Ashanti is clear on why she finally broke her silence regarding her past rumored relationship with music executive Irv Gotti: to set the record straight.

In a new interview, the Grammy-winning singer told The Shade Room, “I had to think about everything a lot. You know, it’s been a long time, it’s been 20 years.” Ashanti signed to Murder Inc Records in 2001 and released five albums with them before cutting ties with the label in 2009. She has since gained ownership of her masters and is in the process of rerecording her debut self-titled album.

In the clip posted on Saturday (Oct. 29), Ashanti continued: “But I also felt like I had to make a statement, and I had to stand up and be cognizant of how women are treated in this industry. You know, I just felt like I had to be strong enough to be honest and say my piece, and make it very clear.”

Gotti had social media in a chokehold when he appeared on “Drink Champs” in August, where he recalled his alleged affair with the singer. He doubled down on those claims in his documentary, “The Murder Inc Story,” where he went as far as alleging that the songstress’ hit song “Happy” was a byproduct of their hooking up. His remarks spurred an onslaught of criticism, with many questioning why he was so willing to discuss his alleged romantic dealings with Ashanti after so many years had passed.

For months, the Written Entertainment CEO remained tight-lipped on the matter. As previously reported by REVOLT, however, Ashanti jumped on the remix to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ single “Gotta Move On,” where she took a jab at Gotti’s remarks. On the song, she sings: “It’s givin’, ‘Obsessed,’ it’s givin’, ‘You stressed,’ it’s givin’, ‘You pressed’/ It’s givin’, ‘This n**ga missin’ the best’/ But it’s been twenty years, n**ga, please, say less.” She again addressed the topic but in more detail when she appeared on Angie Martinez’s podcast, “IRL.”

Watch some of the notable moments from Ashanti’s recent interview below.