So, now that’s off my shoulders. You can go to hell, I swear to God. That was such bulls— David. Such bulls—!"0comments
It is unclear what caused the death of the actress, who starred in TV shows The New WKRP in Cincinnati and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. However, her daughters Wynter and Raine (whose father is Kitaen's ex-husband Chuck Finley) confirmed the death via her Instagram profile.
"We are heartbroken and saddened to announce the death of our mom," the siblings wrote. "We just want to say thank you for all of you, her fans and her friends, for always showing her such support and love. You gave her life everyday. We miss her and love her and we know her legacy will live on forever."