Kenneth Petty’s accuser is going on the record.
Jennifer Hough, the woman Nicki Minaj’s husband was convicted of trying to rape, is speaking out publicly for the first time since filing a lawsuit against the couple over alleged harassment and intimidation tactics.
During an emotional appearance with her lawyer on Wednesday’s episode of “The Real,” Hough said she decided to talk because she’s “tired of being afraid.”
“I feel like the actions that were taken in regards to this whole situation put me in a different type of fear at my age now, and it was wrong,” she said. “And I don’t want to be afraid anymore. The only way not to be afraid is to continue to speak up.”
She recalled her first interaction with Petty at the bus stop on her way to high school on Sept. 16, 1994. He asked her where she was going and “before you know it, he was grabbing a hold of my jacket.” He forced her inside a house and pushed her down on the bed.
“It was like a tug of war. After a while, I just got tired. I just felt maybe if he’d hurry up, I could just hurry up and leave,” she said as she wiped away tears.
After raping her, Petty beat his chest in the mirror, saying, “I’m the man! I’m the man!” She eventually ran out of the house and made her way to school. Her school contacted the police before Petty was arrested and she was taken to the hospital.
Despite claims otherwise, Hough says she was never in a relationship with Petty. “No, we were never in a relationship ever,” she said. “I just knew him from the neighborhood.”
She later told the judge in court that she wanted to drop the charges after being pressured by her family. Petty was arrested and charged with first-degree rape, and subsequently pleaded guilty to attempted rape and served over four years in prison.
“I don’t think it was justice per se because I was still blaming myself. I thought it was something that I did or didn’t do,” she said. “I had to leave my family, I had to leave my home and I had to move away.”
She also clarified a claim by Minaj that Hough and Petty were in a relationship and that he was 15 and she was 16 at the time. “It was a lie. It wasn’t true,” she said. “I just felt woman to woman that was wrong of [Minaj].”
Hough filed a lawsuit against Minaj and Petty in August, accusing them of witness intimidation, emotional distress, harassment, assault, and battery. Petty accepted a plea deal on Aug. 8. for failing to register as a sex offender in California.
Hough said that she spoke to Nicki in March of 2020 when she offered to fly her and her family out to L.A. She turned down the offer and told Nicki, “This really happened.”
While she never spoke with Nicki personally again, she said that one of her associates put $20,000 in her lap in exchange for silence. Hough declined the offer and later was told that she “should’ve taken the money because they are going to use that money to put on my head.”
Hough is asking for a trial by jury and is seeking damages as well as statutory damages and attorney’s fees.