Why Teri DeBarge Had Left Bobby DeBarge’ During His Final Days

By RahulPublished on: April 6, 2024 Updated on: April 8, 2024
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The late Robert Louis “Bobby” DeBarge Jr., and Teri DeBarge’s relationship started under unconventional circumstances, with a significant age gap between them. Teri was still in her early teens, and Bobby was navigating his late 20s.

Despite the side-eyes and whispers due to their age, they didn’t let the talk get to them. Eventually, they made it official by getting married on December 10, 1990. But their road together wasn’t always smooth.

The late singer was battling his own demons, making their relationship a bit of a rollercoaster. But tying the knot brought much-needed stability into their lives. And together, the pair welcomed two kids into the world.

A lot of sources mention that she had separated from Bobby after the latter came out of jail, and he was all alone on his deathbed. Is that true?

Stay tuned to know the real truth and also find out what she is doing today.

Teri’s Profile Summary

  • Date of Birth: March 31, 1970
  • Birth Name: Teri Lee Gayle
  • Age: 54-Year-Old
  • Ethnicity: Jamaican
  • Mother: Daisy Gayle
  • Sister: Nikki Gayle
Teri's mom Daisy (left) and sister Nikki.
Teri’s mom Daisy (left) and sister Nikki.

Bobby’s Final Days with his Wife

Back in 1988, the late singer faced a tough break when he got a five-year sentence for drug trafficking in Wisconsin. Fast forward to 1993, when he stepped out of prison, things between him and Teri had reached a breakpoint, and they went their separate ways. It might seem like the end of their story, but there’s more to it, especially as Bobby’s life was drawing to a close.

It was Bernd Lichters, a close friend of the family, who played a crucial role during this intense time. Bernd managed to bridge the gap between Bobby and Teri, convincing her to come back and stay by Bobby’s side while he was in hospice.

But it wasn’t easy. In fact, users in the popular celebrity forum, LipStick Alley, claimed she didn’t want to come, and Bernd literally had to beg and pay for her flight, and only then did she agree to come.

However, some users also said they don’t blame Teri’s hesitation, considering how Bobby toyed her around since she was a teen.

Bobby andTeri with their sons
Bobby and Teri in an old photo with their kids. Source: Facebook

Teri also brought their sons, Christian, 37, and Robert DeBarge III, 34, to see their dad. Their presence during his last days brought him comfort and peace and having them by his side allowed Bobby to pass over knowing he was surrounded by love.

Her Late Spouse Was Rumored to be a Gay

Robert Jr’s life was never free from rumors, especially about his sexuality. Many people whispered that he might be gay. Gregory Williams even mentions in his book, “Switch, DeBarge, Motown & Me,” that Bobby had a relationship with a man named Tony and that they used to live at a Hollywood Hotel.

Sadly, Tony’s life mirrored Bobby’s in more ways than one—he also died of AIDS, a year or two after Bobby, around 1996 or 1997.

Some believed Bobby married Teri with the specific intention of starting a family, viewing their union as a means to an end rather than a romantic love story.

She Is Currently Leading a Single Life

It has been years since Bobby’s death so it is natural to wonder about Teri’s love life. Well, firstly, she never married anyone else. And, as of 2024, her relationship status is single.

Now as for her past affairs, it’s a whole new avenue. Before Teri and Bobby became a thing, there were whispers about her and Randy DeBarge, Bobby’s baby brother. Yes, you read that right.

The rumor mill suggests the pair had a thing going on. However, for reasons that remain between them, their relationship fizzled out, and she later found herself in a relationship with Bobby.

Fast forward to after Bobby’s demise, and the rumor train didn’t stop there. Teri’s connection with the DeBarge family took another turn, this time with El DeBarge. That’s right, another brother. According to users on various forums, they reportedly dated for a while.

Their Sons Are Doing Well In Their Own Lives

Time flies, and nowhere is that more evident than in looking at Bobby and Teri’s children, who’ve grown up into fine gentlemen.

Christian and Bobby are all grown up and thriving. Source: Facebook

First up, there’s Christian, born on May 29th, 1987. He’s taken a leap many dream about but few dare to make; he’s living abroad in Singapore. What pulled him across the globe? Love, for one—he is married to Sarah, a Singapore native, and together, they’re raising a daughter in her home country.

Christian is currently immersed in the world of art, specifically anime art. He often shares his digital creations on his Instagram.


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A post shared by Christian DeBarge (@debass87)

Then there’s the youngest, Bobby III, born August 20th, 1989. He is also a family man, married with three kids. He’s ventured into the world of music as a singer, songwriter, and vocal producer, just like his late old man.

A few sources have mentioned Teri has another child from an unknown partner.

Is Teri DeBarge Still Alive?

Yes, she is very much alive and kicking. Given Bobby’s death due to AIDS in 1995 at the age of 39, questions naturally arose about Teri and their children’s health. The good news is, that neither of them has shown no signs of the virus.

In fact, after their second son was born, Bobby’s mother confirmed that he arrived into the world healthy and HIV-free. She said,

Terri had delivered their baby, a healthy baby boy without a single trace of the HIV virus. She named the baby Robert Louis DeBarge III after his father but we called him “Little Bobby.”

Additionally, there are reports that Teri’s third child also didn’t have the virus. And even if she is infected, it is possible nowadays to live a healthy life despite being affected.

Moving towards her current whereabouts, she’s currently living in Upland, California, where she’s often found enjoying quality time with her grandchildren. It’s not all play though; Teri’s been keeping busy in creative projects.

Playing with her grandchildren.
Playing with her grandchildren.

In 2019, she took on the role of Executive Producer for The Bobby DeBarge Story, a musical drama that dives deep into her late husband’s life and legacy. She also appeared as herself in the documentary, Unsung back in 2008.

She Once Had a Legal Battle Against El Debarge’s Baby Momma, Sylvia

Teri DeBarge’s life has seen more than just family drama and the music scene; she’s also faced several legal challenges. One significant battle came in 2014 when she sued, Acosta Inc, a company linked to Sylvia Acosta, El DeBarge’s ex. The lawsuit against Acosta Sales and Marketing accused them of unfair treatment at work.

Teri filed this as a ‘Notice of Removal – Employment Discrimination’ case in February 2014. Fortunately, this dispute ended quickly, with both parties settling outside of court by June.

But Teri’s experience with the law didn’t start there. In 2000, Essex Property Trust Inc. tried to evict her from a property by filing a Residential Eviction case against her. Then, in 2010, a woman, Katie Rose Taylor sued Teri, accusing her of harassment.

These incidents add up to show a side of Teri’s life filled with legal battles, alongside her personal and professional ups and downs.

Her Net Worth

Thanks to her late partner’s fame, she has been able to accumulate a great amount of wealth for herself. As of 2024, she is worth $1 million. She definitely earned substantial money after the release of the biopic, The Bobby DeBarge Story.

About Author: Rahul

Rahul has been diving into the world of entertainment in niches like celebrity, anime, and health articles since 2016. As a passionate writer, he combines personal experiences with thorough research to create content that's not only informative but also relatable and engaging.