Irv Gotti and Ja Rule are set to appear on an upcoming episode of Drink Champs, where they will discuss a multitude of topics stemming to the 2000s. In a clip released from the duo’s sit-down with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN, Gotti reveals he was once in love with his Murder Inc. signee, Ashanti – although she was dating Nelly.
Irv Gotti and Ashanti’s close-knit relationship sparked dating rumors for years. But in 2003, it was confirmed that she was dating Nelly – surprising Gotti and the rest of the world. The Murder Inc. CEO used his time on the Drink Champs podcast to share how he learned the news of the former couple.
“I could get past you wanting to be with Nelly,” Gotti said in a clip from the upcoming episode. “Sounds like you didn’t get past that, I’m just being honest,” N.O.R.E. hilariously interrupts. “Listen, at the time, it happens, any man is hurt,” Irv continued. “The chick you f**king are in love with, is with this ni**a.” Irv goes on to tell the story of how he found out about Ashanti and Nelly.
“I was at home. Listen to this sh*t – this was God wanting me to find out – was at home, NBA package, I like watching sports,” Gotti said, describing how a “commotion” erupted during one of the games. He then mimicked the commentators’ reactions: “‘We just found out what the commotion is: Nelly has walked in with Ashanti!’” Ashanti and Nelly went on to date for a little over a decade before calling it quits in 2014.
Ashanti signed to Murda Inc. as the label’s First Lady in 2002. Her breakout success garnered accolades such as a Grammy for her self-titled debut album. She also broke records as the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” simultaneously. Ashanti has since earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, authored a children’s book My Name Is A Story, amongst win a plethora of other awards and honors.
In 2019, Irv Gotti’s ex-wife Deb Lorenzo confirmed that the two were married for 15 years until their divorce. In the same year, Irv Gotti admitted to infidelity in his marriage during an interview with Wendy Williams.
“When me and Deb separated, she caught me cheating — this is why I’m here. Ashanti is not a homewrecker, guys! Ashanti had nothing to do with me and Deb — Deb caught me when I was directing ‘I Cry’ in Baltimore,” he said. “Deb being the vicious person she is, she came down unannounced. She said, ‘I’m Mrs. Lorenzo. Give me the room key.’ The door was latched, but she knows I’m in there. That’s what broke me and Deb up.”
Watch the clip from the upcoming Drink Champs episode above.