"My main focus was to make sure that they were okay," Monica said of focusing on her kids amid her divorce
The R&B star, 38, filed for divorce from her husband, former Los Angeles Laker Shannon Brown, 33, in Atlanta in early March, TMZ reported at the time.
Now “The Boy Is Mine” singer is opening up about the impact the split has had on their kids. Monica and Brown share a 5-year-old daughter, Laiyah Shannon. Monica also has two sons, 14-year-old Rodney (aka “Rocko”) and Romelo, 11, from a past engagement; Brown has another son, Christopher, from a previous relationship.
Monica told SiriusXM radio host Sway Calloway the divorce proceedings have been trying for her kids.
“They’re definitely impacted. Even more than us because we know what’s taking place, sometimes, when they don’t. In their minds, they’re always trying to figure it out — they’re always trying to figure out what happened, why, and what the changes may be. So for us, my main focus was to make sure that they were okay,” Monica said on the Sway in the Morning show while promoting her new single "Commitment."
The singer added that transparency and communication have been important during the difficult time, saying they have a “policy of being honest with them, making sure that they know what’s going on. Not the crazy details that are for adults only but things that will help them to sift through whatever they may read.”
Monica said that being in the public eye has been a challenge during the split, as the children have read about the divorce news online — which has led to some hard questions at home.
“My 11-year-old asked me, ‘Can you stop divorce? Can you stop it?'” Monica said. “I asked him, ‘Did you ask me that because you were asked or are you asking because it’s something you want to know?’ He said, ‘No, it’s something I want to know. Can you stop it, what does it mean, what does it take, what does it require?’ So I told him the truth.”
Monica added: “He wanted to know: ‘Since you did it, can you stop it, period?’ I was like, ‘Yes, that’s within the rights of any person if that’s the decision that they decide.’ I was like, ‘I haven’t stopped it or anything, but I want you to express to me what you feel.’ So we had a real dope hour-long conversation.”
While neither Monica nor Brown has revealed what caused their split, the Grammy winner told RuPaul infidelity was not the impetus.
“Luckily for us, it wasn’t another person that was the issue,” she told the Drag Race star on The RuPaul Show.
Monica secretly married Brown in a private L.A. wedding ceremony in November 2010, and the pair kept their matrimony under wraps for months before confirming the news in January 2011. Monica (born Monica Denise Arnold) and Brown later tied the knot again, in front of family and famous friends, at a second ceremony and reception in July 2011.