Nicki Minaj and her husband Kenneth Petty can’t shake his 1995 attempted rape conviction. The couple are facing a new lawsuit by Petty’s victim, Jennifer Hough, over alleged recent harassment and intimidation. In a complaint filed in New York on August 13, obtained by Vulture and first reported by TMZ, Hough cites Minaj’s oft-repeated claim that Petty was “wrongly accused” in the 1994 incident, along with Minaj’s false assertion that Hough took back her allegations. At the time, Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape, for which he served nearly four years in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
Beyond Minaj’s claims, Hough’s lawsuit alleges that Minaj tried to get in touch with her around March 2020, after Petty was arrested for not registering as a sex offender in California, to convince Hough to take back her accusation against Petty. The lawsuit describes “an onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits” after she told Minaj she wouldn’t recant her claim, and says Minaj eventually sent people to offer a $500,000 bribe to a family member, as Hough’s brother told her, in exchange for a statement from Hough taking back the accusation. Later, Minaj allegedly sent the friend who gave her Hough’s contact information to Hough’s house, to offer her $20,000 in cash in exchange for signing a document taking back the rape claim. The lawsuit also claims the friend offered a birthday video from Minaj to Hough’s daughter as part of the bribe. Hough says she moved multiple times in 2020 to avoid the alleged harassment from Minaj, and has not been able to work since May 2020 as a result.
Hough is also suing Petty for sexual assault over the 1994 incident. Petty, meanwhile, has pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender, in an attempt to avoid the maximum ten-year sentence for the crime. And Minaj has continued to cast doubt on Hough’s claim as recently as this May, when she seemed to reference the case on her new song “Fractions,” rapping, “Accusations on them blogs and they all fictitious.”
Victoria Bekiempis contributed reporting.