Nicki Minaj, Kenneth Petty's Accuser Says She Was Threatened for Refusing Bribe

A woman who has accused Nicki Minaj and her husband Kenneth Petty of intimidation and bribery has given her first TV interview about the allegations.

Petty was convicted of attempted rape in 1995, after Jennifer Hough alleged that he had raped her at knifepoint as she was on her way to school in New York City a year earlier.

Petty was initially charged with first-degree rape, which he denied. He eventually pleaded guilty to attempted rape and was ordered to register as a sex offender. He spent about four-and-a-half years in prison, according to inmate records.

In August this year, Hough filed a lawsuit against the rapper and her husband, alleging that they had attempted to bribe her to recant her accusations. Hough's suit states that she was offered as much as $500,000.

Hough accused Minaj and Petty of "intimidation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, harassment, assault, battery, sexual assault, and sexual harassment."

In an appearance on talk show The Real, which aired on Wednesday, Hough shared further details of her allegations.

Recalling an alleged conversation with Minaj in March 2020, Hough said: "She called me and she said that she got word that I was willing to help them out in a situation.

"I didn't understand what she was referring to. She offered to fly me and my family to L.A. I turned it down. And I told her, woman to woman, this really happened. And I hadn't spoken to her since."

Nicki Minaj and husband Kenneth Petty
Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty attend a Marc Jacobs runway show during New York Fashion Week on February 12, 2020. The couple are accused of attempting to intimidate Jennifer Hough, who has detailed her claims on "The Real." Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs

Hough went on to claim that Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty, and her husband had been "sending people to negotiate numbers, as far as money is concerned, with family members."

"And Nicki is the one who personally reached out to me, in regards to helping her, helping them, in this situation," Hough said. "And then the threats that I received because I kept saying no to every offer, to every suggestion.

"The last incident was when one of their associates put $20,000 on my lap. And I still kept saying no. The last message I received was that I should have taken the money because they're going to use that money to put on my head."

Hough also told The Real co-hosts Garcelle Beauvais and Adrienne Houghton how the alleged incidents had affected her.

"I'm tired of being afraid," she said. "I feel 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 and 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."

Hough said she had been affected "in so many ways. 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."

Ultimately, said Hough, she wants the lawsuit to send a message to Minaj and Petty that "they were wrong."

"You can't do this to people. You shouldn't do this to people," she said. "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.

"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."

When contacted by Newsweek, a representative of Petty declined to comment. Newsweek has contacted a representative of Minaj for comment.

Hough first spoke about her lawsuit in an interview published by The New York Times on August 13.

"If I lie now and say that I lied then, you know what that does?" Hough was quoted by the newspaper as saying. "Do you know what that's going to say to my two little girls, or even my sons?"

Petty could be returning to prison in the coming months, after he pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender in California.

According to court records obtained by People, Petty entered the plea during a virtual hearing with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. According to Us Weekly, minimum sentencing would be five years of supervised release and a $100 court assessment fee.

During a traffic stop in November 2019, the Beverly Hills Police Department determined that Petty was listed as a sex offender in New York, as a result of the 1995 conviction, according to TMZ. However, he had not registered in California, where he now lives with Minaj and their 11-month-old son.

He was arrested in March 2020 after being indicted for the failure to register. He pleaded not guilty and posted $100,000 bail, according to People.

Petty has also served time for shooting a man in New York in 2002. He pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in 2006 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, serving seven.

Update 9/23/21, 2:00 p.m. ET: This article was updated to include a response from representatives for Petty.

Nicki Minaj
Nicki Minaj poses after winning two awards at the MTV EMAs at Bilbao Exhibition Center in Spain on November 4, 2018. Minaj and Petty have a son whose first birthday is on September 30. Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images for MTV