Performer and chef Kelis sat with Hollywood Unlocked CEO Jason Lee in her Los Angeles home and created quite a stir yesterday (April 26, 2018) when she revealed she had been abused by her ex-husband/famed rapper, Nasir Jones.
“There was a lot of mental and physical abuse,” the 38-year old said about her four-year marriage to Nas, describing it as a roller coaster relationship that was never healthy. “We had really intense highs and really intense lows. It was never normal,” she explained. “An intense high would be when money was rolling in. We were young, too. I was 22 when I met him. I was a baby. We were drinking too much, smoking too much, we were too much. We were spending too much, balling out of control. It was all too much and we lived too hard. So when that comes down, it goes really low, as low as possible.”
“A lot of stuff he may not remember,” explained Kelis, pointing to Nas’ drinking as part of the problem. She noted when news in February 2009 emerged that Rihanna had been beaten by Chris Brown, Kelis said it was a moment that gave her pause and she considered at the time going public about her own abuse.
Kelis explained she chose to leave Nas not long after when at seven months pregnant with Knight (who is now eight), she concluded she didn’t want to bring a child into chaos, adding that to this day there are child-custody related issues. “I can’t even tell my child that you’re coming until you’re at the curb because of how many times you haven’t showed up,” she said, dismissing claims she’s a gold digger. “He got money two years ago, guys, seriously. Let’s be real. If I were a gold digger I wouldn’t have chosen him.”
In the interview she concedes they were both “really young” with problems compounded by the fact they were in the public eye and part of a ’90s musical culture that was inherently rough around the edges.
In a funny moment in the video, she dismissed the rumor she was upset that Nicki Minaj was dating Nas. “Why? Take him! Please dear god take him back. This is terrible, I think he’s lonely,” she laughed, pointing out she’s happy in her marriage, adding her renewed custody issues with Nas came after Minaj left him.
In addition to her marriage, Kelis discussed her career as a chef, having a food truck and a sauce line called Bounty & Full. She made the transition to from music to food when she won freedom from her music label at the age of 27 and made the decision in 2008 to attend Le Cordon Blue, a culinary school in New York.
Kelis has been married for four years to real estate agent Mika Mora with whom she has a second son, Shephard, who is now two.
Check out the exchange below.