Domestic violence allegations affect people from all walks of life; celebrities are no exception. In an interview conducted in April of 2018, R&B singer and celebrity chef Kelis accused her ex-husband, rapper Nas, of mental and physical abuse.
The celebrity couple first met in 2002. Nas is known as one of hip-hop's most respected artists with hit albums spanning back to 1994. Kelis is best known for her 2004 hit “Milkshake,” and more recently as a celebrity guest judge on shows like Top Chef Masters and Hell's Kitchen. After three years of dating, the two married. The relationship continued until 2009 when the couple divorced citing irreconcilable differences; soon after their son Knight was born. The domestic violence accusation comes on the heels of new filings in the long-running custody battle over eight-year-old Knight.
Kelis' accusations paint a picture of a stormy relationship marred by infidelity, substance abuse, and violence. In a recent interview, she alleged Nas struck her repeatedly during the marriage, leaving her with bruises all over her body. “It was really toxic,” Kelis told interviewer Jason Lee. “It wasn't good ever but it got progressively worse.” The R&B singer went on to claim that while the relationship was mutually toxic, her first pregnancy made her realize she had to end the relationship. “At seven months pregnant I was terrified,” she told Hollywood Unlocked. “I was like, I cannot bring a person into this … I've got to get out.”
This is not the first time Nas has faced accusations of domestic violence. Carmen Bryan, the mother of Nas' daughter Destiny Jones, alleged in her 2006 tell-all book that Nas had physically abused her during their relationship including striking her in the face with a closed fist.
To date, Nas has not been charged with a crime. And, given how long ago the alleged incident took place, it's unlikely he ever will be. In most states, the statute of limitations for domestic violence would have expired in the decade since the incidents were alleged to have happened. In Washington, the state of limitations varies depending on the actual charge. Misdemeanor domestic violence charges have a one-year statute of limitations. More serious charges carry a longer statute of limitations; felony domestic violence charges have a statute of limitations of two or three years depending on the degree.
Washington law defines domestic violence as causing physical harm or the fear of imminent physical harm. The statute also covers sexually assaulting or stalking a family member. A domestic violence conviction can lead to substantial fines, alcohol or drug treatment, and incarceration.
Domestic violence charges can be life-changing. If you face domestic violence charges, it's critical that you find an attorney that will provide you with a vigorous defense. Your attorney should investigate every aspect of the allegations against you to adequately prepare your best defense. If you have been charged with domestic violence in the Seattle area, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi for your complimentary consultation.