Nicki Minaj’s attempt to sanction her husband’s rape accuser and her lawyer has failed after a judge denied a motion accusing the attorney of making defamatory statements about her in court. On Sunday (April 2), AllHipHop reported that a ruling was handed down in the case on March 30, with the court stating that Jennifer Hough’s—the rape accuser of Nicki’s husband Kenneth Petty—decision to file a motion for a default judgement wasn’t sanctionable despite Nicki’s claim that it “lacked merit.”
“The court does not find [Hough’s] decision to pursue a motion for default judgment against [Nicki] sanctionable, notwithstanding [Nicki’s] claim that the motion lacked merit,” ruled Judge James R. Cho. “Here, [Hough] did not have an obligation to withdraw her motion for default judgment against Nicki simply because counsel for [Nicki] considered the motion ‘frivolous.’”
Yet, Judge Cho made it clear that his ruling was by no means a cosign of the antics of Tyrone Blackburn, Hough’s current attorney, in his client’s legal battle against the rap star. “Blackburn should not take the denial of the motion for sanctions as in any way endorsing his behavior,” the judge said of the lawyer, who painted the Pettys in a negative light.
Among claims made by Blackburn was the pair’s alleged gang affiliation with the Makk Baller Brims, Minaj’s legal team engaging in unauthorized communication with Hough’s previous legal team, and other offensive remarks. Nicki’s lawyer, Judd Burstein, was displeased with the ruling, arguing that Blackburn’s statements were “inexcusable and wholly unsupported.”
The ongoing back-and-forth between the Pettys and Hough has been happening for nearly two years. Hough filed a suit against the couple in August 2021, alleging defamation and witness intimidation. According to Hough, Minaj and Petty offered her $500,000 to drop the case and that she hired private detectives to stalk her and her family. Minaj, who has denied any wrongdoing, was ultimately dropped from the lawsuit due to a lack of court jurisdiction.
In December 2022, a judge ordered Petty and Hough to settle the lawsuit, giving the pair a deadline to find a mediator to resolve the case. As of press time, a settlement between the two parties has yet to be reported.