Mary J. Blige used her own heartbreak and memories of her "horrible marriage" to get into her character for her upcoming film "Mudbound."
"I used a lot of my own heaviness from my own misery that I was living in that horrible marriage," she told Variety. "I was just dying in it. I knew something was wrong. I just couldn't prove it. I just had all the heaviness of not feeling right, not feeling good."
She gave her character, Florence Jackson, all that pain.
In July 2016 after 12 years of marriage, Mary filed for divorce from manager Martin "Kendu" Issacs.
In June 2017, the R&B legend was ordered to pay her estranged husband $30,000 a month in temporary spousal support, and oddly, that's being looked at as a win for her. Her ex had actually requested that she pay him $129,319 per month for spousal support.
"I'm doing OK," she told Variety. "I'm living. I'm not happy about a lot of things. I thought someone loved me, right? Turns out, he was a con artist and he didn't, and now he's coming after me for all my money."
She continued, "When you come out of something like that, you realize you were never the one. There was someone else that was his queen. I got played. I got suckered. I have to keep smiling and keep my spirits up because this is designed to kill me."
Shortly after the divorce filing, reports surfaced that claimed Mary's protege Starshell was at the center of the nasty split. The New York Post said Martin had been cheating on Mary with the young singer.
"Everyone knew. Mary was the last to know, but it's like, how do you not know?" a source told the newspaper at the time.
Mary often brought Sharshell to red carpet and TV events in hopes to raise her profile. The source said, "It's really… low to have it done to her that way. Had it not been for Mary signing her, investing time and money … Because no one cared about her music."
"You'd see [Martin and Starshell] out in the studio together, having dinner without Mary," the source said. "And then Mary would be at events with her, and it was awkward because it was obvious they were sleeping together."
Mary's "Mudbound" character came at the time right time, and the film proved to be a rather cathartic experience for the singer-actress.
"For a long time, I didn't want people to see my hair. I don't know why," she said. "I'm not as vain. That's the thing about Florence that I love. I got the chance to be pure."