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Nicki Minaj dropped from lawsuit accusing her of harassing husband's sex assault victim

The rapper paid over $300,000 to defend herself and plans to fight to recover the legal fees, her attorney said.
Image: Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty
Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty at the Marc Jacobs fashion show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City on Feb. 12, 2020.Gotham / GC Images file

Rapper Nicki Minaj has been dropped from a lawsuit alleging that she harassed and intimidated her husband’s sexual assault victim, according to court documents.

The motion was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for Eastern New York.

“The case against Nicki was voluntarily dismissed,” said Tyrone Blackburn, the attorney for the accuser. “The case against Kenneth Petty is still ongoing. Stay tuned!”

The accuser publicly identified herself as Jennifer Hough. She alleged in the lawsuit that Minaj and Petty, Minaj’s husband, tried to force her to recant her allegation of a rape that she said happened more than two decades ago.

The suit also alleged that Minaj went as far as to bribe Hough. Attorneys for Minaj and Petty filed separate court responses saying the allegations were false.

After the dismissal, Minaj’s attorney accused Hough’s attorneys in an email of going after Minaj because of her celebrity status.

“As I told you during our one virtual meeting, Nicki would never pay a dime to your client. I was correct. You ultimately were forced to surrender without you or your client receiving a penny,” Judd Burstein, Minaj’s attorney, wrote in an email obtained by NBC News.

Burstein said Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj, paid over $300,000 to defend herself in the case and plans to fight to recover the legal fees.

Hough’s attorney said in response: “Ms. Maraj would be foolish to file sanctions against Ms. Hough.”

Hough sued in August. Blackburn said she decided to come forward because Minaj and Petty “came after her.”

“What they did to me and my family wasn’t OK. It wasn’t right,” Hough said in an interview in September on the daytime talk show “The Real.”

“And it doesn’t matter how much money you have, it doesn’t matter what your status is, you can’t intimidate people to make things go better for you,” she said.

She also discussed the rape allegation, saying in the interview and in the lawsuit that Petty sexually assaulted her in September 1994 as she was on her way to school in New York.

Petty accepted a plea deal and was convicted of first-degree attempted rape. He served nearly four years in state prison.