Jennifer Hough, who sued Nicki Minaj and husband Kenneth Petty for allegedly harassing and intimidating her over her accusation of sexual assault against Petty, spoke out publicly on Wednesday, saying she’s “tired of being afraid.” She told “The Real” that Minaj contacted her directly in March of last year.
“She called me and she said that she got word that I was willing to help them out in the situation. I didn’t understand what she was referring to. She offered to fly me and my family to L.A. I turned it down and I told her, woman to woman, ‘This really happened,’ and I haven’t spoken to her since,” Hough said.
She said Minaj and Hough have “sent” people to negotiate financial terms and threatened her to recant her accusation. An associate of Minaj’s, she said, “put $20,000 on [her] lap” and when she declined the money, she said, they told her she should have taken the money because they would use that money to “put on [her] head.”
Hough accused Petty of rape in 1994 when they were both 16. According to the New York Times, Hough accused Petty of leading her into her home at knifepoint and raping her. A spokeswoman for the Queens district attorney’s office told the Times that Petty was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, ultimately pleading guilty to attempted rape and serving four and a half years in prison.
The August lawsuit says Hough and her family members received direct and indirect threats from people connected to Minaj and Petty to get her to recant her accusation. The lawsuit claims she was harassed and intimidated shortly after Petty was arrested in 2020 for failing to register as a sex offender in California.
The lawsuit says that Hough was offered $20,000 in exchange for a prepared statement recanting her accusation against Petty, while other members of her family claimed they would receive a payment of $500,000 if she wrote a letter taking back her claim. It further claims that she received a call directly from Minaj but that within days of their conversation, she and her family received an “onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits” from people associated with Minaj and Petty.
It accuses Minaj and Petty of witness intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and harassment, as well as assault, battery, sexual assault and sexual harassment as tied to the 1994 case. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.