Cindy Breakspeare labelled Jamaica’s National Side Chick

Cindy Breakspeare, Miss World 1976, sparked a social media buzz when she shared a heartfelt tribute to the late Reggae icon, Bob Marley, on what would have been his 79th birthday. The post generated mixed reactions across the internet.

In her tribute, Breakspeare, now 69, remembered the many places where she and Marley shared cherished memories. She posted snapshots of herself, Marley, and their son, Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley, alongside the message. “Bob, on what would have been your 79th Birthday, I celebrate the incredible impact you’ve had globally, cherish our amazing son Damian, and reminisced about the beautiful times we shared—from 56 Hope Road to your mother’s home in Delaware and Miami, New York, Oakley Street in London, The Bahamas, Trinidad, and beyond. The memories are countless, but our love for you is endless. Happy Birthday to the people’s hero, loved and revered by all. ❤️💛💚,” she wrote.

Breakspeare and Marley’s relationship had a controversial nature and was seen as a taboo in their time. In a 2021 interview with Yendi Phillips on her Odyssey talk show, Breakspeare acknowledged the unconventional nature of their union but stated she would not deny her relationship with Bob, nor her son’s existence.

“We know we were in the right place and Damian is supposed to be here… I also understand very clearly to deny him in any way or to deny the relationship I had with his father would be wrong… he was special, he was wanted, he was deliberate,” she said.

Throughout their affair, Marley was involved with several other women, which continued until his untimely passing in 1981 at the age of 36.

Cindy Breakspeare and Bob Marley

**Criticism for Disrespecting Rita Marley**

Some fans criticized Breakspeare for being disrespectful towards Rita Marley, Bob’s wife. These individuals took issue with Breakspeare reminiscing about her past with Bob Marley, given that he was married to Rita Marley. Many readers believe Breakspeare was being disrespectful by naming all the locations she been with Bob and claiming that one location was Bob and Rita’s resident.

passthepeaslikeweusedtodo wrote, Sidechicks be 92 and still sidechicking? Oh my, she could have kept this in the casket 😞.

joleenajames wrote, Only the side chick would name all the places they were together! 😂😂😂 I guess you don’t grow out of it no matter how old you get.

sensationalsue_2 wrote, 🇯🇲JAMAICA’S NATIONAL SIDECHICK 🇯🇲

Some of the other Instagram Post were even more brutal vintage side chick and one person said, I hate thirsty heffahs even in death she still thirsty. Others were more rational calling her comment disrespectful to Bob’s wife and other children from his other relationships.

**Defense from others**

On the contrary, others defended Breakspeare. These fans suggested that her tribute was simply a reflection on their shared history and was not intended as a slight against Rita Marley.

During an interview with The Gleaner in 2001, the former beauty queen said her relationship with Marley had been through some changes right before he fell ill and she had Damian.

“I sort of wanted to restructure my life a little bit. So we were dealing with all of that, but I mean, by then Bob was now a superstar, he really was, and he didn’t really have the time to devote to that side of his life very much. So when he fell ill I just set that aside, Rita set her grievances aside, and we all rallied around him. It was all about him at that point, caring for somebody who was going through this terrible thing. None of us wanted to lose him, whether or not we were romantically involved with him.”

From Breakspeare statement to the Gleaner, it seem as if her and Bob’s relationship had came to an end after she had Damian. Bob was busy and he was still married to Rita Marley. Therefore, many fans ponder as to why she proclaimed herself as Bob Marley’s special and most favourite mistress.

Bob and Rita married from 1966–1981 until his death.

Breakspearse has been married twice and have two other children since Bob Marley’s death.

Kingsley Ben-Adir and Umi Myers (left) play Bob Marley and Cindy Breakspeare (right) in the Reggae legend’s upcoming biopic.

Breakspeare and Marley’s relationship will also be depicted in the upcoming biopic ‘Bob Marley: One Love’, with Umi Myers portraying Breakspeare. It will be interesting to see how this film further stirs discussions around Bob Marley’s complex relationships.

This controversy has reminded everyone of the complex legacy left behind by Marley, as discussions surrounding love and human connection continue.

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