On this day in 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis announced to the public that he had indeed married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Brown.
While starting his tour in the U.K., a British a reporter at London’s Heathrow Airport learned of Lewis’ marriage to his third wife, Myra Gale Brown. She was Lewis’ first cousin, once removed. She was a mere 13 years old at the time, though Lewis and his management would lie to the press and claim she was 15 years old when Lewis was 22 years old. The publicity caused a ruckus and the tour was cancelled after three shows.
The scandal followed Lewis home to America, where he was immediately blacklisted from the radio. He was dropped from scheduled show appearances, such as Dick Clark’s. Lewis felt betrayed by all but one supporter, Alan Freed who continued to play Lewis’s records until he was removed from the air. His popularity would recover somewhat in Europe during the mid-1960s.
His marriage to Myra Gale Brown lasted for 13 years. The couple had two children together: Steve Allen Lewis, born 1959, and died from a drowning accident in 1962, and Phoebe Allen Lewis, born 1963.