Cardi B has been cleared of claims of defamation made by a group of MAGA supporters. She, her sister Hennessy Carolina, and model Michelle Diaz, who is identified as Hennessy’s girlfriend, were named victors in the lawsuit. Rolling Stone reported plaintiffs Manuel Alarcon, Peter Caliendo, and Pauline Cahliendo initially sued the trio back on Sept. 21, 2020. A video uploaded by Hennessy highlighted an interaction between herself, Diaz, and the plaintiffs who sported MAGA hats during the verbal altercation.
The video was shared by the Grammy Award-winning rapper, and the plaintiffs allege they were falsely portrayed as racists. A judge ruled they had “failed to sufficiently plead” their case.
“[Plaintiffs] have failed to allege any special harm or defamation per se,” Judge William Condon wrote in his decision. “They cannot specifically identify who the defamatory statements were made to. Further, neither Cardi B nor Michelle Diaz made any defamatory statements or publish(ed) any video to the Internet concerning the incident. The words uttered to plaintiffs do not arise to defamatory language as they were merely general insults.”
Additionally, claims of assault and battery failed as well. Per the report, the Judge also ruled that Hennessy made no “menacing gestures” and never intended for any spit “to make bodily contact with the plaintiffs.”
In 2020, the legal team representing the plaintiffs made a statement regarding the Labor Day weekend incident. “These peaceful Suffolk County residents were quietly enjoying a Sunday at the Smith Point beach with their families, when rap celebrity Hennessy Carolina suddenly approached them, raging, spitting, insulting, assaulting, defaming and threatening them, all the while videotaping them because one of them wore a MAGA hat,” lawyer Mike Ray claimed according to ABC 7.
“It happened so fast. We’re just sitting there relaxing like we always do and all at once we’re being attacked,” Peter Caliendo claimed. Their allegations also included claims that the defendants edited the videotape.
The news report did confirm the Caliendos had a Trump flag on their car and that Alarcon was wearing a MAGA hat.