In an explosive new interview for Angie Martinez’s “IRL” podcast, Ashanti finally opened up about Irv Gotti’s remarks on their storied relationship. However, she claimed that’s far from what it was.
“Let’s clear this up,” the R&B songstress explained. “We’re not gonna say relationship. We dealt with each other, but was Irv my boyfriend? Was I his girlfriend? Never … Irv had several girlfriends, so I’m a little confused by the label and the description.”
In August, Gotti took to Drink Champs to talk about how he dated the star, giving cringeworthy details that came across as predatory by many viewers. Though the two were involved, Ashanti explained how she felt pressured to be with him.
“I definitely feel like manipulation played a heavy part into me and Irv’s situation,” she told Martinez. “He would say stuff like, ‘No one wants to record with you, nobody fucks with you like that.’ On one hand, he would make it feel like family-family-family, and on the other hand, he would tell me, ‘Nobody even likes you.’”
Ashanti also shared how Gotti continued to disrespect her throughout her time on Murder Inc by saying things like:
“‘You ain’t sh*t, f**k you...you not even f**king loyal. You know I made you, I made the world wanna f**k you’, you know what I’m saying? He would say ‘N***as wanna f**k you because I made you look like that. I made you f**kable...’ in those exact words.”
Ashanti insisted that Gotti pushed her to be a better artist, but the claims that he “made her” are false. ““If you made me, make another one—where she at?” the singer quipped.
Ultimately, her relationship with Nelly led Irv to try and push her out of Murder Inc. “Irv was salty! Irv would not let me come to the studio to record. Irv was telling everyone not to record with me,” Ashanti said.
“Why do I want to stay in that situation? How can I stay in that situation? You know what he said to me? He said, ‘Nah, you want to be with Nelly? Go sign to Derrty Ent. We don’t want you.’ What am I supposed to do?”
She continued: “He was blocking a lot of things. Irv was telling DJs don’t play the record … He told my stylist at the time, ‘If you f**k with Ashanti, you don’t f**k with me.’ That’s what he told every single person on the label, in the building.”
Ashanti also claimed that the Drink Champs interview was tone deaf considering the current climate that calls out sexual harassment, abuse and women’s equality. She also said Ja Rule did defend her during the taping, but could have defended her more.
Ultimately, Ashanti is proud of her professional accomplishments which include music, movies and even a stint on Broadway. However, she knows that her relationship with Gotti is completely unsalvageable.
“I feel like Irv is just hurt and he doesn’t know where to place his hurt and he doesn’t know how to channel it as a man. It’s sad,” she remarked. “I genuinely, in my heart, believe that Irv wishes death on me. A million percent.”