Crystal Renay Is 'Feeling Blessed and Grateful' After Divorce from NE-YO: 'I Chose My Self-Worth' (Exclusive)

"I just need to focus on myself and my kids and my career and everything to do with Crystal," the 'Bold & Boujie' star tells PEOPLE

<p>Jodny Francois</p> Crystal Renay

Jodny Francois

Crystal Renay

Crystal Renay is focusing on herself after her divorce from NE-YO.

The mother of three and star of WE tv’s newest show Bold & Bougie says she is “happy for herself” in this new season of life. “I am feeling blessed and grateful to God for his redirection,” the actress tells PEOPLE about her divorce.

"Sometimes we can't see the bigger picture and what may or may not be for us and in this situation, clearly it wasn't a place for me to be in any longer, and I'm OK with that… I'm happy for myself because I chose my self-worth. I chose to stand up for myself and walk away from something that just wasn't serving me any longer.”

Related: Inside NE-YO and Wife Crystal Renay's Wedding and Love Story

In July 2022, Renay took to Instagram accusing her now ex-husband NE-YO of cheating. “8 years of lies and deception,” she wrote on Instagram. “8 years of unknowingly sharing my life and my husband with numerous women who sell their bodies to him unprotected…every last one of them!” The former pair finalized their divorce in February 2023.

Now, Renay, 38, says she has “nothing negative” to say about NE-YO, 44. “I don't drag him or talk negative about him,” she tells PEOPLE.

Prince Williams/ Getty Images Crystal Renay and NE-YO at the BET Awards in June 2022
Prince Williams/ Getty Images Crystal Renay and NE-YO at the BET Awards in June 2022

Related: Crystal Renay Speaks Out After Filing for Divorce from NE-YO: 'Certain Things Can't Be Forgiven'

Despite no longer being together, Renay and her ex share three children - Shaffer Chimere Jr., 7, Roman Alexander-Raj, 5 and Isabella Rose, 2 - and continue to co-parent. “We communicate as far as pickups drop off all of the regular day-to-day things and stuff,” Renay explains. “I trust him to be a father, so I allow him to have his time with his children and vice versa. I personally keep it separate.”

When it comes to his parenting of their children, Renay says NE-YO is an “amazing father”. “Our main goal is the wellbeing of our kids and the happiness of them. He’s an amazing father and as long as they have smiles on their faces every day, then we are doing a great job.”



NE-YO also shares two kids - Madilyn Grace, 13, and Mason Evan, 12 - with his ex-partner Monyetta Shaw-Carter, with whom Renay has a close relationship. “We will forever be tied together. Our children, our siblings — which they are best friends — they love each other,” Renay tells PEOPLE. “We're good, we're family, and I appreciate the love that she shows my kids. I absolutely love her kids and I just hope that in time the world can see that I have no bad feelings towards anybody, especially someone that I consider family.”

Related: NE-YO Shares Rare Photos with His 7 Children: 'Best Thing I've Ever Done'

Newly single, Renay says that she is prioritizing other parts of her life. “I tried dating, but I think in this moment of my life I realized that I just need to focus on myself and my kids and my career and everything to do with Crystal,” she says. “I don't have time for a man, nor do I have an interest in dating anyone anymore.”

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<p>Ahmad Barber/Donté Maurice​/WE tv</p>

Ahmad Barber/Donté Maurice​/WE tv

Now that Bold & Bougie has premiered, Renay is looking forward to people getting to know her. “I am hoping that people get to see me for myself and not the rumors or the things that people say about me online or in public and stuff like that,” she says, adding, “I am a very transparent person. I'm super sweet. I have no ill will towards anybody, and I'm just hoping that people get to see Crystal for Crystal and not Crystal for who she was with.”

In the meantime, the reality TV star will continue to focus on healing. “I'm rebuilding my life and trying to figure out what that looks like for me. So I'm choosing to just go on my own path.”

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