YouTuber Tasha K responds after jury orders her to pay Cardi B $4M in defamation case
"I know y’all maybe think this is over, but no, this is just the beginning," Tasha said in a post to her channel.
YouTuber Latasha Transrina Kebe, aka Tasha K, took several deep breaths and long pauses on Wednesday before addressing her audience for the first time since Cardi B won a multi-million dollar defamation suit against her.
Kebe’s tense and defiant rebuttal to the outcome of the case came a day after a federal jury ordered her and her company, Kebe Studios LLC, to pay more than $2.8 million in punitive damages and legal expenses to Cardi.
That amount was in addition to the $1.25 million for general damages and medical expenses that the jury ordered Kebe to pay Cardi on Monday, bringing her total bill to about $4.05 million, according to court records reviewed by theGrio.
The gossip vlogger said Monday’s verdict came as no shock to her, her husband or their legal team after spending more than three “extremely challenging” years fighting the case, but added that she wouldn’t change “a single thing about it.”
“I’ve learned so much. Every moment was incredibly powerful and insightful,” Kebe told her 995,000 YouTube followers on Wednesday. “We’re prepared, and we were prepared, for this challenge from the beginning.”
Attorneys for Cardi, whose government name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, filed their lawsuit against Kebe and her company in March of 2019, after she and fellow gossip vlogger Starmarie Ebony Jones posted videos on social media in 2018. Those videos falsely claimed that the rapper engaged in prostitution had contracted herpes, and used cocaine, according to court records.
Cardi’s lawyer previously sent a cease-and-desist letter to Kebe demanding she remove her video, records show. Kebe responded by posting another video reaffirming that everything in the prior video was accurate, according to the lawsuit.
The complaint said Kebi continued telling additional false stories about Cardi that the vlogger either knew weren’t true or probably weren’t true. During the trial, Cardi told jurors that Kebe’s posts caused her to have anxiety and “suicidal thoughts” on a daily basis in addition to feeling like a burden to her family.
Kebe denied defaming and invading Cardi’s privacy in her Wednesday response video. She called the verdict “extremely prejudicial” and said she was being persecuted for daring to denounce negative aspects of hip-hop culture glorified by a corporate “machine” that promotes “modern-day genocide.”
“We [called] bluff against a machine that wanted to bully me for not wavering from my personal beliefs, a machine that has corporate interests to protect prostitution, drug use, promiscuity and to glorify the violence that wreaks havoc on our society and in our neighborhoods,” she said. “It’s sold to our children as the ‘it’ factor. This machine, this thing, secured an extremely prejudicial verdict against myself and my company solely off of sympathy and payola.”
Kebe said her team has already begun appealing the verdict and vowed to continue fighting.
“I know y’all maybe think this is over, but no, this is just the beginning,” she said. “I will spend as many years as I can to protect our right to voice our opinions and facts on these images that are sold and pushed on us. … We will fight no matter the cost or length even if this takes years.”
Many of her supporters applauded and cheered her in the comment section of her video with some donating money via super chat payments.
“Be strong,” wrote one commenter, who goes by Nat Nat.
“Stay up Tasha” added another, who goes by QuietStormDesigns4u.
But most other commenters either poked fun at Kebe or called on her to take some responsibility for her actions.
“You lied,” wrote Project Paula.
Another poster who identified herself as Simone Johnson said:
“Tasha are you reading these comments? People want you to take accountability and just own your mistake. Put yourself in others shoes. Nobody wants someone to lie about them. It’s disappointing to see the lack of accountability here. I think she missed a moment to rise above this situation.”
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