Ashanti is wearing her heart on her … purse.
The 42-year-old singer carried a clutch with Nelly’s face on it at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards on Tuesday, September 12.
As she walked the pink carpet, photographers zoomed in on the accessory, which featured a throwback snap of herself and the now 48-year-old “Hot in Herre” rapper. The handbag perfectly complemented Ashanti’s champagne-colored gown that was equipped with a sparkly green exposed bra. She finalized her look with a sleek updo and dangling earrings.
Ashanti’s decision to sport the purse comes after Nelly confirmed that the former couple had rekindled their romance ahead of the Tuesday awards show. “Yeah, we cool again,” Nelly said when asked if he reunited with his former flame, per a clip of an interview on “Boss Moves with Rasheeda” that was shared by The Shade Room. “I think it surprised both of us though. It wasn’t anything that I don’t think was planned.”
Nelly went on to explain that during their time apart, they gained a better understanding for each other. “You be like, ‘Yo, let me see exactly what they see,’” he said. “You know, because we all can be defensive sometimes in our own relationships. We know we wrong, but we going to stand on it. But we all a victim to that.”
When asked if the relationship “feels good now,” Nelly responded enthusiastically that it does “because it’s no pressure.”
The duo dated on and off from 2003 to 2013 after meeting at a press conference for the 45th Annual Grammy Awards. The possibility of the pair reuniting seemed unlikely after Ashanti said she had been “betrayed” by Nelly on The Meredith Vieira Show in 2015.
“I think sometimes when people have their own insecurities it allows them to act out of character,” the “Rock Wit U” singer said at the time.
The two first sparked reconciliation rumors in April, when they were seen holding hands at a boxing match in Las Vegas. Ashanti also posted a video via her Instagram story, with what appeared to be Nelly’s hoodie visible to her right. She playfully captioned the post, “Oh hey,” with a winky face emoji.
Two months later, Nelly and Ashanti posed with their arms around each other at the 3rd Annual Birthday Ball for Quality Control CEO Pierre Thomas. In August, Nelly posted a video to his own Instagram Story of the two cozying up together while singing to Usher’s “Nice & Slow.”
“I just want to take it nice and slow,” they sang in the video. “See I’ve been waiting for this for so long.”