After remaining mum on her failed marriage to Nas since their 2009 divorce, in a new interview with Hollywood Unlocked, Kelis accuses the Illmatic MC being physically and mentally abusive during their five-year marriage.
“It was really dark. There was a lot drinking. There was a lot mental and physical abuse,” Kelis reveals in the newly released interview. “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.”
Kelis also explains why she decided to speak out now about her past relationship as opposed to when the former hip-hop couple got divorced in 2009. “I’ve waited nine years to say anything. I have never talked about this man, ever,” she tells Hollywood Unlocked's Jason Lee. “The amount airing out that I could do, and I’ve chosen not to … Our kids will find out. They’re finding out now. I’ve never painted myself as a saint. Did he hit me? Mhm. Did I hit him back? Mhm.”
She later detailed how Chris Brown's 2009 assault Rihanna served as the catalyst for her decision to break up with Nas. “I remember so clearly when the Rihanna] pictures came out … ‘cause I also] had bruises all over my body at that time,” she recalls in the video interview. “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.’”
The couple parted ways in April 2009 after Kelis filed for divorce. They share an 8-year-old son named Knight. Billboard reached out to Nas and Kelis' reps for comment. Check out her full interview below.