Nicki Minaj harassment lawsuit, dropped in NY, is moving to California

"We plan to refile it in a court with proper jurisdiction," said a lawyer for Jennifer Hough, who is also suing the rapper's husband.

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When Jennifer Hough dropped her lawsuit against rapper Nicki Minaj earlier this month, Hough’s attorney, Tyler Blackburn, shared a statement, saying: “The case against Nicki was voluntarily dismissed. The case against Kenneth Petty is still ongoing. Stay tuned!”

It appears that Blackburn’s surprise twist was dropping the lawsuit in New York and refiling the case in California — where the rapper lives. 

Rap star Nicki Minaj (left) and husband Kenneth Petty (right) attend the Marc Jacobs runway show in Feb. 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

“We plan to refile it in a court with proper jurisdiction,” another of Hough’s lawyers, Seven N. Gordon, told Judge James R. Cho at a hearing Thursday morning, according to a report from Rolling Stone

“If you intend to refile the action in another jurisdiction, do you intend this case to follow as well?” the judge asked, referring to charges of sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress by Petty, Minaj’s husband, who was convicted of raping Hough in 1994, when the two were both 16. 

Gordon noted that Hough has a pending request for a default judgment, and if that case moves forward, his client would seek to consolidate the harassment claims against both Minaj and Petty in California and keep the sexual assault claims in New York. 

“We still feel very strongly about the merits of the case against both of them,” Gordon said in a statement to Rolling Stone, which has been closely following the case.

Meanwhile, Minaj’s attorney, Judd Burstein, said in a statement, “This is just a frivolous gambit to avoid a sanctions motion which I told them that I would be filing shortly and for which they refuse to set a schedule. As usual, they have decided to adopt a tactic without bothering to research the law. Had they done so, they would realize that re-filing their frivolous action in another jurisdiction will only result in another court sanctioning them.”

Hough’s case against Petty originates from his April 1995 conviction of first-degree attempted rape; he was subsequently sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison. Most recently, he was accused of failing to register as a sex offender in California. He pleaded guilty to those charges and will be sentenced on March 30. 

Hough is accusing Minaj and Petty of harassing her to make her recant her story. As previously reported, in an appearance on the The Real, Hough explained to co-hosts Adrienne Bailon and Garcelle Beauvais that she blamed herself for the incident, saying she’d spent her life “hiding within myself — living and surviving through insecurities, using them to protect myself. Thinking that if I don’t look a certain way, I won’t attract a certain type of attention. I’ve been like that my whole life.”

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