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So it looks like Nicki Minaj won’t have to cough up $20 million to her husband’s accuser Jennifer Hough. Well, at least for now.
The Beam Me Up Scotty rapper snagged a small legal victory on Oct. 19, when a judge ruled that she didn’t fail to respond to a lawsuit brought on by Hough, who has accused her husband Kenneth Petty of rape allegations. Hough and her legal team wanted the court to slam the couple with a $20 million lawsuit for their failure to respond, according to Rolling Stones.
The federal clerk denied the request this week stating in court documents that it had appeared Minaj had already hired a lawyer to defend her in the case, but Petty, on the other hand, has not responded as of yet, the clerk said.
The 38-year-old rapper filed a sworn statement on Oct. 15 that said she had successfully hired a lawyer in late September but ran into a series of “innocent miscommunications” that led to late payment fees in order to fully secure services.
“My failure to respond to the complaint was the product of an innocent mistake, and I ask the court to excuse the delay so that I can defend what I believe to be an entirely frivolous case,” the statement read.
Nicki’s lawyer, Judd Burstein, also released a statement confirming the mishap.
“I confirm the truth of those portions of defendant’s declaration concerning my role in her failure to secure my services promptly,” he added.
Minaj and Petty’s lawsuit stems from a 1994 incident where Hough claims Petty raped her by knifepoint. Hough’s harrowing testimony alleges that Petty assaulted her while the two were waiting at a Queen’s bus stop that year. He then threatened Hough with the knife by pressing the sharp object into her stomach and “causing a small cut,” right before he led her to a nearby residence where he then forcibly raped her. Hough claimed in her defense statement, that she has endured a “relentless campaign of bribery, intimidation, harassment, and stalking” by the couple attempting to get her to recant her claims about the alleged incident.
A year later, Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape and was sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison. Minaj’s husband was hit with an indictment in January of 2020, after he failed to register as a sex offender upon moving to Los Angeles, where he now resides with the rapper and their son.
Petty is preparing to sue New York state officials because he believes he wasn’t properly notified of his right to challenge his sex offender charge.
Tyrone Blackburn, who is representing Hough, says despite the judge’s dismissal, he still plans on defaulting a motion against Petty to get that $20 million he believes his client is rightfully owed.
“It’s interesting that Kenneth Petty is currently in the Eastern District of New York suing the state of New York, but he has no respect for this proceeding and no respect for this judge to come forward and to answer for raping Jennifer Hough in 1994 and all the harassment he and his wife and his goons visited upon her since then,” Blackburn told Rolling Stone.
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