Even though she’s not the one being accused of a crime, New York-bred rap queen Nicki Minaj has been at front and center of the decades-spanning sexual assault accusations being put on her husband, Kenneth Petty.
The case was reignited in court not too long ago after the alleged victim, Jennifer Hough, made claims that The Pettys were both harassing her with intimidation tactics in order to get her to retract the initial story of being raped by Kenneth back in 1994.
The latest update in the case sees the Queen emcee and her lawyer, Judd Burstein, fighting back against a statement made by Hough’s lawyer that claims the rapper has a “reputation of supporting sex offenders” due to her brother’s infamous legal troubles.
As Billboard reports, the pushback is being aimed specifically at Hough’s lawyer Tyrone Blackburn. “Mr. Blackburn’s conduct in this case has been disgraceful,” Burstein wrote in a sanction filing on Monday, further adding, “He should be severely punished for it … so that, hopefully, other lawyers will understand that they have an obligation to their clients, the court, opposing counsel, and the legal profession itself not to pursue bad faith, frivolous, and indeed extortionate litigation in such a reprehensible manner.”
When Blackburn caught wind of the sanction, he responded by bringing up the child sex abuse conviction of Nicki’s brother, Jelani Maraj, for which he’s serving 25 years to life for raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter for years. “Upon information and belief, [Nicki Minaj] has a reputation of supporting sex offenders,” claimed Blackburn, adding that she “orchestrated a public relations campaign attempting to discredit the 11-year-old female victim.”
Burstein then responded with the following: “Faced with a claim that he should be sanctioned because … of his entirely irrelevant accusation—made without any evidentiary support —that [Minaj] belongs to a murderous street gang, one would have expected Mr. Blackburn to limit his response to an explanation why that allegation was appropriate or at least made in good faith. He did not do so. Instead, he did something far worse: he has now outrageously alleged that [Minaj] supports the sexual abuse of children.”
More on what sparked such disdain for Blackburn’s behavior throughout the case below, via Billboard:
“Monday’s strongly-worded filing should not come as no surprise. When Minaj was dropped from the case in January, a leaked email showed Burstein telling Blackburn that he would ‘make you pay’ for filing a lawsuit that allegedly drained Minaj of $300,000 in legal bills.
In the new filing, Burstein made good on that threat with accusations of a wide-range of misconduct against Blackburn. For instance, he said the opposing lawyer falsely claimed in legal documents that Minaj was a member of Queens street gang called the Makk Ballers – a move Burstein called ‘a bad faith effort to generate extremely negative media coverage.’
The filing also accused Blackburn of including false claims against Burstein himself, like a letter filed on a public court docket that accused Burstein of having a ‘sick obsession’ with the wife of Steven Gordon, one of Hough’s former attorneys. Burstein called that claim ‘outrageous’ and ‘designed solely to harass him and tar his reputation.’”
Minaj and Burstein are asking that Blackburn be ordered to repay legal bills she racked up throughout the case, in addition to having him referred to the court’s disciplinary committee for additional legal reprimanding.
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