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Nicki Minaj and her husband accused in lawsuit of harassing his sexual assault victim

Rapper Nicki Minaj and her husband, Kenneth Petty, are accused of harassing and intimidating a woman he sexually assaulted more than two decades ago.

The woman, who has publicly identified herself as Jennifer Hough, filed a lawsuit Friday accusing the couple of trying to force her to recant the rape. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, alleges that Minaj even went so far as to bribe Hough.

Attorneys for Petty declined to comment. Minaj’s team could not immediately be reached for comment on Saturday.

The suit alleges that Petty and Minaj began contacting Hough and members of her family after Petty was arrested last year when authorities said he failed to register as a sex offender in California over the rape case. It says that days after the arrest, Hough was contacted by a childhood friend. During a conversation about the rape, she told the friend that she “wished it could all just go away forever,” the suit states.

The friend offered to help Hough, who received a phone call from Minaj a few days later, according to the lawsuit. Minaj allegedly told Hough that she could have her publicist draft up a statement recanting the rape but Hough declined, the suit says.

“Within days of this conversation, Plaintiff and her family suffered an onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits,” according to the lawsuit.

It further alleges that one of Hough’s family members was offered $500,000 from Minaj if Hough recanted the rape. On another occasion, Hough was offered $20,000 if she signed a prepared document retracting her statements about Perry. Minaj also offered to send happy birthday videos to Hough’s teenage daughter “as a bonus,” the lawsuit states.

“Plaintiff could not believe that Defendant Minaj would go this far to bribe her, “the suit alleges.

Hough said Petty sexually assaulted her at a home in the Queens borough of New York City on Sept. 16, 1994, the lawsuit states. Hough, then 16, was on her way to school when she saw Petty standing at a bus stop. Petty was 16 at the time.

The lawsuit alleges that Petty grabbed Hough by the back of her jacket, pressed a knife into her back and told her to “start walking.” Petty allegedly took Hough to a nearby house as she “began pleading for her life,” according to the lawsuit.

After raping Hough, Petty looked in a mirror and stated, “I am the man, I am the man,” the suit alleges. Hough was able to flee the house and ran to her high school where she told a security guard. The police were contacted and Petty was arrested at the home.

Hough describes how she was repeatedly intimidated and harassed by people in the neighborhood following Petty’s arrest. The lawsuit claims that Hough’s family also began “to turn on her” because they feared retaliation from Petty and his associates.

Because of the threats, Hough’s family made her attend Petty’s court hearing and request that the charges be dropped, but it was denied. Petty ended up accepting a plea deal in the case and served nearly four years in prison.

Hough said in the lawsuit that she had to move out of New York because of the threats she had been receiving. She thought she had put the situation behind her until Minaj and Petty began contacting her.

“Plaintiff has not worked since May of 2020 due to severe depression, paranoia, constant moving, harassment, and threats from the defendants and their associates,” the lawsuit states. “She is currently living in isolation out of fear of retaliation.”

Minaj previously commented about her husband’s past, writing in an Instagram post that he and the victim were “in a relationship” — a claim Hough denies in the lawsuit. The rapper also told fans on her Queen Radio show that her husband was wrongfully accused of rape.

Hough’s attorney, Tyrone A. Blackburn, told NBC News on Saturday that his client decided to come forward because she has spent the past several years trying to “move on with her life and away from the horrors of 1994.”

“My client had no contact with, or any interest in coming after Mr. Petty or Ms. Minaj — they came after her,” he said. “Now she fights back!”

Blackburn said Hough wanted to stay out of the limelight and accused Petty and Minaj of coming after her child. According to the lawsuit, a man approached Hough’s daughter in 2020 asking if she knew of Petty.

“They did a whole bunch of things to this woman probably within a 7 months span that most people would not be able to endure,” the attorney said. “She moved three times. She changed her phone number three times. She did everything that she possibly could to avoid these people and yet they wanted her to say her true life experience was a lie. That what she went through on that day in 1994 never happened. Enough is enough.”

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Pop mogul Simon Cowell was a racing flop with ‘awful’ £35,000 horse he owned with Ant and Dec – that didn’t win a penny

SIMON COWELL conquered the music world – but his foray into racing ended in disaster with an ‘awful’ £35,000 horse he owned with Ant and Dec.

The music mogul, 62, has done it all with bands like One Direction, Little Mix and solo acts Olly Murs and James Arthur, to name but a few.

Cowell owned an 'awful' £35,000 horse with Ant and Dec - but the runner didn't win a single penny in six races

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Cowell owned an ‘awful’ £35,000 horse with Ant and Dec – but the runner didn’t win a single penny in six racesCredit: PA:Press Association
Cowell remains a massive racing fan and loves Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby

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Cowell remains a massive racing fan and loves Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby

His Syco label – plus shows such as Britain’s Got Talent – have dominated the entertainment industry and brought him an estimated net worth of £385m.

A lover of Royal Ascot and the Epsom Derby, he looked perfectly poised to strike a knockout blow in the world of thoroughbreds.

But it turns out his runner was far from No1 in the charts – and never even finished better than fifth during a doomed six-race career.

Things looked promising at the start.

Named It’s A Yes From Me, the runner was trained with the respected James Fanshawe and sent off at 8-1 for his first race in June 2014.

But coming last of five by 13-and-a-half lengths was unfortunately about as good as it got for the gelding.

A month’s rest followed before he was sent off at 40-1 in a six-furlong sprint at Doncaster.

But there he could only manage fifth again, and it was same at Redcar the next month.

‘Dreadfully slow’

By October that year – with further finishes of sixth and tenth – It’s A Yes From Me came second-last in a one-mile race at Kempton.

One analysis of the race warned punters the horse was ‘one to tread carefully’ with.

Well, Cowell and Ant and Dec took that advice to heart as they never raced him again.

The horse was penniless from six races, never finishing high enough to recoup some of that £35,000 investment.

It’s doubtful Cowell, with hundreds of millions in the bank, lost any sleep over that.

But Ant and Dec revealed just how bad things has got with the horse during an interview last year.

Dec said of It’s A Yes From Me: “It was awful, it was a dreadfully slow horse.

“It wasn’t a racehorse it was just a horse, because it didn’t race.

“Every time we got to the BGT studio Simon would say, ‘I keep paying stable fees on this horse, but I’ve never seen it run’.”

Cowell originally wanted to name the nag after himself, but they settled on It’s A Yes From Me when they bought it in 2013.

‘It was awful’

Dec revealed its eventual fate: “I think it got rehomed.”

Of course it’s not all been bad for Cowell at the races.

He was one of the exclusive few at the Epsom Derby in June, having a great time with partner Lauren Silverman and Piers Morgan.

And two weeks later he was at Royal Ascot – where he first discovered his love of racing.

Cowell told SunSport’s Matt Chapman during a chat at Epsom: “I’ve got my son Eric with me today.

“My mum and dad years ago used to take me to Ascot and I was probably about his age – seven or eight.

Cowell with partner Lauren at Epsom earlier this year

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Cowell with partner Lauren at Epsom earlier this yearCredit: Getty
It's A Yes From Me trails behind in last during one of his six races

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It’s A Yes From Me trails behind in last during one of his six races
The music supremo tweeted about his horse's bad start... which never got much better

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The music supremo tweeted about his horse’s bad start… which never got much better

Most read in Horse Racing

“So the fact I can now bring him to the races as well is brilliant. It brings back a lot of good memories.

“Making TV shows is my passion. But racing is actually my second passion.”

He hasn’t made that passion the money-maker his music label is, but don’t rule out Cowell staging his own comeback at the track in the near future.

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Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org


Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org

Commercial content notice: Taking one of the bookmaker offers featured in this article may result in a payment to The Sun. 18+. T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org


Remember to gamble responsibly

A responsible gambler is someone who:

  • Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
  • Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
  • Never chases their losses
  • Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry or depressed
  • Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
  • Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
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Minnesota wildfire doubles in size, creates its own weather

A wildfire in northeastern Minnesota more than doubled in size Tuesday, growing to more than 19,000 acres, after it produced pyrocumulous clouds that generated lightning and even raindrops, fire officials said.

The Greenwood Fire’s growth, most of which happened Monday afternoon, prompted firefighters to leave McDougal Lake, about 80 miles south-southwest of Duluth, officials said. Authorities fear that structures might have been destroyed or damaged.

“We had crews embedded, and as this fire took off, it was quite an effort to communicate with forces on the ground so they could get out,” said federal fire incident spokesman Clark McCreedy.

The pullout was a success, and no injuries were reported. However, downed trees and necessary cleanup mean crews have been unable to assess damage around the lake, McCreedy said.

In addition to the firefighter pullout, 159 dwellings were evacuated Monday, according to an update from the National Wildfire Coordinating Group. Cabins, homes and recreational sites remain under threat, the group said.

Patrick Prochaska, a Minneapolis resident who built a cabin near McDougal Lake in 2012, told NBC affiliate KARE that he watched via security camera as flames mostly bypassed his property Monday, causing minor damage.

“I was feeling very scared,” he said. “At the same time, I could see that it was not doing anything to the house, and it was kind of reassuring.”

The fire in and north of Superior National Forest has mostly performed according to the weather, fire officials said. On Monday, with dry fuel on the ground and temperatures in the high 80s, it was an expanding inferno punctuated by strobes of lightning.

“The winds were drawn into the fire from all directions,” the incident’s fire behavior analyst, Michael Locke, said in a video update Tuesday. “It created what we call pyrocumulous clouds. And really high in the atmosphere … you’d see a thunderstorm, and in fact they went high enough to produce a few sprinkles of rain and even some lightning.”

Temperatures dipped into the mid-70s Tuesday, and the blaze mellowed. “The real story was cloud cover and cooler temperatures,” McCreedy said.

More of the same, and possibly rain, was in the forecast, giving officials hope that they might be able to close the book on an unusually active and dry fire season in Minnesota.

Experts have said climate change has set the stage for extreme weather, including an increase in the frequency and intensity of wildfires in the Northern Hemisphere.

Firefighters — 426 were assigned to the Greenwood event — have been confronted with “prolonged, severe drought,” making parts of Minnesota look like the fire-prone West this summer, McCreedy said.

The Greenwood Fire, which was detected Aug. 15, is believed to have been sparked by lightning.

So far, firefighters have scored no containment, and areas including McDougal Lake, Sand Lake and the Highway 2 corridor have been under mandatory evacuation orders. The federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was closed Saturday “due to active and increasing fire activity, extreme drought, limited resources,” the National Forest Service said in a notice.

Officials set a goal of Sept. 1 for full containment.

“We’re probably going to get more of that moderating weather for the rest of the week,” McCreedy said. “That opens the door for fire crews to make progress on the ground.”

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Hiker survives grizzly bear attack at Denali National Park

A tourist from Indiana was attacked and injured by a grizzly bear at Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska on Monday night, park officials said.

The 55-year-old tourist, whose name was not released, was hiking alone in dense fog in the Thoroughfare Pass area when a mother bear and multiple cubs charged him from nearby bushes, the National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday.

He had puncture wounds to a calf, his left ribs and his left shoulder, the agency said.

The victim used bear spray that might have cut the attack short, the park service indicated. He walked 1.5 miles to a visitor’s center where “medical personnel” vacationing at Denali treated him as a park bus driver called 911, it said.

The hiker was taken to a medical center near the park before he was transferred to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, about 120 miles away, park officials said. He was stabilized at the Fairbanks hospital, they said.

“Due to the apparent defensive nature of this attack, there are no plans to locate the bear involved,” the park service said. “Female bears with cubs are naturally defensive of their young, especially when surprised. There is no indication that this bear is unusually dangerous.”

Grizzly bears are federally protected as a threatened species in the lower 48 states. According to the National Wildlife Federation, fewer than 1,500 grizzlies are left in the lower 48, but they thrive, comparatively, in Alaska, where they have a population of about 31,000.

The backcountry area of the attack is closed for one week as a precaution, the park service said.

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