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Cardi B wins over $4 million in libel lawsuit against YouTuber

Cardi B sued YouTube vlogger Latasha Kebe for claiming that the rapper, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, contracted herpes and had taken hard drugs.
Cardi B performs at Made in America on Aug. 31, 2019 in Philadelphia.
Cardi B performs at Made in America on Aug. 31, 2019 in Philadelphia.Arik McArthur / WireImage file

An Atlanta jury awarded Cardi B nearly $3 million in punitive damages and attorneys’ fees on Tuesday in her libel lawsuit against celebrity gossip vlogger Tasha K.

The award comes on top of the $1.25 million that jurors awarded on Monday, after finding Tasha K, whose real name is Latasha Kebe, liable on counts of defamation, invasion of privacy and infliction of emotional distress on Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar.

Cardi B's 2019 suit claimed the YouTuber had begun a campaign of "making blatantly defamatory statements" about the rapper to promote Kebe's celebrity gossip website "for her personal financial gain."

One of Kebe's videos in 2018 claimed the rapper's "then-unborn child may have intellectual disabilities," that she "prostituted for a living," "got herpes" and "took molly and cocaine."

The suit also accused Kebe of claiming on Instagram that Cardi B was "just a Grammy Nominated Prostitute, running around spreading her herpes" and said the YouTuber "has become obsessed with slandering Plaintiff. In the last 14 months, Kebe has put out at least twenty-three videos regarding plaintiff."

The federal jury in the northern district of Georgia, where Kebe lives, awarded $1 million on Monday to cover Cardi B’s pain, suffering and reputational damage, as well as another $250,000 for medical expenses.

On Tuesday, the jurors ordered Kebe to pay an additional $1 million in punitive damages and her company, Kebe Studios LLC, to pay another $500,000. On top of that, Kebe is required to reimburse Cardi B for the personal cost of bringing the lawsuit — a total of $1,338,753.47. That brings the total verdict to nearly $4.1 million, as confirmed by Cardi B’s lawyer, Lisa F. Moore.

Sadeer Sabbak, who represented Kebe in the case, issued a terse statement to Variety: "We disagree with the verdict and we will be filing an appeal."

Cardi B, in a statement to Variety, said, "After almost four years of repeated libel and slander against me, being able to walk away from this victorious brings me great happiness."

"During this trial, all of you have learned about the darkest time in my life," she said. "That moment in time was fueled by the vile, disgusting, and completely false narratives that were repeatedly and relentlessly being shared online. I thought I would never be heard or vindicated and I felt completely helpless and vulnerable. I have never taken for granted the platform that my fame allows me to have, which is why for over three years I dedicated every resource I had to seek justice."