Nivea got candid in a new interview about why her career stalled, as well as what went wrong in her relationships with Lil Wayne and ex-husband The-Dream.
The “Don’t Mess With My Man” singer appeared on a recent episode of Kandi Burruss’ YouTube series “On That Note.” As the two sat down together, Nivea discussed breaking into the music industry, including moving to Atlanta when she was a teenager and both living with and having an intimate relationship with her adult manager at the time.
“I worked with him from 14 years old to 21, and he was at least 20 or 30 years older,” Nivea said. “I was clearly a child and he was clearly almost a grandaddy.” The singer also said she was raped by one of her manager’s friends when she was 16.
Later in the interview, she said she gave up her career when Lil Wayne promised her he would take care of her financially if she left the music industry behind.
“He said, ‘Come be with me. I got you,'” Nivea told Burruss.
“I’m just sitting there, like, being a housewife,” the 39-year-old reminisced before she said she received a shock when the “Lollipop” rapper instead married Toya Johnson, his ex and the mother of his child.
Nivea then met music producer The-Dream when they were working on a song together and started dating. Within a month of their first date, they became engaged. They married in 2004 and later divorced in 2007.
She got back together with Lil Wayne. After becoming pregnant with his child, then she found out he had impregnated actress Lauren London at the same time. London and Nivea became close during their pregnancies and are still friends to this day.
Near the end of the interview, Nivea broke down as she recalled how her faith played a large part in overcoming negative experiences, including an addiction to cocaine when she was overwhelmed with everything going on around her.
“I never thought I would get over it. I thought it was going to consume me and I was going to lose my babies,” she said.
Nivea posted a teaser of the interview on Instagram and captioned it: “I only share to inspire… Each and every one of us are worthy, valuable, & capable of overcoming anything!!!”
Despite her setbacks, Nivea is now on the come up. She currently appears on BET’s The Encore, which aims to bring nine former music stars together to form one R&B supergroup. She stars on the show alongside Shamari DeVoe, Irish Grinstead, LeMisha Grinstead, Felisha King, Fallon King, Pamela Long, Aubrey O’ Day and Kiely Williams. The Encore airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BET.
Watch Nivea’s full raw and emotional interview with Burruss below: