Rolling stone reports that a federal clerk for the Eastern District of New York had determined that Minaj had responded to Hough’s lawsuit against her for harassment.
As such, the court denied Hough’s request to fine the couple and award a $20 million judgement.
While Minaj had hired a lawyer last week to defend her in the case, the clerk noted that her husband Petty had “not filed an answer or otherwise moved with respect to the complaint.”
In the rapper’s official statement, she claimed that she thought she hired a lawyer back in September when they had initial conversations. However, due to “innocent miscommunications,” there was a delay in paying his retainer.
“My failure to respond to the complaint was the product of an innocent mistake, and I ask the court to excuse the delay so that I can defend what I believe to be an entirely frivolous case,” Minaj explained in her statement.
“I confirm the truth of those portions of [the] defendant’s declaration concerning my role in her failure to secure my services promptly,” attorney Judd Burstein wrote in a related statement.
However, Hough’s lawyer Tyrone Blackburn insisted that despite the court’s findings, they would move on with the default motion against Petty for the $20 million.
Blackburn, in a statement to Rolling stone, said, “It’s interesting that Kenneth Petty is currently in the Eastern District of New York suing the state of New York, but he has no respect for this proceeding and no respect for this judge to come forward and to answer for raping Jennifer Hough in 1994 and all the harassment he and his wife and his goons visited upon her since then.”
Jennifer Hough had identified Petty as her alleged rapist in 1994. She reported that he had raped her after leading her into a house at knifepoint. Petty was then arrested and charged with first-degree rape but pleaded guilty to attempted rape and served four and a half years in prison.
In August 2021, Hough filed a lawsuit against Minaj and Petty, alleging that the couple had attempted to convince her to recant her account that Petty sexually assaulted her through various harassment and intimidation tactics.
She seeks “unspecified damages for the intentional infliction of emotional distress” in the new case.