The woman who sued Nicki Minaj and her husband Kenneth Petty for harassment has dropped Minaj from the lawsuit, as TMZ reports and Pitchfork can confirm. On Wednesday (January 12), Jennifer Hough, the woman whom Petty assaulted in 1994 when they were both teenagers, and her lawyers voluntarily dismissed their claims against Minaj “without prejudice,” according to court documents. Petty is still named in the lawsuit, which alleges sexual assault and battery.
Hough filed her complaint in a New York federal court in August 2021. The lawsuit alleged a pattern of harassment by both Minaj and Petty, including reaching out to Hough directly, offering her large sums of money via proxies, and sending people to her house unannounced, which eventually led her to move out of her home in August 2020. In December, Hough’s lawyers had accused Minaj of victim shaming.
“What they tried to do to Nicki was disgraceful,” Minaj’s attorney Judd Burstein told Vulture. “They finally realized that they had to surrender without Nicki paying a penny. And now, Nicki and I are going to make them pay for this in the courts.”
In 1995, Kenneth Petty was convicted on 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, all stemming from the assault of Hough. Despite the attempted rape conviction, Hough has long alleged that Petty raped her. Petty was required to register as a sex offender. In 2006, Petty pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge in an unrelated case. After serving seven years of a 10-year sentence, he was granted a supervised release from prison in 2013.
In March 2020, Petty was charged with failing to register as a sex offender in California after moving from New York to the West Coast in 2019. Last August, he reportedly took a plea deal where he pleaded guilty to one count of failing to register as a sex offender.
Pitchfork has contacted Minaj and Petty’s representatives for comment.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotlinehttp://www.rainn.org 1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
Crisis Text Linehttp://www.facebook.com/crisistextline (chat support)SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741