Missy Elliott’s early home life wasn’t happy, per The Guardian. Among other places, her family lived in an extremely humble home in Virginia, which was full of rats … and, unfortunately, domestic abuse (via Biography). Elliott’s father was so violent toward her mother that the young girl was afraid to visit friends for fear of what her father would do when she was away.
The situation took a heavy toll on Elliott, who wasn’t always safe from her father’s wrath, either. Her musical aspirations became desperate plea-for-help letters to idols like Janet Jackson (via The Guardian). She kept trying to convince her mother to leave the toxic and dangerous situation. “I guess my mother still loved him,” Elliott said in 2001. “I guess she thought things could be normal, but they never were. Every day I begged her to leave him. I said, ‘Please, please let’s go.”’
In an interview with VH1’s Behind the Music (via NME), Elliott revealed that things were so bad that her father once pulled a firearm on her mother and threatened to kill her. “He pulled the gun out in front of me,” Elliott said. “I was screaming, ‘Daddy, please don’t kill my mother!'”
If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.