Cardi B wins libel lawsuit against YouTuber Tasha K
Latasha Kebe must pay Cardi B $1.25 million in damages, and may have to fork over legal fees or additional punitive costs.
Rap star Cardi B emerged victorious Monday in a federal lawsuit against popular YouTube blogger Tasha K. The rap star, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, alleged that Latasha Kebe waged a “malicious campaign” to damage her reputation.
Kebe was found liable for defamation and invasion of privacy through portrayal in a false light, as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress, according to Page Six.
Ironically, Invasion of Privacy is the name of Cardi B’s hit 2018 debut album.
After a two-week trial in metro Atlanta, where both women live, the jury returned the verdict against Kebe, awarding Almánzar $1.25 million in damages. However, Billboard reports that the total award could end up higher when the court resumes to decide if Kebe will have to pay additional punitive damages or reimburse Almánzar’s legal expenses.
A tweet reportedly attributed to Kebe reads, “My Husband, Attorney’s, & I fought really hard. I want to thank them for their long hours and sleepless nights. Winos it’s only up from here. See y’all in a few days. Back to work.” The Twitter account has since been disabled.
As previously reported, Kebe runs a YouTube channel with over 500,000 followers. In 2019, Almánzar sued the Georgia-base vlogger and her company, Kebe Studios LLC, for defamation after Kebe posted a video with another blogger, Starmarie Ebony Jones, in which they called the hip-hop star a “prostitute,” claiming she had herpes.
Kebe filed a countersuit against Almánzar for $3 million in damages, which was dismissed last July.
Almánzar testified during the trial about the effects of Kebe’s posts. “I had suicidal thoughts every single day, to the point that I felt like I was being a burden to my family,” she said on the stand. “My mother and husband noticed I wasn’t happy. Every time I woke up, I had anxiety.”
The Grammy Award-winning artist also recalled Kebe’s public claim that she had been raped by her father as a teenager. “I felt really helpless and hopeless,” she said. “It was just constant harassment.”
The result of the lawsuit garnered some commentary on Twitter, where one popular tweet read, “Cardi B winning her lawsuit against Tasha K is a game changer. Celebrities been threatening to sue bloggers for years. There’s always one person that has TIME!”
Another criticized Kebe’s flippant response to the judgement: “Tasha K is using the Trumpian tactic of acting like this is a blip on her radar and moving on. I guess that’s how you survive … unabashed narcissism and the knowledge that most people are idiots and will follow you anyway.”
Actress Vivicca A. Whitsett tweeted: “Ya’ll! The Cardi B v Tasha K trial…ya’ll! This trainwreck of the case is great for all victims of cyber-abuse/targeted hate accounts. Those spewing hate-for-pay betta get their finances 2gether, I feel a LOT of defamation suits coming down the line.”
This article features additional reporting from theGrio’s Ny Magee.