Nicki Minaj hires attorney to fight lawsuit from husband’s attempted rape victim
Rap star Nicki Minaj has hired a powerhouse attorney to defend her in the $20 million lawsuit filed against her by Jennifer Hough — the woman who accused Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, of rape.
According to Radar Online, which obtained court documents, Minaj is being represented by Judd Burstein, the New York attorney well known by celebrities and wealthy families. He previously represented Oscar De La Hoya when he was sued by a New York woman claiming she was coerced into agreeing not to sell photographs of him dancing around a hotel room in women’s clothing.
As previously reported, Hough sued Minaj and Petty in August, and accused the rapper and her husband of directly and indirectly threatening and harassing her. She also claims Minaj attempted to bribe her to stop her from discussing the rape case.
Minaj hired Burstein just days after Hough asked a court to award her a default judgment of $20 million once she and Petty failed to respond to the federal lawsuit. Hiring Burstein will give the couple more time to respond.
According to TMZ, the Hough lawsuit alleges that the harassment began in late 2018 when Minaj made comments saying that Petty was “wrongfully accused,” and claiming that Hough recanted her story — though she has not.
Hough says after she declined Minaj’s personal offer to fly to Los Angeles in exchange for her recanting her accusations, she and her family “suffered an onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits.”
“I’m hoping for the truth to come out, and whatever comes from that truth, to let it be,” said Hough to The Daily Beast earlier this year. “After everything that has happened, it’s like, these people were willing to sacrifice me so this guy could remain in the public eye.”
In September of 1994, court records indicate that Petty approached her from behind on the street and directed her to his home, where he started to rape her at knifepoint. Both were 16. She was able to get away and immediately went to the authorities.
The following year, Petty was convicted of “one count of attempted rape in the first degree, assault in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, and criminal possession of a weapon.” He served four years in jail, per a plea deal.
For his failure to register as a sex offender in California, Petty initially pleaded not guilty after a Nov. 2019 arrest, but changed his plea to guilty last month. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal custody, plus a lifetime of supervised release and a sizable fine, when he’s sentenced in early 2022.
Last month, Hough appeared on The Real, where she tearfully gave an account of the incident, saying, she’d spent her life “hiding within myself — living and surviving through insecurities, using them to protect myself. Thinking that if I don’t look a certain way, I won’t attract a certain type of attention. I’ve been like that my whole life.”
This article features reporting from theGrio’s Ny Magee.