Mary J. Blige and Kendu Isaacs Are Officially Divorced — Here’s Everything We Know About Their Relationship

Mary J. Blige is posing with Kendy Isaacs on the red carpet.

Mary J. Blige and Kendu Isaacs attend the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Actress and Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige is officially divorced from Martin “Kendu” Isaacs, whom she wed in 2003. The pair officially announced their separation in 2016, so finalizing the split has been a lengthy process.

While there are plenty of rumors as to why these two decided to part ways, we’ll never know exactly what happened. But here’s what we do know about the marriage that spanned nearly 13 years.

She once said Isaacs saved her life

In a 2007 interview, Blige credited her husband with saving her life. After years of addiction to drugs and alcohol she used to cope with the pain of an abusive upbringing, Blige entered a series of abusive relationships. She said she met Isaacs at a time when she “hated men,” but he’d helped her heal by showing her unconditional love (and a lot of patience).

“I remember lying on the bed with my head on his chest. I decided to stop drinking that night and forgive all the people who had hurt me and to forgive and love myself, because I loved him and I wanted to be true,” Blige said of her husband of three years. According to Blige, Isaacs was the first man to ever tell her she was beautiful.

This was the second marriage for Isaacs

Before settling down with Blige, Isaacs was married once before. He divorced a woman named Maurine in 1999, with whom he had two children, had two children, Nas and Jordan. Isaacs also has an older daughter from a teenage relationship.

Blige also isn’t the only celebrity Isaacs has been linked with. Before he met Blige in 2000, he was linked to Nia Long, Queen Latifah, Lauryn Hill, and Kimora Lee Simons.

The couple had some rather strange rules

These days, it’s rare to hear about a famous couple abstaining from sex until marriage. But in a 2007 interview with ESSENCE, the pair revealed that, after living together before marriage, they started reading the Bible together and tried to live by it.

“When you’re having sex and you’re not married, it’s called fornication in the Bible,” Isaacs said.

“Men don’t really do well with no sex,” Blige added. “But I said, ‘You will have to show me that you really love me that much and move out.’ And she showed me that he loved me that much.” Isaacs moved out for over a year, and they abstained from sex.

The couple also had strict rules when it came to friendships. She only had female friends, and he was only hanging out with other men. They did so to help give their marriage a better chance.

“There’s none of that, ‘Oh, that’s my female friend Oh, that’s my guy friend.’ No, not in a marriage, I’ve never seen that work,” Blige said.

Allegedly, there was an affair

In 2017, after the couple had separated, rumors started swirling that Isaacs had been having an affair during the marriage. The other woman was Starshell, a much younger up-and-coming artist whom Blige had taken under her wing as her protege. Blige even claimed in court papers that Isaacs had spent $420,000 on his girlfriend while they were still married, although she never mentioned Starshell by name.

Interestingly enough, some sources claimed Isaac was saying that Blige was the one cheating with Starshell and that she was secretly a lesbian. However, that didn’t prove to be credible information.

Blige has called Isaacs out for his verbal abuse

While Blige hasn’t addressed the alleged affair much, she has been candid in interviews about the verbal abuse and “overwhelming disrespect” she faced toward the end of her marriage. Apparently her husband had been criticizing trivial matters, like the way she styled her hair or how she never cooked anymore.

“You start to realize that this man doesn’t want you and he’s just gone all the time and you’re by yourself in the relationship,” she said. Representatives for Isaac denied any wrongdoing.

The settlement took years

Although the divorce was finalized on June 20, Blige and Isaacs spent nearly two years negotiating the terms. While the exact details have remained confidential, we do know she was ordered to pay $30,o00 per month in temporary spousal support while they battled in court. Isaacs had originally been seeking $100,000 monthly.

The former couple officially settled their divorce terms in March, so the latest news simply means the legal battle — and the marriage — are officially over. Now Blige can move on to a more peaceful existence with “No More Drama.”

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