After months of reports of an ongoing and contentious custody battle between singer Kelis and her ex-husband, rapper Nas, Kelis has finally revealed the details behind the couple’s infamous breakup for Hollywood Unlocked. The video above is queued to the point in which the discussion turns to their marriage, which was rife with friction and abuse, both physical and mental.
According to Kelis, she and Nas would come to blows when the latter became “blackout drunk” and angry over her interactions with other men in the music industry, including his former rival Jay-Z. “We would fight,” she admits in the video, detailing one specific occurrence the morning news of Chris Brown’s abuse of Rihanna broke.
“I remember so clearly when the pictures came out,” she says, “The only way I can describe it is like double dutch. “Do I jump in?” Because I had bruises all over my body at that time.”
She says that she wasn’t ready to walk away from their marriage and didn’t feel comfortable with what she saw as an impending media firestorm if she revealed the details at the time, but decided she had to leave, later, when she became pregnant, not wanting to bring a child into that level of strife and chaos.
Kelis’ story, sadly, is very similar to many women’s stories, both famous and everyday. This is why it’s so important that society begins to tackle subjects like toxic masculinity and domestic violence. Not every story has a happy ending or a Life Is Good-style followup.