Nicki Minaj’s husband of two years, Kenneth “Zoo” Petty, has a messy criminal past that continues to wreak havoc on his life. In 1995, Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape after alleged victim Jennifer Hough accused him of sexual assault. After serving approximately four years behind bars, Petty was released only to be picked up again for first-degree manslaughter.
Then in March 2020, as his marriage to Nicki was in full bloom, he was arrested in Beverly Hills for failing to register as a sex offender. That’s where their troubles began. According to Hough, Nicki and her husband attempted to bribe her into recanting her story about the alleged 1994 incident. Consequently, Hough and attorney Tyrone Blackburn are suing the couple for witness intimidation and harassment. Blackburn even suggested the couple has gang ties to a set of New York City Bloods called the Makk Balla Brims.
But Petty claims Hough, who was 16 at the time, had nothing but consensual sex with him. In court documents obtained by AllHipHop, Petty explained, “I never raped the Plaintiff and I deny her accusations of rape contained in the Amended Complaint. I also deny all of Plaintiff’s allegations in the Amended Complaint that I committed any improper conduct, sexual abuse and/or sexual assault. The sexual encounter between Plaintiff and I, which occurred 27 years ago, was consensual and Plaintiff was a willing participant.”
Petty also said he only pleaded guilty to avoid a longer sentence, adding, “I did not force Plaintiff into a house, I did not force Plaintiff to have sex with me and I did not sexually or physically assault Plaintiff in any way. Nor did I ever threaten Plaintiff. I pled guilty to attempted rape, despite my innocence, because I was a scared 16-year-old kid and was told that my sentence would be 20 years to life if I did not plead guilty to attempted rape.”
Speaking to The Real in September, Hough explained why she was suing Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty — and it’s not just for an easy payday.
“[I want] to let them know that they were wrong and you can’t do this to people,” she said. “You shouldn’t do this to people … he had consequences that he was supposed to stick with. What he did to me and my family wasn’t OK. It wasn’t right, 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.
“And that’s what they did. I want my daughters to know as they grow, as they experience life, as they come in contact with friends, family, strangers — whatever — that they’ll have the strength to know that they have a voice, and they should use it. And don’t let anybody try to silence them.”
Hough and her attorney are seeking $20 million in damages and motioned for a $15 million default judgment in October after the couple failed to respond to the paperwork, something Nicki called an “innocent mistake.”