After suing Nicki Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, for alleged harassment, Jennifer Hough is speaking out further. Hough — who accused Petty of rape in a 1995 case that resulted in Petty’s conviction for first-degree attempted rape — appeared on The Real on September 22 to detail her allegations against Minaj and Petty, who she claims tried to bribe her and her family to recant her rape accusation against Petty. “I’m tired of being afraid,” she told co-hosts Adrienne Houghton and Garcelle Beauvais. Discussing her current lawsuit, Hough said she received “threats” from associates of Minaj after continuing to refuse to recant her accusation. “The last incident was when one of their associates put $20,000 on my lap. And I still kept saying no,” Hough said. “The last message I received was that I should’ve taken the money ’cause they’re going to use that money to put on my head.” While the alleged $20,000 bribe is detailed in the lawsuit, the bounty is a new claim. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, it doesn’t matter what your status is, you can’t intimidate people to make things go better for you,” Hough added. “And that’s what they did.”
Hough also recounted her 1994 rape by Petty when they were both 16, reiterating her claim that they were not in a relationship, despite insinuations by Minaj that they were in a relationship at the time and Hough was older. “I don’t know you and you don’t know me, to know that that statement you put out to the world to be true,” Hough said. “You have 150-something-million followers [on Instagram], and they all believed it. It hurt coming from another woman.” Minaj’s claims, including a 2018 Instagram comment, are referenced in the lawsuit as contributing to social-media harassment against Hough, along with alleged emotional distress.
Minaj and Petty have yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit; The Real said their representatives did not reply to requests for comment. Meanwhile, Petty recently pleaded guilty on September 9 to failing to register as a sex offender in California, resulting from his attempted-rape conviction. He was charged in March 2020, after not updating his registration when he moved from New York to California with Minaj, and pleaded not guilty at the time of the initial charge, but reportedly struck a plea deal. Hough’s lawsuit notes that Minaj first reached out around the same time as this charge. Many interpreted Minaj’s recent Twitter misinformation campaign against the COVID-19 vaccine as an attempt to distract from Hough’s lawsuit and her husband’s criminal history. Petty is currently scheduled to be sentenced on the charge, which carries a minimum sentence of five years’ supervised release and a maximum of ten years in prison, on January 24.