In her first time speaking out on camera, the woman who filed a lawsuit against Nicki Minaj and her husband Kenneth Petty detailed her bombshell allegations of being raped by Petty in 1994 and their subsequent intimidation and harassment of her on Wednesday’s episode of The Real. Jennifer Hough appeared on the talk show alongside her lawyer, Tyrone Blackburn, to discuss the lawsuit she filed in August, in which Hough alleged that an associate of Minaj and Petty attempted to bribe her with money to recant her account of alleged 1994 rape, when she and Petty were both 16.
Hough claimed that she received a call from Minaj in March 2020. “She said that she got word that I was willing to help them out in a situation,” Hough told the show’s hosts. “I didn’t understand what she was referring to. She offered to fly me and my family to L.A. I turned it down and I told her, ‘Woman to woman, this really happened.’ And I haven’t spoken to her since.”
Petty was charged with first degree rape and ultimately pleaded guilty to attempted rape, for which he served more than four years in prison. For recently failing to register as a sex offender in California, he now faces 10 years in prison.
Hough’s appearance began with a detailed account of the rape that she says took place on September 16, 1994, when she was on her way to school. She claimed that she passed Petty at a bus stop, and after exchanging some words, he grabbed her jacket and followed her closely. She said she felt something in her back that she assumed was a gun. Then he allegedly pushed her into a nearby house, raped her, and then beat his chest while looking in the mirror, saying, “I’m the man.” She escaped the room and immediately reported the rape once she arrived at school. Petty was arrested that day.
Hough was asked about her request to drop the charges during Petty’s trial. She said she was pressured by the family she was living with to do so. “I never said it didn’t happen,” said Hough. “I just said I wanna drop the charges.” She added that when she discovered that Minaj and Petty were in a relationship in 2018, “I was so afraid of being found out. I was so afraid of being known as the person he violated and I didn’t want that. It’s Nicki Minaj. I didn’t want that to reflect on my children.” Hough denied a comment Minaj left on Instagram at the time that claimed that Petty and Hough were in a relationship at the time of the alleged rape, and that he was 15. “We both were 16, we were never in a relationship,” said Hough. Regarding Minaj speaking publicly on the issue, Hough said: “You have 150 something million followers. They all believed it. It hurt coming from another woman. Just the girl thing.”
Hough claimed that during the last attempted bribe from Petty and Minaj’s unnamed associate to coerce her into recanting her story, $20,000 was placed on her lap. Later, she said, she received a message that the money would be used to put a hit out on her. She claimed she changed her phone number and moved residences repeatedly after that.
“I’m tired of being afraid,” Hough said regarding why she was now speaking out. “If 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 now.” She added: “The only way to be able to not be afraid is to continue to speak up.”
In response to the question of what Hough wants to come as a result of her lawsuit, Hough said, “To let them know that they were wrong and that you can’t do this to people. He did something a long time ago and he had consequences that he was supposed to stick with. What they did to me and my family wasn’t okay. 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 go better for you. And that’s what they did. And I want my daughters to know that as they grow, as they experience life, as they come in contact with friends, family, strangers, that they’ll have the strength to know that they have a voice and they should use it. And don’t ever let anybody try to silence them.”