Jerry Lee Lewis’ Former Child Bride Reveals the Truth About Their Marriage

When rock n’ roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis famously married his 13-year-old second cousin Myra Gale Brown in 1957, the scandal nearly destroyed his budding career overnight. At just 22 years old, Jerry Lee seemed poised to claim the crown as rock music’s newest sensation. But his defiant union with adolescent Myra sparked massive backlash and public contempt that almost ruined “The Killer“. While Jerry Lee eventually bounced back, few know what became of his notorious teenage bride after the fallout pushed her out of the spotlight. Myra weathered brutal condemnation herself before rebuilding a quiet life far removed from the controversy that plagued her formative years. Join FactsVerse as we reveal Myra’s side of the story and how she views that shocking rock-and-roll marriage more than 60 years later.

How They Met and Secretly Wed

Myra Gale Brown first met Jerry Lee Lewis in 1949 when she was just five years old. Her family had recently moved from Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee, where her father, J.W. Brown, got a job as a lineman. After a work accident left J.W. with a large settlement, he invited his cousin Lewis, then an aspiring 21-year-old musician, to join him in Memphis. J.W, a bass player himself, wanted to help Jerry Lee get a recording contract with the famous Sun Records studio, which would soon become the epicenter of rock n’ roll.

When 13-year-old Myra first laid eyes on Jerry Lee after he came to live with them, she didn’t think much of the lanky country boy with a silly haircut. But that perception quickly changed once she heard him play the piano. Lewis had an energy and rhythm like no one she had ever seen. The way his fingers glided, pounded and even kicked at the piano keys had Myra and her family utterly captivated. It wasn’t long before Jerry Lee also took notice of the smart and mature young girl.

Sudden Romantic Gestures

Lewis soon began turning up unannounced outside Myra’s school at dismissal time, offering her rides home or taking her out for ice cream. At first, Myra saw it as harmless fun and enjoyed the attention, but Jerry Lee’s intentions became clear when he started greeting her with unexpected kisses. Unsure how to react to the sudden romantic gestures from her older cousin, Myra grew confused but kept it all a secret from her unsuspecting parents.

One evening, Jerry Lee asked Myra to come outside and presented her with a startling revelation —a marriage license application with her forged signature. Myra pleaded with him not to go through with it, certain that her furious father would kill him if he found out. But Jerry Lee shrugged it off, confident that her parents approved of him enough to eventually accept their relationship. Against her better instincts, Myra gave in when Jerry Lee showed up the very next day insisting they drive to the courthouse before she lost her nerve. Still in a daze, the adolescent girl found herself standing before a preacher, reciting vows to become the wife of a man nearly 10 years her senior.

Public Scandal Erupts

In 1958, 22-year-old Jerry Lee Lewis was poised for great success. With his electrifying talent and hits like “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin'”, Lewis was slated to take the mantle from Elvis Presley as the new king of rock n’ roll. Lewis embarked on his first major European tour, meant to catapult him to international superstardom, after Elvis was drafted into the Army. However, despite the warning not to bring the real Mrs. Lewis along, Jerry defied it and refused to leave 13-year-old Myra behind.

Upon landing at Heathrow Airport, the Lewis entourage was instantly swarmed by British press. Reporters clamored to speak to the rising star, while Myra wandered unnoticed in the background. But one persistent journalist singled Myra out, questioning why she was traveling with the band. Naively unaware of the looming consequences, Myra openly declared that she was Jerry Lee’s wife. The admission would lead to catastrophic consequences none of them could have predicted.

Scandalous Headlines

The next day, London tabloids were ablaze with scandalous headlines — not only was Myra barely a teenager, she was also Jerry Lee’s first cousin once removed. Even more scandalous was the fact that Lewis was also still legally married to his previous wife at the time. Practically overnight, the incensed public turned violently against the man they had just recently lauded as their next musical idol. Jerry Lee’s remaining shows played to crowds that heckled him relentlessly from start to finish, while protesters marched outside demanding his arrest for child marriage. With their visas revoked, lawsuits threatened and public outrage at its peak, the entire Lewis company was given 48 hours to evacuate Britain.

During their humiliation, Myra hid her face while Jerry Lee held an impromptu news conference defending their marriage. But upon returning to the States, their troubles were far from over. Jerry Lee’s promising career took a catastrophic plunge as radio stations pulled his music and venues cancelled his shows. In a matter of months, the talented musician who had earned $10,000 a night saw his income dwindle down to virtually nothing. And it was all because of his headstrong decision to proudly claim Myra as his child bride.

Staying Together Despite the Controversy

After the scandal that nearly cost Jerry Lee Lewis his career, the defiant newlyweds clung to each other amidst the media firestorm swirling around them. They presented a united front in the face of public persecution and family turmoil over their legally-binding union.

As just a naïve 13 year old thrust into the spotlight overnight, Myra initially struggled to comprehend the vitriolic reaction to her marital status. She resented the harsh judgment cast upon Jerry Lee when to her, theirs was a genuine love story. In her mind, she had simply grown up faster than other kids her age after years of bracing for possible tragedy in the atomic age. And despite his immaturity in many areas, Myra believed Jerry Lee treated her well and valued her level-headedness.

“Child Bride” and “Cradle Robber”

However, the non-stop slurs of “child bride” and “cradle robber” took a tremendous toll on them both. After enjoying a storybook start to his career, Jerry Lee suddenly found himself a pariah — both personally and professionally. Promoters wouldn’t book him, venues cancelled his scheduled concerts and radio stations refused to play his songs. From practically overnight superstardom and dreams of riches, he was now dodging death threats aimed at separating him from sweet Myra.

And yet, in the face of open hostility from the public, family worries and financial struggles, Myra asserts that their forbidden marriage actually grew stronger in defiance. The beleaguered couple took pride in the fact that they had each other during those difficult post-scandal years. Despite all the pressures urging them to split, their connection held steadfast – out of love, mutual respect and a determination to prove the world wrong.

According to Myra, condemnation as a team for nearly a decade before the issue finally cooled forged an unshakable bond that carried them through any troubles ahead. And it was their shared experience as scorned outliers that kept them blissfully married for 13 years before things eventually fell apart.

Coping with Tragedy and Moving On

Despite the ongoing public outrage over their controversial marriage, Jerry Lee Lewis and Myra settled into domestic life together. In 1959, they welcomed a son named Steve Allen Lewis, born when Myra was just 14 years old. The new baby brought immense joy to the couple who had weathered intense scrutiny over their unconventional relationship.

In 1962, their fledgling happiness as young parents came to a devastatingly abrupt end. While Myra was visiting her mother, 3 year old Steve Allen wandered out to the backyard pool and tragically drowned. The grief-stricken teen mother collapsed over her son’s grave, clinging to his tombstone and questioning why she had to lose her only child.

The loss changed the course of the marriage. Though the birth of daughter Phoebe in 1963 helped heal Myra’s aching heart, Jerry Lee grew increasingly unstable and abusive over the years according to her account. His violent rages, infidelity with other women and reckless behavior took a tremendous toll on her wellbeing. Despite loving him deeply, Myra filed for divorce in 1970 as the turbulence finally became too much to endure.

After 13 tumultuous years married to the infamous Jerry Lee Lewis, Myra had to start life anew as a single 26-year-old mother. The musician’s gross financial mismanagement had left her with few options. She returned to school before establishing herself in Atlanta working various jobs. In 1984 she married her second husband Richard Williams, finding the loving and drama-free relationship that had eluded her the first time around. Now settled comfortably into obscurity, Myra runs a real estate firm with her husband of nearly 40 years. She remains on cordial terms with Jerry Lee for the sake of their daughter Phoebe, though continues grappling with mixed emotions regarding their storied past.

Looking Back

Over half a century later, Myra reflects on her controversial early marriage with a complex range of emotions. She harbors regrets over the damaging consequences for Jerry Lee’s career, the years of public shaming they endured, and the painful demise of their relationship. However, she also emphasizes the happy early days together and does not outright dismiss the possibility of still making the same choice all over again.

According to Myra, she matured rapidly during her adolescent years and genuinely felt ready for commitment at 13 despite how shocking it appears by today’s standards. She maintains confidence that their intentions were sincere and rejects ongoing accusations that Jerry Lee manipulated a helpless victim. While Myra regrets the suffering caused by youthful recklessness on both sides, she takes pride in enduring the turbulence together before ultimately ending the relationship.

While acknowledging the marriage realistically stood little hope of withstanding Jerry Lee’s self-destructive tendencies, Myra still treasures fond memories dotted throughout their controversial history. She continues harboring affection for her volatile ex-husband, with any lingering bitterness softened tremendously by time. He gave her precocious teenage self the sense of purpose she desperately yearned for. Despite the highly publicized failure, Myra remains open to the possibility of pursuing a similar path once more.

Quiet Suburban Life

Now a 78-year-old great-grandmother, Myra finds solace in her quiet suburban life void of drama. She runs a real estate company with her dependable husband of nearly 40 years. Aside from occasional interviews revisiting the past, she rarely faces reminders of her iconic status as Lewis’ child bride. And while traces of the naïve but defiant 13-year-old who captivated the world forever remain, Myra has found peace moving forward while keeping her remarkable memories alive.

There you have it. It’s now time to hear from you. How do you think you would have reacted to their marriage had you been alive when the scandal made headlines?

The Real Story of Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder is Just Tragic

Lesser-Known Members Of The Rat Pack Who Rarely Are Remembered