Nicki Minaj and her husband Kenneth Petty have dodged a $20 million default judgement after a federal clerk determined that the couple did not fail to respond to a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Hough, the woman Petty was convicted of sexually assaulting in 1995 while the two were high school students.
According to a sworn statement by Minaj, the Queen rapper says she was under the belief she had successfully hired a lawyer to represent the couple, however, “innocent miscommunications” caused a delay in the payment of the lawyer’s 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,” Minaj wrote in her statement to the judge. The lawyer in question, Judd Burnstein, confirmed the validity of Minaj’s declaration in an additional statement, helping tip the scales of justice in the raptress and ex-con’s favor.
According to a court docket, “it appears” that Minaj recently filed paperwork to retain a defense attorney in her case, however, Petty has yet to respond to the complaint filed by Hough. Hough’s lawyer says he still plans to seek a default judgement against Petty for the $20 million.
Hough had previously requested that the court award her the $20 million default judgement in the lawsuit, which accuses Minaj and Petty of harassment, intimidation, stalking, and attempted bribery in an effort to persuade her to recant her claim that Petty raped her in 1994.
It’s been speculated that Minaj and Petty’s alleged actions were made in order to clear him of having to register as a sex offender, which he failed to do in the state of California, resulting in him being convicted of that charge this past September. Petty, who will be sentenced on Jan. 24, 2022, is facing up to 10 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release.