NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 12: Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty attend the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show during New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

Jennifer Hough Speaks About Rape by Kenneth Petty and Alleged Harassment by Him & Nicki Minaj

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Jennifer Hough, the alleged harassment victim of Nicki Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, who was convicted of the assault and attempted rape of Hough in 1995, has spoken out about the details of her harassment at their hands and why she is filing a lawsuit against them.

Yesterday on The Real, Hough gave her first onscreen interview speaking about both her 1994 rape at the hands of Petty, when she was sixteen years old, and the ensuing harassment. Then, after Petty got in trouble for failing to register as a sex offender in California, it led to the couple injecting themselves into Hough’s life.

“He did something a long time ago and he had consequences that he was supposed to stick with. What they did to me and my family wasn’t OK,” Hough said, referring to the harassment her family has faced. “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.”

She alleged that she did speak on Nicki once and told her “woman to woman” that the rape did happen. There has been, according to her, no direct communication since then, but Hough does claim that an associate of Minaj offered her $20,000 to sign a pre-written statement recanting what happened. Hough refused to do so, and that is when she says the threats started.

“I felt like the actions that were taken in regards to this whole situation, have put me in a different type of fear at my age now,” Hough told The Real’s co-hosts, Garcelle Beauvais and Adrienne Bailon. “It was wrong. And I don’t want to be afraid anymore, so the only way not to be afraid is to continue to speak up.”

“I want my daughters to know that 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 ever let anybody try to silence them,” she said.

It may seem strange that The Real was the first stop for Hough, but it was a huge step, since the allegations against Nicki Minaj and her family have always managed to not be the huge news items they should be. When her elder brother, Jelani Maraj, was accused of and later found guilty of raping an eleven-year-old, the rapper showed support for her brother on social media.

Maraj’s lawyers also claimed during the trial that the rape allegations were “concocted by the girl’s mother as part of a scheme to get his famous sister to pay $25 million in hush money.”

Now, despite that horrific crime, I can have some empathy for Nicki Minaj loving her brother because they had, by her own accounts, a horrific childhood where their father was addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine, and ended up burning down their house as a result. She probably had to lean on her brother for support and therefore will always love him.

But there is a difference between loving someone and giving them financial support and public validation when they are accused of raping a child and using your own fame as a defense.

Nicki Minaj has one of the most active fanbases online, and while not all are guilty of this, there are many who have spread conspiracy theories, based on fake interviews from unvetted sources, in order to cast doubt on Hough’s allegations. Even Nicki Minaj herself, on her Queen Radio show, said that Hough was white, that Hough and Petty were in a relationship at the time, and that he was a year younger than Hough, all of which are untrue.

It has been disappointing to see so many try to turn this horrific moment into online stan beef, because this is so much more than that. I’m glad that Hough got a platform to speak, and mostly, I hope she finds some peace.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

(image: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.