Atila Altaunbay's biography: who is Grace Jones' ex-husband?

Atila Altaunbay's biography: who is Grace Jones' ex-husband?

Who is Atila Altaunbay? He is best recognised as singer Grace Jones’ ex-husband. He rose to prominence in the early 1990s following his relationship with the Jamaican-American singer. They were married for approximately eight years before parting ways.

Singer Grace Jones posing for a picture (L). Grace Jones and her ex-husband, Atila Altaunbay, at an event (R)
Grace Jones posing for a portrait circa (L). Grace Jones and her ex-husband, Atila Altaunbay, at the Made in Italy Awards Ceremony. Photo: Dianna Whitley, Rose Hartman (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Atila Altaunbay was a professional bodyguard passionate about performing arts and occasionally sang at events. He was thrust into the limelight after marrying renowned entertainer Grace Jones, 27 years older than him. After their separation, he opted for a private life in Belgium and reportedly passed away in 2021.

Profile summary

Full nameAtila Altaunbay
GenderMale
Year of birth1976
Year of death2021
Age45 years old (at the time of death)
Place of birthTurkey
NationalityTurkish
EthnicityArab
ReligionIslam
SexualityStraight
Height in feet5'7"
Height in centimetres170
Weight in pounds150
Weight in kilograms68
Hair colourBlack
Eye colourDark brown
Marital statusSeparated
Ex-partnerGrace Jones
ProfessionModel, singer, bodyguard, philanthropist

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Atila Altaunbay's biography

Atila Altaunbay was born in Turkey in 1976 and was raised in a Muslim family. He spent his childhood in Turkey before moving to Belgium to pursue education. He later returned to his home country and trained in CPR, AED, and martial arts.

Although he became famous due to his relationship with singer Grace Jones, he never shared details about his family members, including the names of his parents and whether he had siblings. He was an Arab of Turkish nationality.

What did Atila Altaunbay do for a living?

Atila began working as a pizza delivery driver in Belgium. He was also passionate about arts and tried his hand at modelling, acting, and singing. He reportedly sang at events such as weddings. However, he was a professional bodyguard whose duties included protecting eminent personalities like celebrities.

How did Grace Jones and Atila Altaunbay meet?

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Atila Altaunbay met Grace Jones while she was on a trip to Belgium, and they soon began dating. They tried to keep the relationship lowkey and away from the media, but Grace Jones’ celebrity status almost made it impossible.

Grace Jones is a Jamaican-American singer, songwriter, model, and actress. She has been an entertainer since 1973 and is best known for her successful music career. The two-time Grammy nominee boasts about ten studio albums and is recognised for hits such as Private Life, Demolition Man, My Jamaican Guy, and Walking in the Rain.

Grace Jones and Atila Altaunbay's marriage

Atila Altaunbay married the Slave to the Rhythm singer on 24 February 1996 in Rio de Janeiro. The two wanted a private wedding not to attract the public and media attention, and as they rushed the ceremony, they ran into serious problems that rendered their marriage unrecognised.

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Atila Altaunbay and Grace Jones had to redo their vows after discovering that the wedding did not follow church norms and the priest who presided over the marriage was gay. Grace’s father presided over their second wedding in Syracuse, New York, United States. It was a private ceremony attended by only close family members.

Even though their union happened, it did not receive the blessings of Atila's family, who disapproved of it because it contradicted their Islamic traditions. Atila was the youngest in their family and was expected to marry after his older brothers, but he went against that.

Grace Jones and Atila Altaunbay's divorce

The former couple’s marriage lasted approximately eight years, between 1996 and 2004, after which they parted ways. However, their marriage was not rosy, as they experienced challenges that led to their separation.

The former couple’s significant age gap and contrasting personalities raised eyebrows. A violent incident in which Atila allegedly threatened Grace with a knife in the kitchen ultimately led to the collapse of the marriage.

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Did Atila Altaunbay and Grace Jones really divorce? Although they parted ways, they were legally married as they did not finalise their divorce process. Atila reportedly disappeared, and Grace could not reach him to divorce him. However, Grace explained in an interview with The Guardian that they were divorced in their view.

Did Grace Jones and Atila Altaunbay have children?

Singer Grace Jones is the mother of one child, Paulo Goude, but the child's father is not Atila Altaubay. Atila and Grace did not have kids in their approximately eight years of marriage. The father of Grace’s child is Jean-Paul Goude, a French graphic designer and illustrator. Paulo Goude was born on 12 November 1979.

Where did Atila Altaunbay go after the divorce?

After separating from Grace Jones, Atila Altaunbay disappeared from the spotlight, making many people wonder where he was. He reportedly went to Belgium, where he lived a private life in Antwerp while undertaking philanthropic activities.

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Is Atila Altaunbay still alive?

He reportedly passed away in 2021, aged 45 years. His demise was announced in October 2021 through a post on Helping Hand Belgium’s Facebook page. According to the Facebook post, he was the organisation’s chairman and was lauded for his excellent service, especially in fighting against inequality and poverty. His cause of death was, however, not disclosed.

Fast facts about Atila Altaunbay

  1. Who is Grace Jones' ex-husband? The Conan the Destroyer actress married Atila Altaunbay in 1996.
  2. What was Grace Jones and Atla Altaunbay’s age gap? Their age difference was 27 years. Grace was born in 1948, while Atila was born in 1976.
  3. Why did Grace Jones and Atila Altaunbay part ways? They experienced a stormy marriage, but Grace disclosed that Atila’s territorial and negative behaviour led them to part ways.
  4. Did Atila Altaunbay have children with Grace Jones? The ex-couple did not have kids together, but Grace is the mother of Paulo Goude, born from her past relationship with Jean-Paul Goude.
  5. What was Atila Altaunbay known for? He came into the limelight following his relationship with American singer Grace Jones. He was a model, singer, professional bodyguard, and philanthropist.
  6. When did Atila Altaunbay die? He passed away in October 2021, according to a post on Helping Hand Belgium’s Facebook page.

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Atila Altaunbay was married to singer Grace Jones for about eight years, during which he was in the limelight. After their separation, he retreated to live a private life in Belgium. Besides gaining fame for marrying a prominent personality, he was a model, singer, professional bodyguard, and philanthropist. Atila reportedly passed away in October 2021, aged 45, in Antwerp, Belgium.

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Authors:
Muhunya Muhonji avatar

Muhunya Muhonji (Lifestyle writer) Muhunya has been a writer for more than three years. He graduated from Egerton University in 2014 with a degree in Agricultural Economics. He is also a certified public accountant and tax expert. Muhunya joined Legit.ng in July 2021 and writes about various topics such as entertainment, technology, business, and biographies. In 2023, Muhunya finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. In March 2024, he completed the Google News Initiative course. Email: muhunyah@gmail.com

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