The Truth About Sinead O'Connor And Anthony Kiedis' Relationship

Ever the rock star, Red Hot Chili Pepper's frontman Anthony Kiedis has been linked to some pretty notable women. Kiedis had a brief relationship with Madonna in 1993, according to AmoMama, as well as Sporty Spice Melanie Chisholm in 1998 (via Elle). Despite only being with each other for a year, their relationship culminated in the track 'Emit Remmus." Appearing on the band's seventh album Californication, it charts the bond shared between an English girl and an American man (via Genius).

As the millennium passed, Kiedis' list of lovers grew even longer. He dated Demi Moore before her relationship with Ashton Kutcher, and had a two-month relationship with model Heidi Klum in 2002, according to Elle.

But out of all of the musician's relationships, his time with Irish singer Sinead O'Connor remains one of the strangest. Having dated — or hung out, as O'Connor puts it — for a year, the two share very different recollections about their time together.

Anthony Kiedis was immediately drawn to Sinead O'Connor

Rumors of their relationship had been circling the rock world for some time. Still, it wasn't until Anthony Kiedis' biography Scar Tissue was published in 2004 that the musician finally delved deep into his romance with Sinead O'Connor. Describing their time together as a "passionate love affair" (via Rock Celebrities), Kiedis initially met the Irish singer at a festival in 1989, where he immediately fell in love with her. "She had combat boots and a dress and a shaved head, and she was so ******* beautiful," Kiedis told Contact Music. "And I said to myself, 'I have to hang out with this girl.'"

After writing O'Connor a letter — to which she didn't reply — the two happened to bump into each other again a few weeks later in Los Angeles (via TikTok). Following that chance encounter, the pair hung out and became friends. But this is where the story becomes a little convoluted.

From Kiedis' perspective, they were officially a couple. But for O'Connor, it was a platonic affair. So by the time the Oscars rolled around in 1990 (via YouTube), the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman would have expected to be O'Connor's plus one. But unfortunately, that didn't come to pass. The "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer went with British actor Daniel Day-Lewis instead, who went on to win best actor for his performance in "My Left Foot."

The song I Could Have Lied is about O'Connor

The following day, O'Connor left Kiedis a message on his answering machine. According to the rock star, the singer informed him she was moving out of Los Angeles and didn't want further contact from him (via TikTok). Kiedis was obviously distraught with the abrupt end to their relationship. "I was shattered," he wrote in Scar Tissue (via Far Out). "It had gone overnight from 'Can't wait to see you again' to 'Don't call and don't come by.'"

Following the breakup, Kiedis reached out to bandmate John Frusciante, who he described as being "irate" at O'Connor for breaking up with him over the answering machine. "He suggested that I write about it and we'd get together later that night and create a song." This track would end up being 'I Could Have Lied', which you can find on Red Hot Chili Pepper's 1991 record Blood Sugar Sex Magik (via YouTube).

Set to a mellow soundscape, Kiedis speaks of not being able to change his feelings for O'Connor even though she didn't reciprocate them. "The sweetest feeling I got from you / The things I said to you were true / I could never change just what I feel / My face will never show what is not real," Kiedis sings in one of the verses (via Genius).

Kiedis still doesn't know why O'Connor broke things off

Reminiscing about their relationship (via the Irish Independent), Kiedis wrote of how they would "drive around and listen to music and kiss and whatnot," but O'Connor "wasn't exactly letting me all the way in the door." Nevertheless, the rock star described the connection he formed with the Irish musician as "the most wonderful, non-sexual relationship I've ever had."

Obviously, it crushed Kiedis when O'Connor ended things. Aside from writing "I Could Have Lied," it took some time past the release of that song for the musician to heal. "[It] ended in an abrupt and inexplicable kind of vanquishment — if that's a word," Kiedis said, speaking to Contact Music in 2004. "And I never figured it out, and eventually I stopped kind of trying to figure it out."

As for O'Connor's side of the story, it's far from what Kiedis experienced. For her, their connection was nothing more than a friendship. The singer said that despite Kiedis thinking that "he's God's gift to women" (via Uncut), she didn't fancy him whatsoever.

O'Connor claims she never had a relationship with the RHCP frontman

Speaking with Q magazine in 2009 (via Far Out), O'Connor claimed she "never had a relationship with him, ever." She elaborated more about their relationship in a feature for music magazine Uncut, as she answered several questions from fans and fellow musicians. When asked whether she'd read the chapter about her in Scar Tissue, O'Connor said Kiedis' claims of romance between them are "absolutely untrue," adding that she only "hung out with the guy for a few weeks."

As for what spurred her to cut ties with him, O'Connor referred to a day when her young son was ill, and Kiedis drove them to the hospital. While the singer was waiting for information about her son's condition, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman allegedly "made a bit of a pass at" O'Connor. "I thought it a bit inappropriate to grope me given that I was distressed and upset about my son, and I did lose my ******* head at him," she said.

O'Connor added that the two never kissed, telling the Irish Independent that Kiedis' recollection of events was "just pure fantasy."

O'Connor has been romantically linked to Daniel Day-Lewis and Peter Gabriel

Like Kiedis, O'Connor's relationship history is pretty hefty, involving Daniel Day-Lewis, Peter Gabriel, and even Liam Neeson (via the Los Angeles Times). Her relationship with Day-Lewis stirred some controversy. At the time, he was in a relationship with French model Isabelle Adjani (via the Independent). However, the singer claims they never had an affair.

Like Kiedis, O'Connor wrote a song about her time with Lewis called "A Perfect Indian" from her fourth record Universal Mother. In her 2021 memoir, O'Connor delved a little deeper into her former connection with Day-Lewis. "It's not that I was in love with him (I wasn't), but I was very fond of him as a friend."

O'Connor also wrote a song about the breakdown of her brief relationship with Peter Gabriel following his divorce, per Independent, which she described as a weekend fling. "He had chased me for about a year as if he was madly in love with me," the singer wrote in her memoir (via Rock NYC). "He was the type of dude who you'd be away with and he'd put a note under the door to tell you he's just about to go on a date with another girl. And he'd get you down for the weekend and then say, you know this isn't going to go any further."