Talent Recap

Jennifer Hough Speaks Out About Harassment Lawsuit Against Nicki Minaj, Kenneth Petty

Nicki Minaj and Kenneth PettyGilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

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Jennifer Hough has spoken out for the first time on camera about her lawsuit against Nicki Minaj and her husband Kenneth Petty. She accused them of intimidation and harassment stemming from her 1994 rape allegations that landed Petty behind bars. She was joined by her lawyer Tyrone Blackburn on The Real.

Hough claims her first interaction with Petty took place on September 16, 1994. She was on her way to high school that Friday morning when she spotted Petty at the bus stop. Hough “didn’t think anything of it.” Petty struck up a conversation as Hough looked around for a dollar van.

Hough said Petty grabbed onto her jacket and she felt something in her back. She assumed it was a gun. She described “pleading with him the whole way” into a house before she was pushed up the steps. “And then he said I knew what he wanted,” she said through tears. Hough shared the graphic details of what happened that day with hosts Garcelle Beauvais and Adrienne Bailon who were also in tears.

Jennifer Hough Details Alleged 1994 Rape Leading Up to Current Lawsuit

“I’m tired of being afraid,” she said about her choice to speak out. “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 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 ran all the way to school that day and immediately told the security guards what happened. They called the police. She was asked to show the police the location of where it happened.

“I watched them bring him out in handcuffs and then they took me to the hospital,” she said.


Petty was arrested but his family claimed that the pair were in a relationship. Hough strongly denied ever having a relationship with Petty. She knew him from the neighborhood. At one point during the trial, it was reported that Hough tried to recant her accusations. She explained that she wanted to keep fear out of her household and felt like she was being forced to attend his trial.

Hough Accused Minaj and Petty of Harrassment and Intimidation

Petty first denied the rape charges. He was charged with first-degree rape and subsequentially pleaded guilty to attempted rape. He spent over four years in prison. When asked if she thought justice was served, Hough broke down.

“I don’t think I thought about justice per se because I was still blaming myself,” she said. “I thought it was something that I did or didn’t do so I don’t think I thought about if I got justice.”

Petty married Minaj in 2019. Minaj did post a comment on social media telling fans that Petty was 15 and Hough was 16 at the time of the alleged rape. She claims they were in a relationship at the time. Hough still stands firm that those claims are not true. In 2020, Petty was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in California.

Blackburn chimed in to say that Hough’s current lawsuit tackles the alleged intimidation that she faced for seven months from Minaj and Petty. The couple is being accused of trying to get Hough to recant her story. Their aim is allegedly to bribe Hough to get Petty off of the sex offender registry. Hough claims that she and her family members have been called by associates offering money on multiple occasions.

She detailed a phone call with Minaj that reportedly took place in March 2020. The rapper offered to fly her and her family to L.A. Hough recalled receiving threats for saying no to every offer so far. One associate of Minaj and Petty allegedly put $20,000 on her lap and tried to force her to sign a pre-written recanted statement. Petty is currently facing up to 10 years in prison.

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