Nicki Minaj’s attorney has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against her and her husband Kenneth Petty for failing to respond to the harassment case against them, according to Complex. Court documents filed last week address the motion filed by attorney Tyrone Blackburn on behalf of Jennifer Hough requesting a $20 million default judgment in Hough’s witness intimidation case against the couple. Hough sued the couple in August, saying they have been hounding her to recant her initial account of her alleged 1994 rape by Petty, for which he served a decade in prison.
Hough says that ever since Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty were married in 2019, the couple and their representatives have intimidated, bribed, and cajoled her to change her testimony in the hopes of getting Petty removed from the sex offenders registry. As he did not update his address and file as a sex offender when the couple moved to California in 2019, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a lifetime of supervised release. Last week, The Daily Beast reported that Blackburn filed the request for a default judgment after the deadline to respond to the lawsuit passed.
Now, however, Minaj and Petty’s lawyer, Judd Burstein, has filed a motion to dismiss the new complaint, saying that the delay in responding was “not willful.” Instead, the defendants maintain, it was the result of an innocent mistake after a Zoom conversation on September 22 ended with the impression that Burstein had been retained. However, Nicki says she learned on October 15 that her manager “had not understood” that she approved the lawyer, prompting her to contact him and ensure his services.
“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 which plaintiff’s counsel has brought against me in an effort to use my name to generate publicity for himself,” the new documents read. The docs also assert that Nicki was never served the initial lawsuit, claiming that the person the process server handed the documents to was never at the residence.