Mary J. Blige Ends Marriage to Kendu Issacs After 12 Years: ‘Sometimes Things Don’t Work How we Hoped’


Mary J. Blige will soon be a single woman. The singer filed for divorce from husband of 12 years, Martin “Kendu” Issacs, who is also her manager. The songwriter cited irreconcilable differences in court documents filed Thursday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The separation date is to be determined. Blige requested the court block her ex from receiving spousal support and property details have not yet been sorted through. The documents do no reveal if a prenuptial agreement was in place.

The singer’s representatives issued a statement confirming the news.

“Ms. Blige is saddened to say it is true that she has filed for divorce saying sometimes things don’t work how we hoped they would,” it read. “But, there is a divine plan and a reason for everything. Mary will continue writing & working on her album which is due out later this year along with her world tour. She thanks and appreciates her fans for their support and love through this very difficult emotional time.”

Blige and Issacs met in 2000 when he was recording a song with Queen Latifah that the rapper’s future The Wiz co-star was featured on, according to Billboard. The pair wed three years later in an intimate New Jersey wedding on Dec. 7. At the time they met, the “Family Affair” singer was emerging from years of drug and alcohol abuse and struggling with depression. Blige credited her husband for helping her overcome those issues.

The Bronx, New York native opened up to The Telegraph about her marriage in 2014. At the time, the husband and wife were celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary.

“It definitely feels like an achievement,” she shared. “I never thought I’d last this long in a marriage.”

Blige acknowledged an upside and a downside to having her manager as her spouse.

“He always has my back – he’s going to fight to the death for Mary J. Blige,” she said. “The downside is that there’s no separation – it’s on all the time. When you don’t feel like answering to your manager, he’s still your husband. If one of you doesn’t want to talk about something right now, you have to respect that. And you have to respect each other’s space.”

She also famously revealed the couple did not have friends of the opposite sex.

“All females for me, all guys for him,” she told the newspaper. “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.”

The couple does not have any children together. Issacs has three children from a previous relationship.

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