Meet Atila Altaunbay, Grace Jones’ Bodyguard Turned Husband

Atila Altaunbay (born 1976; Age: 47) is a Turkish model, singer, and former bodyguard best known for being the ex-husband of Jamaican singer, model, and actress Grace Jones.

Atila Altaunbay was a run-off-the-mills man before Grace came into his life, but a chance meeting in a club catapulted him to fame. Though he started as Jones’s bodyguard, Atila eventually got married to the famed artist on the 24th of February 1996. They went on to experience an eight-year-long relationship that was somewhat turbulent and ended the day Attila threatened Grace’s life with a knife. Though they have been separated for almost two decades, the couple is still legally bound.

Summary of Atila Altaunbay’s Biography

  • Full Name: Atila Altaunbay
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 1976
  • Atila Altaunbay’s Age: 47
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: Turkish
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Islam
  • Marital Status: Divorced
  • Atila Altaunbay’s Husband (Wife): Grace Jones
  • Atila Altaunbay’s Net Worth: $800k
  • Famous For: Being the husband of Grace Jones

When Was Atila Altaunbay Born?

Atila Altaunbay’s year of birth reads 1976, making him 47 years old. However, his exact birthday and month are still under wraps. He was born in his home country Turkey which makes him a Turkish national, though a majority of his growing-up years were spent in Belgium. Ethnicity-wise, Atila is listed as caucasian.

Right from the inception of his emergence to public notice, Atila has always been viewed as a taciturn character who has never deemed it necessary to bare facts about his early life and family background in the public space. Thus, his parents’ names are not known, and it is equally not known whether he had siblings or was an only child.

There was a time the Turkish native revealed that the possibility of frequent media wrangling causing a nuisance in his parents’ lives was his sole reason for keeping their identities sealed. The only sure fact about Altaunbay is that he grew up in a Muslim home and has followed the religion to date.

Talking about his academic background, Atila Altaunbay acquired basic academic qualifications in his home country Turkey. There is another account that said he completed his academic journey in Belgium, but the level he attained in school has never been made public.

While studying, reports said, Atila was undergoing training in fields such as CPR, Marshall, AED, and more in other to equip himself for the job of a bodyguard in the future.

What Does He Do For A Living

Atila Altaunbay is listed as a bodyguard, a model, and a vocalist. According to online sources, the Turkish native started working during his time in Belgium, where he was employed as a delivery boy for a Pizza shop.

From delivering pizza, Atila scored another job in a security firm and started working in his capacity as a bodyguard in a club where he was sent. While he was shuttling between jobs, the Turkish native was busy taking singing classes as he was blessed with an amazing voice. He later started singing at weddings and other events.

While he was at the club, he crossed paths with the woman who would become his wife. Jamaican model, actress, and singer Grace Jones noticed him and employed his services as her personal bodyguard; this was precisely when his career took off.

Love came calling while Atila was under the employ of Jones, and they became lovers. The Jamaican entertainer helped in advancing his career by buying instruments and encouraged him to play the drums and sing with her.

The alliance between Atila Altaunbay and Jones lasted for a long time, and in the long run, he dabbled into modelling. It was while working as a model that he scored a couple of acting roles. Most notable among his movies is Mind Games, he has also experimented with stage acting in the past.

How Did Atila Altaunbay Meet Grace Jones?

Grace Jones happened to visit the club where Atila Altaunbay worked when the couple met for the first time; this happened between late 1995 and early 1996. Jones was just at the entry when she locked eyes with the bodyguard and wasted no time in requesting he should come and work for her.

Of course, she offered him a better paycheck, and needless to say, the promise of better working conditions was too strong for the then-21-year-old Atila, who was just starting life, to resist. He eventually went with the Jamaican star, and while working to protect her, the two got really close, and one thing led to another.

The couple started dating a few months into their working arrangement. They were barely four months into their relationship when the Jamaican singer cum actress popped the big question, and Atila Altaunbay gave her an answer in the affirmative. Jones proposed while they were in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the customary carnival parades.

The announcement of their engagement came as a great surprise to fans who previously thought that they were merely in a working relationship.

The Couple Wasted no Time in Getting Married

Atila and Jones got married in Brazil before getting back to base. Their wedding occurred on the 24th of February 1996 at what was described as a modest residence in Rio de Janeiro, precisely at the Presbyterian Ministry Area of the city.

It was a private affair with only 50 guests in attendance. Reports said the couple visited the gym for a workout session immediately after their wedding ceremony and later headed to New York for their honeymoon.

Following their honeymoon, Atila Altaunbay and Grace headed to the actress’s family house in Syracuse, where Jones’ dad insisted on hosting another wedding ceremony for them.

Who is Atila Altaunbay’s Ex-Wife, Grace Jones?

Atila Altaunbay
Grace Jones image source

She was given the full name Grace Beverly Jones at her birth on the 19th of May 1948. Born in Jamaica’s Spanish Town, Grace is the daughter of Mr Robert W. Jones and his wife, Marjorie Jones. Obviously a Jamaican by nationality, Grace’s ethnicity is undoubtedly African. She moved with her parents and four siblings to New York as an adolescent.

Grace Jones came to public attention during the 1970s and 1980s thanks to her outstanding vocals and unique way of dressing. Her first port of call was the modelling industry, where she recorded tremendous success before she made a foray into the moving movie world. She is also an acclaimed vocalist.

As an actress, Grace has graced the screen on the sets of several productions, both on the big and small screen. The total number of her movie credits came to 21 at the last count, and Jones has recorded over 10 studio albums so far.

Some of her best-known albums include Portfolio, Slave to the Rhythm, Fame, Hurricane, Nightclubbing, and a whole lot more. Her tracks sold well, reaching the top of numerous music charts. She also graced the covers of several magazines as a model.

Atila Altaunbay’s ex-wife’s contributions to the entertainment industry did not go unnoticed as the Jamaican actress cum singer swept several prestigious awards and nominations during her heydays in the industry. She was the winner of the 2008 Q Awards and also won The Voice of a Woman Awards in 2017.

Atila Altaunbay Flouted the Tradition of His Family by Marrying Jones

As earlier mentioned, Atila Altaunbay came from a strict Turkish Muslim family background, and according to their belief, the oldest male child must get married first, and it follows down till it reaches the last child. With that said, Atila, who happens to be the last son of his father, had no justification to get married when all his older brothers were still single.

Therefore, his nuptials with Grace Jones was viewed as disobedience to their Islamic laws, and this eventually led Atila to sever ties with his family.

The Couple Stirred A Lot Of Debate With Their Generational Age Difference.

At the time of their nuptials, Atila Altaunbay had just hit 21, and his bride was already 48. Needless to say, a generational age gap of 27 years is bound to trigger a lot of questions from fans and the general public.

When quizzed, Grace said she never suspected that Atila was that young. According to the Jamaican singer, he was 6 feet 7 inches and looked at least 37. However, it was while they were dealing with the wedding paperwork that she came to realize his real age.

Answering questions on her reactions to the discovery, Grace said she was totally shocked, and her first instinct was to conclude that he wasn’t ready for marriage. However, she later noticed how he was handling their age gap issues in a responsible and mature way and decided to go ahead with it. The singer even made reference to their age differences in her author biography.

How Long Did Atila Altaunbay’s Marriage to Grace Jones Last?

After their February 1996 wedding, Atila Altaunbay and Grace Jones went on to spend the ensuing eight years as man and wife. The debate about their generational age gap was just a fleeting controversy that passed with time as they settled into married life.

Throughout the couple’s time together, they put up a united front with the semblance of marital bliss. However, it soon came to the fore that they had been experiencing some friction in their relationship. Everything eventually came to a head in 2004 when the couple decided to call it quits on their relationship and go their separate ways.

What led To Their Split?

Atila Altaunbay and Grace Jones’ separation triggered a lot of speculations regarding what happened. Atila, on his own part, refused to make comments on the issues until Jones came on an interview session on television to bear the facts.

According to the Jamaican-born singer, model, and movie star, they have been trying for years to make their union work to no avail. Going on, Grace revealed how her fame bred a lot of attention from fans which resulted in jealousy from Atila; this often happens when she receives too much attention from male fans.

Being someone that shies away from attention, Atila couldn’t just handle the new development and often felt insecure around her.

A day came when they finally argued about the attention she received from male fans, and as the argument progressed, Atila got uneasy. The situation culminated in violence when the Turkish native pointed a knife at her throat with threats to end her life.

Though Atila Altaunbay and his ex have been going through a rough patch in their relationship, the threat served as the tipping point that sent Atila parking out of Jones’ home. Reports said he went back home to his parents and never returned again.

Grace said she made a conscious effort to locate Atila without any results. Thus they became officially separated in 2004 and have remained so to date. It goes without saying that Atila’s disappearance caused so much speculation as many fans of the Jamaican singer started saying he went into hiding so as to run away from litigation.

The Couple is still Lawfully Bound

Despite going their separate ways over 19 years ago, Atila Altaunbay and Grace Jones are still legally married. According to Jones, she searched for her ex to get the details of their relationship finally sorted out, but she was unable to reach him.

In addition, it was also hinted that the famed actress was not really interested in divorcing Atila and the Turkish native was also not ready for a divorce at that time. Thus, their union has lingered to date.

How Many Children Does Atila Altaunbay Have?

Though Atila Altaunbay and Grace Jones stayed together as man and wife for over seven years, the couple don’t share any children.

However, marriage to Grace gave the Turkish native an opportunity to play the role of a stepfather to the actress’ only child from a previous relationship. Atila’s stepson, Paul Goude, was born on the 12th of November, 1979. His biological father has been identified as a French movie director and graphic designer, Jean-Paul Goude. While Atila and Grace’s marriage lasted, rumours had it that the Turkish native treated his ex-wife’s son fairly.

Jones’ only son obviously followed in his parent’s footsteps as he is also part of the entertainment industry as a musician. Paul is already a father of one daughter which in turn makes Altaunbay a step-grandfather.

Where is Atila Altaunbay Now?

Since he left Grace’s home after threatening the singer with a knife, Atila Altaunbay has maintained a low profile. In fact, he receded into obscurity, leaving no trail behind. People who tried to establish contact with the former bodyguard through social media were disappointed as there is no trace of him on the internet space.

Many have wondered whether he has moved on with another woman since his separation from Jones, but answers are not forthcoming. Even before he got together with the Jamaican actress, Atila always maintained that he had never had any previous relationships, which has led many to conclude that he may still be single. However, the story is totally different for the actress who has gone ahead to date a good number of men, though she never married any of them.


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