According to Rolling Stone, Nicki Minaj scored a legal victory Tuesday.
A federal court found that Nicki Minaj did not fail to respond to the lawsuit claiming she harassed and tried to bribe the woman at the center of her husband’s attempted rape conviction.
The plaintiff, Jennifer Hough, had asked the court to find the singer and her husband Kenneth Petty in “default” and award her $20 million for her claims that she endured a “relentless campaign of bribery, intimidation, harassment, and stalking” from the couple aimed at getting her to recant her claim Petty raped her at knifepoint in 1994.
The federal clerk for the Eastern District of New York denied the request related to Minaj on Tuesday, writing on the court docket that “it appears” Minaj filed paperwork last week saying she finally hired a lawyer to defend her.
The clerk did, however, certify that Petty “has not filed an answer or otherwise moved with respect to the complaint.”
In a sworn statement filed October 15th, Minaj said she thought she had successfully hired her lawyer in late September after speaking with him over Zoom but that series of “innocent miscommunications” led to a delay in the payment of his retainer.
“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,” she wrote in her declaration.
“I confirm the truth of those portions of defendant’s declaration concerning my role in her failure to secure my services promptly,” the lawyer, Judd Burstein, wrote in his related statement.
Hough’s lawyer, Tyrone Blackburn, told Rolling Stone Tuesday that he still plans to pursue a default motion against Petty for the $20 million.
“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 said.
Petty is indeed suing New York state officials with a claim he wasn’t properly notified in 2004 of his right to challenge the risk level under the Sex Offender Registration Act. He was incarcerated at the time following his conviction for first-degree manslaughter involving the shooting death of a man on a Queens street.
Burstein did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether he also planned to represent Petty. His client and Petty married in October 2019.