Ashanti may be a top-charting singer but the role she takes the most seriously in her life is as a big sister. The singer has always had her younger sister, Shia Douglas, by her side. Douglas has been promoting her mental health initiative in recent interviews with Ashanti. In a recent interview, Douglas opened up about surviving a physically abusive relationship. Many fans believe her abuser is a close friend of Nipsey Hussle.
Shia Douglas reveals the abuse in an emotional video on Instagram
In celebration of her 31st birthday, Douglas released a video on Instagram that features a time capsule of her life. The video starts off with images and videos of her as a child growing into adulthood. Things take a turn when graphic images of a battered Douglas appear.
A sequence of footage shows ultrasounds of a pregnancy, an engagement ring given by a man whose face is not visible, a growing baby bump, and a fetus. Scenes then shoot to Douglas with a black eye, a bloody face, and her front teeth broken.
“Our experiences begin to shape our realities. Here, we learn about pain, isolation, sacrifice, and heartache,” she says in a voiceover in the video. “These experiences though, no matter how bad, how painful, how ugly, how dark, how beautiful, are all threads that together wove our story and shape our purpose. They reignite our passion and remind us of who we are divinely meant to be.”
The singer says the abuse did not start until year 10 in her relationship
While visiting the Angie Martinez radio show alongside her sister, Douglas spoke publicly for the first time about her experiences being in an abusive relationship. She says she began dating her ex when she was barely 18. By year 10, she says he began physically abusing her.
“I was engaged at the time, we were together for 13 years,” Douglas explains. “Not the 13 years [I wasn’t being abused]. It was more so the last three years, the last two years of the relationship.” Douglas also says her jaw was broken, and she suffered a miscarriage.
Douglas says she began therapy while in the relationship in an attempt to salvage it. She learned through therapy that she needed to leave the relationship.
As for why she opted to share her experience publicly in the form of a video, she says it was therapeutic. “The video is a gift for myself…I don’t have something held over my head,” she says.
How Ashanti’s family reacted to the abuse
Ashanti’s family became aware of the abuse after Douglas could no longer hide the bruises. Her mom recalls Douglas calling her in hysterics to tell her that her fiance had hit her.
“It was a very difficult, a very dark situation that affected all of us very differently,” Ashanti says of how her family coped with Douglas being abused. The singer’s mom said she nearly enlisted the help of family members to physically harm the abuser, but chose to instead focus on trying to get Douglas healed and out of the relationship.
Ashanti also says she wanted to resort to violence. All three women say being a celebrity and the pressure to keep things under wraps and not be labeled as a victim of abuse played a part. Douglas also says she did not press charges on her ex.
Fans believe Shia Douglas’ abusive ex is a close friend of Nipsey Hussle
Since Douglas has only been in one long-term relationship and Ashanti hinted to Douglas’ abuser being a celebrity figure in the interview, many assume the abuser is Slow Bucks, a clothing entrepreneur. Bucks was also in late rapper Nipsey Hussle’s circle.
Douglas and Bucks announced their engagement in 2016 on Instagram. The posts have since been deleted. He has yet to comment on the matter.
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