Kelis Says Her Marriage With Nas Was Physically and Mentally Abusive

In an interview with Hollywood Unlocked, Kelis opened up about her marriage with Nas, which ended in 2010, describing it as "tumultuous" and "toxic."
Queens, US
Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic

After years of silence, Kelis opened up about the details her five-year marriage to Nas, which lasted from 2005 to 2010. In an interview with Hollywood Unlocked, Kelis alleged that her marriage to Nas was both mentally and physically abusive. "I have edited myself for nine years and I woke up this morning and was like not today," the singer told Hollywood Unlocked. It's the first time Kelis has spoken at length about the dynamic of their marriage.


"It wasn't good, ever. But, it got progressively worse," she says. The singer says much of their relationship was "dark," which she credited to excessive drinking. "Did he hit me? Mhmmm. Did I hit him back? Mhmmm," said Kelis. She's candid about her involvement in their physical altercations, though she says she never started the fights on her own. "I felt like this is my partner, I chose this. We're going to do this. We're going to make it work, I stayed for years after that," she said. "I probably would've stayed longer if I wasn't pregnant."

In the interview Kelis describes how she, like the rest of the world, witnessed the domestic abuse Rihanna received at the hands of Chris Brown.

Something reminded me of Rihanna. I remember so clearly when the pictures came out with that whole thing that happened with her and Chris Brown. The only way I could describe it was like double dutch. Like, do I jump in? Do I say it? Because I had bruises all over my body at that time… I wasn't ready to walk. I just wasn't and so I didn't say it.

Kelis spoke further about her decision to not talk about the alleged abuse until now. "I didn't want that to be my career…" she said. "I didn't say anything because I wanted things to work and because I was delusional."

Noisey has reached to representatives for Nas for comment, but they have yet to respond at press time. Representatives for Kelis declined to comment further.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer at Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.