Cardi B. Pleads Guilty in Strip-Club Fight

Illustration: Dennis A. Clark/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Cardi B pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors on Thursday, September 15, for her involvement in fights at a Queens strip club. The rapper, whose legal name is Belcalis Almanzar, copped to two charges: third-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangerment, according to the Queens district attorney’s office. If Cardi completes 15 days of community service, she will get a conditional discharge; in essence, this means the charges would be completely dismissed. If Cardi doesn’t complete community service, she will be resentenced and face 15 days in jail, prosecutors confirmed to Vulture. The plea agreement is quite a deal for Cardi, who had previously faced two felony counts in addition to a slew of other misdemeanors for a pair of August 2018 brawls.

“Part of growing up and maturing is being accountable for your actions. As a mother, it’s a practice that I am trying to instill in my children, but the example starts with me. I’ve made some bad decisions in my past that I am not afraid to face and own up to,” Cardi said in a statement reported by Pitchfork. “These moments don’t define me and they are not reflective of who I am now. I’m looking forward to moving past this situation with my family and friends and getting back to the things I love the most — the music and my fans.”

The rapper had been accused of throwing a glass bottle and alcohol during a mêlée at Angels NYC Strip club in the early hours of August 29, 2018. Court documents in the case indicated that Sarah and Rachel Wattley were bartending at Angels that night. The initial claim was that a fight broke out after someone in Cardi’s group hurled a drink at them. In June 2019, prosecutors presented a more detailed picture. One of Cardi’s associates, Jeffrey Bush, had been at Angels two weeks prior. Bush and a woman ordered from a “female bartender,” identified in court papers as Rachey Wattley, prosecutors said. While Rachel was giving them their drinks, the woman with Bush “grabbed the victim by her hair, slammed her head into the bar and began punching her repeatedly.” Prosecutors also said that “three additional unapprehended females allegedly joined in and also struck the victim repeatedly. Defendant Bush is alleged to have video recorded the attack and used his body to attempt to block anyone from intervening in the attack on the bartender.”

The prosecution also claimed that before this incident, Cardi and another associate, Tawana Jackson-Morel, “chatted on a social media platform and allegedly coordinated the day, time and location the attack would take place, as well as whom they were targeting. Jackson-Morel and Almanzar allegedly discussed money being exchanged for carrying out the alleged assault.” Bush and Jackson-Morel, who had faced charges for their role in the incident, also pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangerment, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Cardi B. Pleads Guilty in Strip-Club Fight