Just a week after it was reported that Jennifer Hough had dropped her harassment lawsuit against Nicki Minaj, a new development reveals that she intends to refile the case in California. According to Rolling Stone, Hough’s lawyer told a federal magistrate judge that the only reason they’d withdrawn their case against the rapper — which was filed in the Eastern District of New York — was to ensure that the case was tried in the correct jurisdiction.
The lawyer, Seven N. Gordon, said, “We plan to refile it in a court with proper jurisdiction.” Judge James R. Cho confirmed that Gordon intended to also refile the case against Kenneth Petty, Nicki’s husband, asking, “If you intend to refile the action in another jurisdiction, do you intend this case to follow as well?” However, Gordon said that consolidation of the harassment cases would depend on the outcome of Hough’s request for a default judgment in the case against Petty, whom she’s also suing for sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress from his 1995 conviction for attempted rape.
If awarded the default judgment, the sex assault claims would continue in New York, while the harassment claims would be consolidated in California, where Petty and Nicki Minaj now live. Meanwhile, Nicki’s lawyer again characterized the lawsuit as an attempted shakedown, telling Rolling Stone, “This is just a frivolous gambit to avoid a sanctions motion which I told them that I would be filing shortly and for which they refuse to set a schedule. As usual, they have decided to adopt a tactic without bothering to research the law. Had they done so, they would realize that re-filing their frivolous action in another jurisdiction will only result in another court sanctioning them.”
Hough filed the suit last August, saying that Nicki and Petty had tried to intimidate her into recanting her claim that Petty had tried to rape her at knifepoint in 1994 in an effort to get Petty removed from the sex offenders registry. Petty was indicted in 2020 for failing to register with his new address when the couple moved to LA in 2019. He pled guilty to failing to register around the time Hough filed her suit and is awaiting sentencing on March 30.