In a new interview with The Hollywood Unlocked, Kelis has opened up for the first time about an alleged period of “mental and physical abuse” during her marriage to Nas. “I have edited myself for nine years and I woke up this morning and said, ‘not today,’” she begins.
Kelis and Nas first began a relationship in 2002, later marrying in 2005. They filed for divorce in 2009, with Kelis giving birth to their son Knight a few months afterward. She details in the interview that it was this pregnancy that factored into her decision to leave Nas: “It was really dark. A lot of drinking. A lot of mental and physical abuse and it got to the point where if I wasn’t pregnant, I might have stayed with him… I was pregnant and it was a mess and I felt like I wasn’t going to bring a child into this.”
Elaborating on the alleged abuse, Kelis said “Did he hit me?…..Mmm hmmm. Did I hit him back?…..Mmm hmmm.”
She also cites Chris Brown’s felony assault case involving Rihanna as a major impetus for pursuing a divorce: “When the Rihanna and Chris Brown pictures came out I thought about coming out because I also had bruises all over my body. But I didn’t say anything because I’m private. But seeing her the way she looked and then looking at myself… I felt embarrassed.”
As of press time, multiple outlets have requested Nas for comment, though neither he nor his representatives have responded.
Watch Kelis’ full video interview below.
If you have been assaulted, there are resources to help you.
Donate to Rape Crisis here (UK) or RAINN here (U.S.).
In other music controversy news, Kanye West has divided culture at large with his unbridled love for Donald Trump. Read our take on this development here.