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Kelis claims Nas abused her during marriage - and Rihanna played a part in their divorce

Singer recalls the moment she saw pictures of Rihanna after a violent incident with Chris Brown 'appalled' her and made her want to leave her own situation 

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Friday 27 April 2018 09:07 BST
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Kelis claims Nas abused her during their five-year marriage

Kelis has accused rapper Nas of physically abusing her throughout their five-year marriage, and said the domestic violence incident between Rihanna and Chris Brown played a part in her decision to leave him.

The singer, who broke into the mainstream with her hit song "Milkshake" in 2003, alleges "a lot of physical and mental abuse" by the hip hop mogul, which ended when she filed for divorce in 2009 when she was seven months pregnant with their son.

"It was dark. It was really dark," she said. "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."

Kelis met the Illmatic artist when she was 22 and he was 28 - they were married shortly after.

"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."

She added: "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'."

She says her children, including son Shephard with current husband Mike Mora, motivated her to finally speak out nine years later.

"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."

Finally, she criticised Nas for reportedly not participating in her son's life, accusing him of only visiting when there is a "photo opp".

Nas has been working with Kanye West on his upcoming new album, which is due out on 15 June. The pair have previously collaborated on tracks including "We Major" from Kanye's album Late Registration and "Still Dreaming" from Nas' hop Hop Is Dead.

The Independent has contacted representatives of Nas for comment. He has not yet commented publicly to Kelis' claims.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can contact the free, 24-hour national domestic helplne for confidential support on 0808 2000 247

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