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Kelis says ex-husband Nas was abusive during their “dark” marriage

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Susan Devaney
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Singer Kelis has revealed, for the first time, that her four-year marriage to rapper Nas was allegedly both physically and emotionally abusive. 

Singer Kelis has opened up about the allegedly abusive relationship she endured during her marriage with rapper Nas, and how ultimately Rihanna inspired her to file for divorce.

The singer-turned-chef, who had her first big hit with Milkshake, detailed the alleged abuse in a rare video interview with Hollywood Unlocked.

“We had really intense highs and really intense lows,” Kelis told host Jason Lee about their marriage, adding later, “It was dark, it was really dark. There was a lot of drinking, a lot of just mental and physical abuse.

“We would fight. I never like just sat there, but we would definitely fight. Did he hit me? Mhmm. Did I hit him back? Mhmm.”

The couple, who were married from 2005 to 2009, share a nine-year-old son called Knight. Kelis admits that their fame led to excessive partying and spending throughout the tenure of their relationship.

It wasn’t until she saw the press photos of Rihanna in 2009, when her then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown beat her up in a car, leaving her bleeding and bruised, that she realised her relationship wasn’t right. 

“I remember so clearly when the pictures came out with that whole thing that happened with her [Rihanna] and Chris Brown and the only way I can describe it was like double dutch. Like I felt like, do I jump in? Do I say it?” Kelis said. “Because I had bruises all over my body at that time. Like that day.”

Kelis recalled being in her kitchen trying to figure out what to do.

“I wasn’t ready to walk, I just wasn’t. So I didn’t say it. Honestly ’cause I’m not weak … I’m really private, I don’t like people in 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.

“Seeing her, the way she looked and then looking at myself I was embarrassed,” she added. “I was appalled, I was embarrassed.”

It wasn’t until Kelis was seven months pregnant with her now nine-year-old son that she decided to leave her marriage because she knew she “wasn’t going to bring a child into this”.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence then you can call The National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247. 

Images: Getty 

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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for Stylist.co.uk, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.

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