Nas ordered to pay Kelis $51,000 a month


LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge ordered Nas to increase his payments to his soon-to-be ex-wife, Kelis, and their infant son to $51,101 a month Wednesday.

The ruling came after two days of testimony about the musicians, during which both were portrayed as cash-strapped. Nas had been paying Kelis nearly $40,000 a month since July.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David S. Cunningham III issued his ruling after hearing detailed testimony about the musicians’ finances, recording deals and significant tax debts. Nas and Kelis both were in court and testified Wednesday.

Nas’ attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said after the hearing that the rapper benefits from the changes. Nas, whose real name is Nasir Jones, will no longer have to pay $13,000 a month for the former couple’s Los Angeles home.

Kelis, who real name is Kelis Rogers, has been living at the Los Angeles home with the couple’s son, Knight, in recent months and has installed recording equipment at the house.

Her attorney, Laura Wasser, said she was “thrilled” with the ruling.

Rogers recently signed a $175,000 contract to make new music with Interscope records, although her attorneys argued most of the money went to Rogers’ former managers and she received only about $50,000. Rogers, who gained fame for the song “Milkshake,” downplayed her new music, telling Jones’ attorney that the only song she’d recently made debuted on Twitter.

For his part, Jones said he didn’t expect to release a new album in 2010. New albums create an influx of cash for musicians, who receive a spike in royalty payments and touring proceeds, accountants for both musicians testified.

Jones, considered one of rap’s most popular and talented artists, released his last studio album in 2008.

He owes his current manager up to $700,000 and owes millions to the Internal Revenue Service, according to testimony Wednesday.

Rogers hasn’t filed a tax return in years, which made calculating her income difficult.