It is no longer news that top actress Ini Edo’s marriage to
Philips Ehiagwina has collapsed. So much has been
written mostly by writers relying on third party sources as
to why the marriage failed.
The widely speculated reason has been the issue of
infidelity that the husband alleged.
But was that the main reason the couple went their
separate ways? According to a source close to the couple
and was there when the romance started in 2008, and
remained close to the now divorced couple, the media has
been scratching the surF@ce of what indeed was a story of
irreconciliable differences the actress endured for over six
years of her marriage to her estranged husband; and why
she gave her all to sustain the marriage.
It is a story as told by an ins!de r who knew the couple way
back from New York, where Philips once lived, before
moving to Texas, then to Atlanta and now Ghana.
“I think Ini Edo was b@dly in love. Philips was a charmer
and, as a human being and deeply in love, she followed
her heart. It is so sad that a wom@n blessed with such a
good heart could be treated in such a hurtful manner.
Most people may not know, but Ini Edo is a dedicated and
totally committed spouse any man could hope to have.
That’s why she endured all she did, for six years without
letting the world know the pain she was going through in
her marriage,” the source stated. “Most people do not
know that Ini Edo gave up a lot of acting jobs to be with
her husband in America and, unlike the widely peddled
story that the actress was involved in romantic
relationships with other men, for the six years that Ini was
married to Philips, she never cheated on him. Ini Edo
adored and loved Philips; she was very fond of him,
cooked his meals personally, and was practically splitting
her time between two continents, all in her efforts to be a
“ There is no doubt that Ini was madly in love with her ex-
husband. In a 2009 interview she had with my newspaper,
The Diasporan Star in New York, she effusively declared
her fidelity to Phillips and debunked all the stories of her
liaisons with other men. “I am usually at a loss when I
read stories about my s@xual relationships with phantom
figures and personalities. It is really astonishing when
people just manufacture stories, give them legs and let
them fly when they know the stories are absolutely false,”
she had said.
“It is perfectly legitimate for men to have designs and
desires on stars. I was recently voted by the public as
Nollywood’s s@xiest Actress. So it comes with the
territory that men would want to date me. The question
then becomes: do you fall prey to every man that comes
your way? The answer is absolutely “no”. I was raised well
by my parents and I have always been a one-man lady. All
the s@xual shenanigans that the media have associated
me with are all false. The problem with our journalists is
that if they saw you at a coffee shop with a man – just
any man – even if that man is your cousin or brother, they
will automatically assume that that is your new lover, and
without asking questions, will rush to publish that you
were seen at a coffee shop with a new lover.
“I have lost count of the number of such innocent outings
with family members, friends that the media misconstrued
that I was dating. What the media failed to understand
was that I had not allowed stardom and celebrity to
becloud my values. What they did not realize was that I
wanted to be married, and start a family, and that the
notion that I was some kind of a s@xually crazed hormone
raging young wom@n, was totally false and a b@d reading
of who I am.
“Did I have friends in the past? Of course, just like any
other young and single wom@n out there, I had friends.
Did that make me an out-of control s@xual goddess?
Absolutely not! It has been very painful for me each time I
read all the stories written about me, stuffs that are
patently false. I have, however, come to accept it as part
of the price you pay for stardom. I just wished they could
do a little investigation before rushing to publish.
“One story that pained me a lot is the notion that I
snatched Philips from his ex-wife – Ruth Okoro – while
she was recuperating from cancer treatment. Nothing
could be further from the truth. The ex-wife said I was
callous and mean-spirited to have done so. Initially, I had
wanted to ignore what she had said about me. But I would
like to use this medium to state that I did not take Philips
from Ruth Okoro…..
“When Philips came into my life, he was a single man,
with no marital encumbrances.
Philips was divorced from Ruth at the time we began
seeing each other. So, I do not understand what she is
talking about. I remember asking Philips to come clean
with me, and tell me everything that had happened
between him ‘and his ex-wife. I demanded to know if he
was still married to her, and Philips said “no” and
produced a divorce paper to back up his claim. It was
after that that we began dating.
“ There is no way I would have dated him if he was still
married to Ruth. My values would have been in conflict
with that. There is no way I would have dated and agreed
to marry Philips if I knew that he had abandoned his wife
in hospital while she was recuperating from cancer
“ That would have been a huge turn-off. The Philips I met
and got married to is a perfect family man – a dependable,
God-fearing man who treasures his family. Philips was
there for his ex-wife throughout her hospitalization, and
she knows it. Let me also add here as a piece of advice to
our fellow women: If you had a home, one that you truly
love and appreciate, treat that home as a prized
possession. Treat your husband well.
“There is nothing to gain if you maltreat your husband,
and make his life miserable. Men do not like that. I hope
Ruth understands and appreciates the depth of what I am
saying here. That will be my response to everything she
has said about me – all the negative things she has
written and caused to be written about me. “Philips and I
met during one of his many visits to Nigeria, and I
realized I had met the man of my dream.
When that special person who excites the passion in you
comes along, you begin to do things that are out of range
– you begin to be consumed by his thoughts – you begin
to send text messages, call him all the time and just feel
so much in love. That was the way I felt when Philips
came along. I knew that he was the man for me.“I realized
that we had the same outlook about life, that I could start
a sentence and he would finish it for me, and would
convey the same thoughts I had in mind.
When I took him to see my parents, they wholeheartedly
accepted him, even though he is not from my part of the
world -that is a testament to Philips’ humanity that is
very, very transparent. “Philips and I have the same
ideology, and I am excited and happy to be his wife. Our
attraction is mutual, our focus is interlocked and what a
great family man he is! Philips calls my family even more
regularly than myself. He would just call to find out how
they are doing. He has such good heart and kind spirit
that is just a beauty to behold.
“That is the man I met and agreed to marry. All other
depictions are borne out of malice and hate, and we do
not even want to dignify their hate with a response. Our
marriage is a celebration of love borne out of deep sense
of mutual attachment, trust and abiding companionship.
The machinations of the naysayers will not hold”. Perhaps
one should ask, what happened to a marriage that
appeared to have been made in heaven as attested to by
Ini Edo in her interview. Our source stated that the
marriage began to experience challenges months after the
wedding that took place in Houston, Texas.
“Philips financial stability was still a work in progress but
as a dedicated wife, Ini was determined to support and
encourage her husband. She wanted him to be more frugal
and to invest whatever resources he had in things that will
yield some dividends. But things did not quite work out, “
the source said.
“ Ini Edo is very industrious and wanted combined efforts
from her husband to get things done. Eventually fights
began to occur. The last straw that broke the camel’s
back was the house Ini bought in Lekki, a beautiful
edifice.“Philips wanted it to be a joint property, but Ini
vehemently said no, that she would have none of that.
Philips was said to have threatened to move out of their
home if Ini refused to put his name on the deed. She
stood her grounds and Philips also made good his threat.
He moved out of the house and took up residence with
another lady in Accra, Ghana which has been his home for
the past six months. All entreaties by family members for
Philips to return home were rebuffed; he wanted his name
on the deed or no marriage.
For three months, Ini Edo did not set her eyes on her
husband and he had started flaunting his new g!rlfriend to
spite Ini. Scheduled appointments by her father in-law to
resolve the issue amicably were rebuffed by Philips and
ini was shocked.
“ There is no truth to the story that was peddled that Ini
Edo was involved in extra-marital affairs. It was Philips
who actually did not respect the sanctity of his marital
vows. While still legally married, he left his matrimonial
home and moved in with another lady in Ghana”. When I
contacted Ini Edo and asked her to conform what our
source had told us, she said she was done with that
chapter of her life and was looking forward to new
“Ekerete, you were there when we started dating and
eventually got married. Does anything that has been
written about me, remotely resembles who and what I am
about? I wish Philips the best in life”, she said. Efforts to
contact Philips were not successful, but we hope
someday to get his own side of the story – Vanguard.