Kelis Says Nas Was Physically Abusive, And 9 Other Shocking Revelations About Their Relationship

April 26, 2018  |  
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Kelis and Nas


In a new interview with Hollywood Unlocked‘s Jason Lee, singer and chef Kelis spilled a whole kettle full of piping hot, nine-year-old tea about not only what her relationship with ex-husband Nas was really like, but also what kind of father he’s been as they go through their custody battle.

And while one might assume she shared everything out of spite, the 38-year-old was honest about the role she felt she played in their issues, and laughed about incidents that would that make the rest of us infuriated. But not an awkward, misplaced laugh. Instead, an “I’m so over this situation that to hear what I’ve dealt with is laughable at this point” type of giggle. Here’s what shocked us:

Their marriage was, at times, a violent one.

Kelis admitted that the couple “lived hard.” They drank a lot, smoked a lot, and when the rapper would get very drunk, he had moments where he was physically abusive.

“It was dark. It was really dark,” she said. “There was a lot of drinking. A lot of mental and physical abuse and it got to the point where … I think, God is so good. Because being pregnant, I probably would have stayed longer had I not been pregnant.”


She was tempted to step forward and say something about the abuse after Chris Brown attacked Rihanna.

“I remember so clearly when the pictures came out, with that whole thing that happened with her and Chris Brown,” she said. “The only way I can describe it was like double Dutch. Do I jump in? Do I say it? Because I had bruises all over my body at that time. Like that day, I remember being in Atlanta and I was like, ‘Do I?’ And I wasn’t ready to walk. I just wasn’t. And so I didn’t say it. I’m really private! I didn’t want people in my business. I felt like, this is my partner, I chose this, we’re going to do this and we’re going to make it work.”


She still wants to take responsibility for her “part” in their violent relationship.

“We would fight. I never just sat there. But we would fight,” she said. “I’m 5’10”. I don’t back down. I’m extremely confrontational. So I take my part in it. I do. I take my part in it. I wasn’t perfect. Like I said, I never painted myself as an angel. I can be a b—h, I can fight. I know how to fight. I’m not afraid to throw a punch. But I wouldn’t have started it. I’ll participate in ending it, but I never started it.”


After she left him, she found herself technically homeless.

After giving birth to their son Knight in New York alongside family and returning to Los Angeles after their split when their son was two to three months old, Kelis returned to the home they used to share and found a foreclosure notice on the door.

She said she put the money down for their properties and he would pay the mortgage, but he stopped paying the mortgages soon after she decided to leave him. When she called him about it, things got worse.

“I called him, and I’m like, ‘Yo, there’s a foreclosure notice on our door. What’s up?'” she said. “And his response, which has been very consistent, was ‘Go f–k yourself.’ That then continued on.”

Kelis said she had to hurry up and release an album, Flesh Tone, and tour to get up the funds to take care of herself and her child.


She says from then on, he dipped in and out of the picture to care for Knight.

“You haven’t been a parent and you haven’t been around for a very long time. So to show up now, yes, I’m angry,” she said.

“I have been a parent. I have been there. And it’s not about me not allowing you to see him. It’s if you have not been there, you can’t show up when you feel like it and regulate,” she added. “You can’t not show up for months and then show up and want to change the whole schedule, the whole plan. Huh? What?! No sir, that’s not what we’re going to do.”


He just started paying child support two years ago.

“He doesn’t participate. He shows up when it’s fun,” she said.

According to Kelis, Nas has only been paying $8,000 in support to cover all the costs for Knight’s upbringing, but what makes it harder is that she claims he hasn’t tried to be as present as he should for the 8-year-old.

“He started supporting where it was sort of consistent and where it became consistent, about two years ago,” she said. “My child is 8 and he’ll be 9 in July. So I didn’t get not a single cent until 2012.”


Kelis’s mom had a stroke and Nas wouldn’t bring their son to see her.

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, the singer’s mother suffered a stroke. Because she’s close with Knight, Kelis allegedly called Nas to have the rapper bring their son to see his grandmother.

“I called him and I was like, ‘Yo, my mom just had a stroke, can you bring him?'” she asked. “He was like, ‘No.’ I was like, Ok. Alright. I need to deal with my mom. This is a disaster.”

After her mom pulled through, Kelis ended up having a life-is-too-short perspective and wanted to ease tensions between herself and the rapper. So, she invited Nas, with her husband’s approval, over for Thanksgiving, because he had no family and she wanted him to spend the holiday with Knight. He came, and everything went well. Or so she thought.


Knight Calls Her Husband Papa.

Kelis is remarried to a photographer named Mike Mora, with whom she shares 2-year-old son named Shepherd. He makes breakfast, helps her get Knight ready for school, and even taught Knight to swim.

“It’s not that he’s trying to replace anyone, it’s because he’s the only one here,” she said of her husband. Because of that, Knight has a tight-knit relationship with Mora.

“He was 4 when we met, my husband and I. And when we got together, he was looking for a dad. I did not do that. That is what he decided to call him and he asked me if it was ok,” she said.

“Nas with all his ego and all his stuff, he’s never flinched. Because deep down he knows, I didn’t do that. Your child made a choice because this is the person who shows up for him. That’s who’s there.”


She wouldn’t have asked for more child support if he hadn’t filed to have more control in their custody agreement.

Again, she claimed she’s only been getting $8,000, and “it’s never been enough.” However, she and Mora were doing just fine taking care of Knight with their own funds. But now that he has tried to, in her opinion, slander her through the media and create an unhealthy environment for their child, she’s not having it, and she wants him to pay up.

“Now that you want to drag my name through the mud, disrupt the peace in my household, put my kid through stress, eczema is flaring up, it’s a disaster, yes! Now you should pay what you should pay. It’s the law,” she said.

“I’m a good mom, I hold it down,” she added. “Our kid’s never in danger. He’s never in a setting that’s inappropriate. He’s never uncared for or unloved or any of the above, so why make it difficult? Like why? It’s really not logical. I don’t know where this is all coming from, but I’ve absolutely had enough.”


She wishes Nas and Nicki Minaj would have worked out.

In fact, she felt like he wouldn’t have filed and been so angry if they had stayed together.

“People thought I was angry. Why? Take him!” she said. “Please, dear God! Take him back! I beg of you! Take him back! I think he’s lonely. This all started when she left.”

After finding out they were an item following his birthday, she saw people trying to compare Nicki to her, but Kelis was not interested in rekindling anything with her ex-husband.

“Please, have him,” she said. “You’ll be running for the hills, too! Like Nicki [laughs]! She was like, ‘Peace! I’m out [laughs].'”

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