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Singer Kelis Opens Up About Alleged Domestic Abuse at the Hands of Ex-Husband Nas

Singer-songwriter Kelis opened up in an interview with Hollywood Unlocked about her allegedly violent relationship with rapper Nas. In the interview, she alleges that Nas would get drunk and they would fight because he would be blackout drunk.

“There was a lot of drinking, there was a lot of just mental and physical abuse,” she says in the interview. Kelis speaks about how she probably would have stayed with Nas longer if she hadn’t gotten pregnant with their son, Knight, and part of her loyalty to him was the fact that they were married. “I really did love him, because we were married, we weren’t dating, we were married.”

At the time she felt like Nas was her soul mate and while she still thinks that the feelings were true it doesn’t make it right.

Now of course, because of Nas’ popularity and what Nas has meant to the black community, black men, and rap, these allegations are hard to swallow for some, and people are quick to start speculating about why Kelis is talking about this now. The desire to turn her into a ‘gold-digger’ is pathetic, but if you even just watch the video, when the interviewer asks if Nas hit her, Kelis stops and thinks about what she is gonna say next.

“We would fight.” We. She puts herself into the narrative and frames her role in their abusive relationship as someone who would fight back. And there is a protectiveness in the way she says that (@21:05). It is clear that despite it all, she is not saying this to badmouth Nas. If she were, there are places she could go that would be better avenues for that. Nor has she ever been the type of “attention seeker” that Nas-defenders want to label her as. Kelis is good.

Plus, Kelis isn’t trying to paint herself as a “saint” and says that she would hit him back when he would get too drunk, become aggressive and place his hands on her.

“He would black out, he drank way too much, he will never admit it,” she says. “There were times when we would have literally the worst night ever and would wake up the next day and it’s like it never happened.” As a way to make up for what happened, Nas would allegedly buy her gifts.

It was public knowledge that infidelity played a role in their divorce, but her love for him really kept her coming back along with the shame she felt about having accepted that sort of treatment from anyone. “I was naive, I was madly in love, and so I took a lot that I shouldn’t have taken,” Kelis says.

One of the things she mentions is Rihanna’s own domestic abuse situation and how it hit her own feels as a victim of domestic abuse.

“I remember so clearly the pictures coming out, I had bruises all over my body at that time … but I wasn’t ready to walk. I just wasn’t. So I didn’t say it … I felt like: this is my partner, I chose this, we’re going to make it work.

“Seeing her, the way she looked, and then looking at myself, I was appalled, I was embarrassed … For me it was kinda like: you’re going to just let this go? You’re not going to say anything? … Taking that was not my character.”

Just like Amy Schumer explained in her own interview, there is this feeling of “I’m not that type of girl” and an “out-of-body” experience when you are experiencing something that you feel is so painful from someone you love. But also, she felt like if she spoke out it would consume everything and that was not something she wanted. Even in the interview, she says that she’s not delicate or weak several times.

For me, as a black woman, even though this might be considered projection, I see this as Kelis’ way of still protecting herself, of wanting to be seen as strong, because black women are not always taught how to be fragile, how to be delicate. It is always expected for you to be able to fight back because black women are always supposed to fight back. But, black women are allowed, and have the right to be tired.

I’m glad Kelis is speaking out and is not longer putting this pressure on herself of feeling ashamed.”I have edited myself for nine years and I woke up this morning and was like, ‘not today.'”

As of the time of this publication, Nas has not made any comments in response to Kelis’ statements.

(via Jezebel, image: Screengrab)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.