Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, pleaded guilty earlier this month for failing to register as a sex offender after he moved to the state of California. Meanwhile, Jennifer Hough, whom Petty was convicted of assaulting in 1995, is continuing to share her story.
On Wednesday morning, Hough gave her first televised interview on The Real, where she and her lawyer, Tyrone Blackburn, discussed her defamation and witness intimidation lawsuit against Petty and Minaj. Before introducing her the hosts told their audience, “We believe that all women’s voices deserve to be heard.”
Hough told The Daily Beast her story back in March: For months, she said, associates of Minaj and Petty pressured her to recant her allegations from 1994. She clarified, once again, that she and Petty were never in a relationship and repeated her claim that Petty’s associates harassed her family back then as well.
Petty initially denied the rape charges; he was charged with first degree rape for allegedly sexually assaulting Hough at knifepoint at his residence, and eventually pleaded guilty to attempted rape. Representatives for Petty and Minaj did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comments during our initial reporting, or to The Real’s request.
Hough spoke quietly and wiped tears from her eyes multiple times during her interview. When asked whether she’d ever felt Petty faced real justice, she said it hadn’t occurred to her to think about it because she’d spent so many years blaming herself for what had happened. She said 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.”
Blackburn, meanwhile, emphasized, “We would not be here but for the actions of Kenneth Petty and Nicki Minaj.” He told the hosts about an apparent threat made by one of the couple’s associates, a man named Barry who did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment in August.
In the video, which The Daily Beast has reviewed along with a related police report, Barry alleges that Hough tried to “extort” him and promises his viewers on Instagram “John Wayne TV.” He included an image that depicts two guns, circled, with the caption, “Be safe out here lol.”
“This post came literally six days after Kenneth Petty accepted a plea deal here in California for failing to register as a sex offender,” Blackburn said.
“What they did to me and my family wasn’t OK,” Hough said of Minaj and Petty toward the end of the interview. “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 better for you.”