In perhaps one of her most vulnerable interviews yet, singer and cookbook author Kelis is coming forward to discuss the breakdown of her marriage to Nas – a subject she has mostly shied away from for a decade. Hollywood Unlocked’s Jason Lee sat down with the 38-year-old, who said that her five-year marriage to the rapper was filled with “really intense highs and lows” but was ultimately “never normal.”
Kelis claims some of the lowest points in their relationship led to physical violence. “It was really dark. There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of mental and physical abuse,” Kelis said. “I probably would have stayed longer had I not been pregnant [with their son Knight] because I really did love him and because we were married. We weren’t dating, we were married. Like, this was my person.”
When asked to elaborate the about the physical abuse, Kelis takes a pause before answering. “We would fight. I never just sat there, but we would definitely fight.” She went on to say that it was ultimately the 2009 domestic violence incident with Chris Brown and Rihanna that influenced her to leave the relationship. “I remember so clearly when the [Rihanna] pictures came out … ‘cause I [also] had bruises all over my body at that time,” she recalled, becoming visibly emotional. “I wasn’t ready to walk [away]. I just wasn’t. I’m not weak but I’m really private. I don’t like people knowing my business. I felt like, ‘This is my partner. I chose this. We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna make it work.’ I stayed for years after that.”
Reflecting on her past marriage with Nas, Kelis describes her past self as “naive” and “delusional,” but says that she is enjoying her life happily remarried. The one issue that remains between the two of them is custody over their 8-year-old son Knight. “A parent isn’t about showing up when you feel like it. You can’t not show up for months and then show up and try to make up your own [visitation] schedule,” she says of the ongoing battle with her ex.
Watch the full interview below or skip to 14:47 where the conversation about Nas begins:
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