“Irv has flat-out lied about a lot of things. And the crazy thing is, when we were in a good space, a positive space — pillow talk is a dangerous thing, and there are so many things that I know. I don’t have the desire to expose certain things. I’m happy, I’m in a different space … I don’t play in the mud.”
She added: “It’s weird. It’s very weird when you know you’re lying and you just keep lying. That’s where it becomes a little scary and a little mental because it’s like, ‘Dawg, we can see [the lies].'” “I’m trying to figure out, like, what made him even say that,” she said. “Was I there? I’m confused. I don’t remember this at all. I wrote ‘Happy’ in the parking lot of a C.W. Post college. I was actually on the way to see The Nutcracker with my aunt and my cousins in my 626 Mazda. “As far as the beat goes, I know Irv and Chink [Santana] did the beat, but the story… [laughs].”
Although she didn’t flat-out deny that there was no romance between them, Ashanti believes that Irv Gotti “manipulated” her at a time when she was young and naïve.
“I definitely feel like manipulation played a heavy part into me and Irv’s situation,” she reflected. “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.’
According to Ashanti, her romance with Nelly became a major sore spot for Gotti, whose “bitterness” led to him deliberately hampering her career and even sending death threats to those around her. “Irv was salty! Irv would not let me come to the studio to record. Irv was telling everyone not to record with me,” she claimed. “Why do I want to stay in that situation? How can I stay in that situation? Do 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 added: “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 fuck with Ashanti, you don’t fuck with me.’ That’s what he told every single person on the label, in the building.”
Ashanti clarified she had “a genuine love” for Irv Gotti because “he 100 percent helped to change my life” and is proud of the “history” they made together with Murder Inc. “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 stated. “I genuinely, in my heart, believe that Irv wishes death on me. A million percent.”