Kelis is speaking out about her relationship with Nas in depth for the first time since they broke up in 2009.
In a new interview, the mother of two accuses her ex-husband of domestic violence during their 4-year marriage.
“It was really dark. There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of mental and physical abuse,” Kelis, 38, told Hollywood Unlocked on Thursday. “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.”
Nas and Kelis, who divorced in 2010, are parents to 8-year-old son Knight Jones. (Kelis welcomed 2-year-old son Shepherd Mora with husband Mike Mora in 2015.)
“I’ve waited nine years to say anything. I have never talked about this man, ever. The amount of airing out that I could do, and I’ve chosen not to,” Kelis continued. “Our kids will find out. They’re finding out now. I’ve never painted myself as a saint. Did he hit me? Mmhm. Did I hit him back? Mmhm.”
The year Kelis ended her relationship with Nas was also the same year Rihanna and Chris Brown‘s physical altercation made headlines. In fact, Kelis revealed during Thursday’s interview that Rihanna and Brown’s incident impacted her decision to leave Nas.
“I remember so clearly when the [Rihanna] pictures came out,” Kelis recalled. “Because I [also] had bruises all over my body at that time. 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.’”
In March, Kelis and Nas reached a custody settlement regarding their son Knight Jones after years of child support disputes, according to TMZ.