Singer Kelis is accusing her ex-husband Nas of “mental and physical abuse.” The singer said in a new interview that she has waited nine years to say anything as their custody battle over son Knight Jones gains more headlines.
Kelis told Hollywood Unlocked, “It was really dark. There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of mental and physical abuse. I probably would have stayed longer had I not been pregnant [with Knight] because I really did love him and because we were married. We weren’t dating, we were married. Like, this was my person.”
The singer said she and Nas had “really intense highs and really intense lows”; she said when money was coming in, the two had fun, but she also added that they were drinking and getting high a lot. She said the lows were “dark.”
“A lot of drinking,” she said, describing the bad times. “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.” Kelis said when she got pregnant she started thinking about leaving: “I felt like I wasn’t going to bring a child into this.”
The singer admitted that she and Nas both hit each other, saying, “Did he hit me? Mmhmm. Did I hit him back? Mmhmm.”
Kelis said the last straw was when she saw photos of Rihanna after Chris Brown assaulted her.
“When the Rihanna and Chris Brown pictures came out I thought about coming out because I also had bruises all over my body,” she said. “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.”
The pictures of Rihanna emerged in February 2009; Kelis filed for divorce from Nas in April 2009, when she was seven months pregnant
In 2005 when Kelis and Nas tied the knot it seemed as if new hip-hop royalty had been crowned, but the love did not last, and by 2010, their marriage had ended. For the last eight years, the singer has been tight-lipped about the true cause of their romantic downfall…until now.
Opening up for the very first time to The Hollywood Unlocked, Kelis, 38, discussed the relationship she and the rapper shared, which was one she now alleges was extremely violent and toxic.
“I was really naive, I was madly in love and so I took a lot that I shouldn’t have taken, and generally just it’s not in my character at all, so it was just all awkward,” she began to share.
Things quickly went terribly wrong, she reveals.
“We had really intense highs and really intense lows,” Kelis says. “It was never normal. An intense high would be when money was rolling in. We were young. But I was 22 when I met him. I was a baby. We were drinking too much, smoking too much. We were too much. We were spending too much. We were balling too much. We were living too hard. So when that comes down, it goes really low. There’s no balance, there’s no normalcy.”
Before things could get better, she says they just got worse. Then she made a decision to leave. “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 really did love him. We were married—we weren’t dating, we were married, this was my person.”
Kelis admits that they were both responsible for some of the violence that took place in their marriage. When asked specifically if there were intense violent moments, Kelis replied, “Did he hit me?…..Mmm hmmm. Did I hit him back?…..Mmm hmmm.”
In April 2009, the Harlem native filed for divorce and their only child, Knight, 8, was born in July.
Kelis said the catalyst for her deciding to leave their marriage, was the wake-up call of seeing a photo of Rihanna’s bruised and beaten face after her infamous domestic dispute with ex, Chris Brown.
“Something reminded me of Rihanna. I remember so clearly when the pictures came out when the Rihanna and Chris Brown pictures came out I thought about coming out because I also had bruises all over my body…I wasn’t ready to walk, I just wasn’t,” Kelis said. “Honestly, I’m not weak [but I didn’t say anything] because I’m really private. I don’t like people in my business. But seeing her the way she looked and then looking at myself… I was embarrassed. I was appalled, I was embarrassed. I didn’t say anything because I wanted this to work and I was delusional and I thought that I could love past this.”
Kelis admits that despite their volatile history together, she has reflected on what could have been.
“This wasn’t supposed to happen to us, the catastrophic disaster that we became,” she says. “We were supposed to be good. We were so gifted–and rebellious and sexy. We should’ve made it. It sucks that we didn’t but it couldn’t work because you’ve got all these factors and all these things.”
Since ending their marriage, the singer has moved. She remarried real estate agent Mike Mora in December 2014 and in November the following year, welcomed their son, Sheperd.