In an interview with Hollywood Unlocked this week, singer-songwriter Kelis opened up about the events that led to her divorce with Nas, while she was still pregnant with their son.

She claims she endured both mental and physical abuse at the hands of the rapper. “A lot of mental and physical abuse,” Kelis revealed. “It got to the point where if I wasn’t pregnant, I might have stayed with him. I was pregnant and it was a mess and I felt like I wasn’t going to bring a child into this.”

Kelis credits seeing the photo of Rihanna after her domestic dispute with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown back in 2009 for giving her the strength to leave the alleged violent relationship. “When the Rihanna and Chris Brown pictures came out, I thought about coming out because I also had bruises all over my body,” the 38-year old singer explained. “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.”

Kelis went on to reveal why she decided to remain quiet about the relationship amidst the custody battle over their 8-year-old son Knight, who she says Nas doesn’t see often — only “shows up when there’s a photo opp.” “I’ve waited 9 years to say anything,” she said. “I have never talked about this man. The amount of airing out that I could do and don’t do is what our kids will find out.”

After a music hiatus following her fourth album Kelis Was Here back in 2006, the artist decided to change lanes and trained at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. In addition to becoming a chef, Kelis has launched her brand Bounty & Full.

The mother of two has also remarried and become involved with The Jane Club, a community space for women and working mothers. “I’m living my life. I’m cooking. I’m raising my kids and I’m very private.”