Jennifer Hough, the woman who accused Nicki Minaj’s husband Kenneth Petty of rape in 1994, spoke out against the couple in a new interview Wednesday.
Hough filed a lawsuit in August against Minaj and Petty, accusing the couple of “witness intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, harassment, assault, battery, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.” She alleged that Petty “intimidated” and “harassed” “Plaintiff [Hough] not to speak out concerning the rape she experienced at the hands of Defendant Petty,” while claiming Minaj also “threatened” “Plaintiff [Hough] to recant her legitimate claim that Defendant Petty raped her.”
For her first on-camera television interview, Hough and her attorney Tyrone A. Blackburn came out on The Real to recall in detail what happened to her on Sept. 16, 1994, when Hough and Petty were both 16 years old living in Jamaica, Queens, in New York. She told the hosts on The Real that she ran into Petty on her way to school when he later grabbed her by the jacket, put something against her back — which at the time she assumed was a gun, but in the Aug. 13 filing, clarified was a knife — and led her into a house on the corner and raped her.
“I’m tired of being afraid,” Hough said.
Petty was arrested that day for first-degree rape and later pleaded guilty to attempted rape. He was sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison. When asked if justice had been served as a result, Hough tearfully responded: “I don’t think I thought about justice per se because I was still blaming myself. I thought it was something that I did or didn’t do. So I don’t think I thought about if I got justice. I just knew that he did what he did and he went to jail and I had to leave my family, I had to leave my home and I had to move away.”
According to the Aug. 13 filing, “Plaintiff [Hough] has not worked since May of 2020 due to severe depression, paranoia, constant moving, harassment, and threats from the Defendants [Minaj and Petty] and their associates. She is currently living in isolation out of fear of retaliation.”
Earlier this month, Petty pleaded guilty for failure to register as a sex offender in the state of California. He was charged after he was arrested at a traffic stop in Beverly Hills in 2019 and police discovered he had not registered as a sex offender in the state when he moved there from New York three years prior. In March 2020, he registered with the California Megan’s Law database, which tracks local sex offenders in California, where he and Minaj currently live with their infant son, and had his charges dropped by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. But he still faced federal charges from the Department of Justice, which the Sept. 9-dated plea deal addresses. Petty is now scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 24, 2022.
Minaj announced on Instagram that she and Petty officially got married on Oct. 21, 2019. But Hough told The Real hosts that at the time the news broke, she was “so afraid of being found out. I was so afraid of being known as the person he violated. And I didn’t want that. You know, it’s Nicki Minaj. I didn’t want that to reflect on my children.”
Over the last three years, interest in Hough’s identity surged following Minaj’s viral comments about the case. Underneath a 2018 Instagram post, Minaj clapped back at those who continued to criticize Petty’s criminal past. “He was 15, she was 16… in a relationship. But go awf Internet.”
“It was like reliving it again because it was a lie. It wasn’t true,” Hough said of the rapper’s 2018 Instagram comment. “We both were 16. We were never in a relationship. It just felt woman-to-woman, that was wrong of her because I don’t know you and you don’t know me to know that that statement you put out to the world to be true. You have 150-something million followers on [Instagram]. They all believed it. It hurt coming from another woman.”
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