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After years of staying private, Kelis is finally speaking out about her past relationship with Nas, and according to her, it was filled with “really intense highs and really intense lows.”

“There was a lot of mental and physical abuse,” the singer turned chef told Hollywood Unlocked. “It was never normal. An intense high would be when money was rolling in. But I was 22 when I met him. We were drinking a lot, getting high a lot. So when that comes down, it was bad.”

Nas and Kelis met at a MTV Video Music Awards after-party in 2002 and were married in 2005, according to E!.

Kelis went on to describe the physical abuse in their relationship saying, “Did he hit me?…..Mmm hmmm. Did I hit him back?…..Mmm hmmm.”

She said it was Rihanna‘s 2009 domestic violence incident with Chris Brown that finally pushed her to divorce Nas — this and the fact that she was pregnant and didn’t want to bring her son into the drama.

“When the Rihanna and Chris Brown pictures came out I thought about coming out because I also had bruises all over my body,” she said. “But I didn’t say anything because I’m private. But seeing her the way she looked and then looking at myself… I felt embarrassed.”

When considering other women going through similar situations, Kelis said, “Women can’t be afraid to fight.”

You can check out her full interview for yourself below.

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