Singer Kelis is now primarily a chef, having even started her own farm outside of Los Angeles that she manages when not traveling the world. Even with all of her success post-music industry, a resurfaced moment shows that even Kelis had to escape trauma on her path to peace – and how Rihanna impacted her decision to leave her marriage.
Nas and Kelis were married in January 2005 after meeting at the MTV Video Music Awards party in 2002. They dated for a year and after a short engagement period were married and were the talk of the industry. Kelis, being a popular singer who got her start with The Neptunes, and Nas, being an icon of the hip-hop world, left an indelible mark on the culture when they married.
However, Kelis finally spoke up on how the marriage wasn’t the fairytale that most thought it was and the one woman that helped her realize that fact was Rihanna – along with her being pregnant with her first child by the rapper.
“It was dark. It was really dark,” she said of her marriage. “There was a lot of drinking. There was a lot of physical and mental abuse. And it just got to the point where… God is so good, because being pregnant – I probably would have stayed longer had I not been pregnant. Because I really did love him, and we were married. This was my person,” she told Hollywood Unlocked back in 2018.
Kelis filed for divorce from Nas when she was seven months pregnant with the son they share, now 11-year-old son Knight. At the time, she alleged that the violence had gotten out of hand and resulted in both of them being physical with each other as well.
“Did he hit me? Mhmm. Did I hit him back? Mhmm,” she said. “He would black out. He would drink too much. He drank way too much. He will never admit it… so a lot of the stuff he may not remember.”
Before she spoke up about her ordeal, she felt compelled to stay silent, but her children and the reality of the situation finally compelled her to speak up about what had happened during her relationship with the rapper. “I have never talked about this man, ever,” she said. “The amount of airing out that I could do, and I’ve chosen not to. Our kids will find out. They’re finding out now.”
Also motivating her to speak out was her son Shephard with current husband Mike Mora, who Kelis now shares two children with – having had another girl in 2020. Though they support her now, it was the very public ordeal that fellow singer Rihanna went through with her R&B singer boyfriend at the time, Chris Brown
“I remember so clearly when the [Rihanna] pictures came out. Because I had bruises all over my body at that time. I wasn’t ready to walk. 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’.”
See the resurfaced interview below.