What Phil Collins' Exes Have Said About Him

Phil Collins had a hugely successful music career with the band Genesis and as a solo artist that spanned more than four decades. He's sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and that's not including his work with Genesis. But when it comes to love, Collins hasn't had such a successful time of it. "I am disappointed that I have been married three times," he said in his 2016 book "Not Dead Yet: The Memoir." "I'm even more disappointed that I've been divorced three times." His divorces to Andrea Bertorelli, Jill Tavelman, and Orianne Cevey ended in settlements of more than $53 million, he said in his book.

While Collins admitted this shows his failure to "coexist happily or to understand" his partners, he claimed that he's "a romantic who believes, hopes, that the union of marriage is something to cherish and last." Over the years, his former wives have had a lot to say about the musician, including his failures as a husband and father — just some of the untold truth of Phil Collins' life.

Andrea Bertorelli said Phil Collins put career first

Phil Collins first met Andrea Bertorelli when they were both just 11 years old and began dating three years later until she moved to Canada with her family. They reunited and married in 1975 when they were both 24. That year, Peter Gabriel left Genesis for a solo career and Collins stepped into the role as the frontman. The band's grueling touring and recording schedule took its toll on the marriage. "When we were first married, Phil was content being a family man," Bertorelli told the Daily Express in 1994. "But his priorities shifted from family to career. He left to go on tour the day after our son Simon was born." Besides their son, Simon, Collins adopted Bertorelli's daughter Joely when they got married.

By 1980, after both had been involved in extramarital affairs, they divorced. The breakup spawned Collins' mega hit "In the Air Tonight," which paints him as the victim. Bertorelli said the opposite was true — Collins had been the first to step outside their marriage on more than one occasion. "He's made a lot of money singing about the break-up of our marriage and his heartbreak, and he's never stopped to consider my feelings or those of our children," she told the Daily Mail in 2015.

Bertorelli sued him over her portrayal in his memoir

Andrea Bertorelli stayed out of the public glare both during and after her marriage to Phil Collins. She spent years living on a remote Canadian island off the coast of British Columbia. But after Collins' published his 2016 memoir, which included details of he and Bertorelli's marriage, she spoke out. "For a number of years I have been the subject of comments made in the media about my relationship with my former husband Phil Collins," she said in a statement (via Sky News). "I have variously been portrayed as a homewrecker, a gold-digger, and a bad mother."

Bertorelli also sued her ex-husband for his portrayal of her in the book, which she called "attacks on my character and integrity." She said the memoir contained "a number of wholly false statements about myself and my marriage to Phil which have not only seriously damaged my reputation, but have also caused me considerable distress." It's unclear what, if anything, resulted from Bertorelli's suit.

Phil Collins' second wife had a similar experience to Bertorelli

Phil Collins met Jill Tavelman, a school teacher from California, while on tour with Genesis in 1981, and three years later the couple married. Unfortunately, like Collins' first marriage, his career and penchant for cheating allegedly helped derail this one as well. "When we married I thought he would want to spend more time at home, but the reality isn't like that ... he's a workaholic," she told the Daily Express in 1994, the year they broke up.

Tavelman alleged most of his communications with their daughter — actor Lily Collins of "Emily in Paris" fame — involved sending faxes instead of calling because he needed "to save his voice for the next show." There were tabloid rumors that Collins also used a fax machine to break up with Tavelman, which he has adamantly denied. Tavelman and Lily, who was 5 at the time, moved back to LA after the divorce.

Marriage take three

Even before Phil Collins and Jill Tavelman had divorced he was already seeing the woman who would become wife number three, Orianne Cevey. Tavelman called it in 1994 when she was 38 and Cevey was 22. "Phil is an obsessive sort of man and if there is another woman, I know it will be cut and dried," she said. "The shutters will come down and he will start a new chapter in his life." And indeed he did. Cevey recalled that in the beginning of their relationship they were inseparable, but she had to go through a lot to see him since he was still married and the press was relentless.

"I had to wear disguises to see him," she told the New York Post in 2022. "One time I wore my hair up in a hat and used a fake mustache." Collins married Cevey, a Swiss heiress, in 1999. He had two children with her, Nicholas and Matthew, before they split six years later, with the divorce finalized in 2008.

Phil Collins reunited with Orianne Cevey (for a bit)

During Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey's breakup, she seemed rather nonplussed. According to The Gazette, she told the press in 2006 that their "interests were not the same anymore, and said "separation was best." But their story wasn't over yet. Not even close. Collins left his longtime girlfriend Dana Tyler, a New York City television anchor who he'd dated for a decade, and reunited with Cevey in 2016. Speaking to Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick (via RTE), Cevey called their initial separation "the wrong decision." "I now call Phil my husband again," she added.

Cevey said they planned to remarry. That didn't happen, and by 2020 Collins was trying to evict her from the Miami home they shared after she broke up with him via text and then married 32-year-old Thomas Bates in a quickie Las Vegas wedding. A legal battle between Collins and Cevey over the sale of the $40 million Miami mansion ensued. "It's sad, we're talking about 26 years of being together as husband and wife, friends, living together," she told Radar Online in 2021. "I spent more than half of my life with him. We shared so many moments together. We have great children together." Collins, now 73, isn't currently married.