A self-proclaimed "very difficult man," Shaw was married eight times: Jane Cairns (1932–33, annulled); Margaret Allen (1934–37, divorced); actress Lana Turner (1940, divorced); Betty Kern, the daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern (1942–43, divorced); actress Ava Gardner (1945–46, divorced); Forever Amber author Kathleen Winsor (1946–48, annulled); actress Doris Dowling (1952–56, divorced); and actress Evelyn Keyes (1957–85, divorced). He had one son, Steven Kern, with Betty Kern, and another son, Jonathan Shaw, with Doris Dowling. Both Lana Turner and Ava Gardner later described Shaw as being extremely emotionally abusive. His controlling nature and incessant verbal abuse in fact drove Turner to have a nervous breakdown, soon after which she divorced him. Shaw also briefly dated actress Judy Garland in 1939.

There is a way to picture the verbal abuse endured by Hollywood goddesses during their time with that awful Shaw. Just look at Ava's beautiful face... you listen to "Nightmare"...
The abuse is right there in the music. And the music is so dark and gorgeous.