Content warning: This article contains sensitive subject matter regarding sexual assault.
On Jan. 28, 2024, Nicki Minaj released a diss track called “Big Foot” in response to Megan Thee Stallion’s Jan. 26 track, “Hiss.” In Megan’s song, she references Megan’s Law in a seeming dig at Nicki.
Many fans believe that Megan’s original insult could be a reference to the allegations against Nicki’s husband, Kenneth Petty, or Nicki's brother Jelani Maraj. So what exactly are the allegations?
Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, allegedly tried to commit first-degree sexual assault in 1994.
In a 1994 trial, Kenneth was sentenced to four years in prison at just 16 years old on a conviction of first-degree attempted rape. The victim was Jennifer Hough, who was also 16 years old at the time. In the original trial, photos of Jennifer’s injuries on her face, neck, and sides, as well as two spermatozoa-positive vaginal smears, were used as evidence against Kenneth.
According to the official New York State Sex Offender Registry, Kenneth used a knife or cutting instrument in the violent act on Sept. 16, 1994. After a likely traumatic trial for Jennifer, Kenneth was convicted on April 5, 1995, and sentenced to four years in prison. However, the story doesn’t end there.
In 2020, Kenneth moved to Los Angeles, where he should have registered as a sex offender within five days of his move. When he failed to register, he was sentenced to probation, house arrest, and a $55,000 fine. Like in Megan’s diss track, the law that requires sex offenders to register their new addresses is called Megan’s Law, which is why Nicki retaliated with her own track.
In September 2023, Kenneth was accused of making “threatening remarks toward a specific individual while in the company of someone with a criminal record,” which violated his probation. It was revealed that the “individual” was actually Cardi B’s boo, Offset. Because of the incident, Kenneth was forced to serve another 120 days of house arrest.
In addition to all of this, Kenneth and Nicki were both sued by Jennifer for harassment in 2021. She alleged that Nicki offered to give her family a vacation, give her $500,000, and then later offered $20,000 in cash for Jennifer to recant her statements about Kenneth’s sexual assault. She reportedly had to move multiple times to try to stop the harassment. In response, Kenneth doubled down on his innocence (despite pleading guilty in 1995).
“I did not force Plaintiff into a house, I did not force Plaintiff to have sex with me and I did not sexually or physically assault Plaintiff in any way. Nor did I ever threaten Plaintiff,” he said in a court filing (via The Daily Beast). “I pled guilty to attempted rape, despite my innocence, because I was a scared 16-year-old kid and was told that my sentence would be 20 years to life if I did not plead guilty to attempted rape.”
Nicki Minaj’s brother also has some serious allegations against him.
In 2017, Nicki Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj was convicted of predatory sexual assault. He was charged with raping his 11-year-old stepdaughter at their Long Island home; the stepdaughter testified that he assaulted her multiple times in eight months in 2015. Nicki's younger brother also testified as a witness against Jelani in addition to damning DNA evidence.
Jelani was later sentenced to 25 years to life in prison, which he is currently serving at the Clinton Correctional Facility. Whether Megan was making a dig at Nicki’s husband or her brother, it’s clear that Nicki is surrounded by a complicated family.
If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.