The morning before her lawsuit against Nicki Minaj and Kenneth “Zoo” Petty went public, Jennifer Hough was crying hysterically on the phone with her lawyer.
Petty was convicted of first-degree attempted rape in 1995 after he sexually assaulted Hough at knifepoint. As Hough told The Daily Beast this spring, associates of the couple began pressuring her to recant her story last March after Petty’s arrest in California for failing to register as a sex offender as mandated by his plea deal. Last week a friend sent Hough a video that an acquaintance, a man named Barry, had posted on Facebook Stories in which he appeared to threaten her life.
Barry, who grew up in the same Queens neighborhood as Minaj, Petty, and Hough, was among the couple’s associates who allegedly spent months last year trying to convince Hough to recant. Hough’s lawsuit states that he put her on the phone with the rapper in March and eventually offered her $20,000 in cash on the couple’s behalf.
In the video, which The Daily Beast has reviewed along with a related police report, Barry made vague reference to the allegations and accused Hough of attempting to “extort” him for $500,000. In a Tiger King-like flourish, he also repeatedly teased that his viewers would soon witness what he called “John Wayne TV.” (The name, however, was misspelled in a subtitle as “Jon Wayne.”)
The video ends on an image in which two guns are visible and circled. The caption: “Be safe out here lol.”
Hough is suing Minaj and Petty for harassment, witness intimidation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other charges. She hopes her lawsuit will encourage other women and young girls, especially her own daughters, to stand up for themselves—even and especially when it seems like no one else will.
“I was never a fan of bullies,” Hough told The Daily Beast during a recent interview. “I taught my kids, you don’t be a bully and you don’t stand around and watch somebody be a bully. And I guess that’s how I feel in this situation.”
“I’ve been feeling completely bullied—but bullied by the world, almost,” Hough continued. “Only because of a statement that was made by someone who just happens to do music. You know? Someone who happens to be famous.”
During their single phone conversation, Hough alleges that Minaj said she’d heard she was willing to “help out” in Petty’s legal predicament and offered to fly her to Los Angeles, or to send her publicist to meet with Hough where she lived in Atlanta and draft a statement recanting. Hough says she declined both offers, but claims she told Minaj one thing before the rapper hung up: “Listen. I just need you to know, woman to woman, this really happened.”
Hough avoided speaking publicly about her assault for years, apart from one YouTube interview in 2018 to clarify that she and Petty were never in a relationship, despite a claim Minaj had made to the contrary. But when a stranger found her daughter in a dance club and began asking about Petty, that strategy no longer seemed viable. She left the state in the hopes that her daughter could escape the nightmare that’s haunted her for decades—and a month later, she posted a video exposing the harassment she’d faced for months.
Hough’s attorney, Tyrone Blackburn, told The Daily Beast in a statement, “The Pettys left Ms. Hough with no choice other than to fight back after their associate accosted her 22-year-old daughter.”
“As a result of the Petty’s actions, Ms. Hough has incurred serious debt after having to move three times in a span of seven months. She also quit her job out of fear of being found and attacked. The Pettys acted in concert to destroy Ms. Hough’s life, now they will be held accountable for their actions.”
Barry and a representative for Minaj did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment. A representative for Petty declined to comment; court documents published by The Blast indicate that Petty denied the rape allegation upon his arrest.
Harry Is in ‘Panic Mode’ Over the Queen’s Health—He Still ‘Feels Guilty’ He Never Said Bye to Philip
Miles away. Prince Harry’s response to the Queen’s health concerns is “panic” that he can’t be closer to his grandmother as she recovers from a recent hospitalization.
Buckingham Palace announced on October 20 that the Queen had cancelled her trip to Northern Ireland due to “medical advice” from her doctors. “The Queen has reluctantly accepted medical advice to rest for the next few days,” the statement read. “Her Majesty is in good spirits and is disappointed that she will no longer be able to visit Northern Ireland, where she had been due to undertake a series of engagements today and tomorrow.”
A day later, royal writer Omid Scobie reported the Queen spent the night in the hospital on October 20. Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Queen was hospitalized for one night and underwent “preliminary investigations” while she was in the hospital.
A source told Us Weekly on October 27 that Harry feels “helpless” that he and his wife, Meghan Markle, are thousands of miles away from the Queen in the United States as she recovers from her health concerns. “He felt helpless being 5,000 miles away in Montecito and has been checking-in non-stop with her,” the insider said.
The source also noted that Harry still “feels guilty about not saying goodbye” in person to his grandfather, Prince Philip, who died at the age of 99 in April. “[He] would never forgive himself if the same thing happened with his beloved grandmother,” the insider said. The source claimed that Harry and Meghan are planning to return to the United Kingdom for the holidays with their children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 4 months. “[Harry is] hoping to go back home for Christmas with Meghan, if not before so that [the Queen] can finally get to meet Lilibet and see Archie again,” the insider said.
Another source told Us Weekly on October 27 that other members of the British royal family are “urging” the Queen to slow down after her hospital stay. “Kate sent the queen a huge bouquet of flowers from her family,” the insider said. “George, Charlotte and Louis made ‘get well soon’ cards.”
The source also noted that Kate Middleton and the Queen have been “talking more than ever since [the] health scare]. The insider also added that Kate has “a special bond with the queen” and often connects with her over “one-on-one phone conversations.”
As for the Queen’s current condition, the source reported that the Queen feels “fine” but her family is still “concerned.” “The queen says she’s fine and doing well, but she’s said that before, so naturally [the family is] concerned,” the insider said. “They’d been urging her to take it easy for months.”
The insider also noted that the Queen likes to be on a busy schedule “because she hates people fussing over her.” The source also claimed that the Queen has started “handing over some of her duties” to her son, Prince Charles, and her grandson, Prince William, who are the next two royals in line for the throne. “She’s not a quitter and will continue working but is handing over some of her duties to Charles and William,” the source said. “[She] is preparing them to take over.”
Royal Family LIVE: Queen on alert as ‘two ferocious PR storms’ about to explode on Firm
THE QUEEN is set to face two ‘ferocious PR storms’ in the coming months: one involving her son and the other her grandson.
Key dates for the lawsuit against Prince Andrew have been set for next summer, at the same time as the Queen will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. It is alleged that the Prince assaulted former sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre on three occasions when she was 17. Prince Andrew strenuously denies the allegations. There is also Harry’s memoir, which is set to be released sometime in 2022.
If Harry and Megan’s Oprah interview is anything to go by, this memoir could condemn the Royal Family massively.
Commenting on the coming months for the monarch, royal expert Daniela Elser said: “There are two ferocious PR storms on the horizon.
“Key dates for the Prince Andrew case, as it wends its way through the American legal system, are now set down for May, June and July next year, smack bang right when his mother will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee.
“Then there’s Harry’s memoir, which is set for release sometime in 2022. What the Sussexes’ Oprah revelations and Harry’s subsequent interviews have demonstrated is that the royal is yet to truly plum the depths of his reservoir of hurt and anger when it comes to his family. The possibility that his book will condemn the royal family and the monarchy even more than we have seen thus far looms large.”
‘Embarrassing’ Meghan Markle’s latest letter is exactly ‘what Queen feared’
Meghan, 40, had sent a lobbying letter to two huge names in US politics, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, this week. In this letter, the Duchess of Sussex called for access to paid family leave for citizens.
Royal author Robert Jobson claimed Meghan has “always been political”.
The Queen had known about Meghan’s “political views and ambition” which could become “embarrassing” for the Royal Family, Mr Jobson explained.
Mr Jobson said: “This is what the Queen feared because now she’s free to say whatever she likes.
“She’ll now start talking about her political views and ambitions.
“And she might stir them up which then becomes embarrassing.”
Mr Jobson added: “She’s sailing close to the wind, but will they say anything [the royals], no they won’t.
“The fact is they knew this was what she was going to be doing.
“She was always a political girl. Since the age of seven she was writing letters to Hilary Clinton.”
Despite saying Meghan has “always been political”, Mr Jobson emphasised in his interview with the Mirror that this could not be the case for Prince Harry.
As Prince Harry is, according to Mr Jobson, a “Prince of the Realm”, then the Duke of Sussex could not get involved in political matters.
He said: “If it was Prince Harry doing it I would say that’s a slightly different thing because he’s a Prince of the Realm.
“And he is a British citizen and he’s kind of bound up by everything.”
Meghan had written on paper headed “The Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’, saying: “I’m not an elected official, and I’m not a politician.
“I’m writing to you at this deeply important time – as a mom – to advocate for paid leave.”
“I grew up on the $4.99 salad bar at Sizzler.
“I knew how hard my parents worked to afford this because even at five bucks, eating out was something special, and I felt lucky.
“I started working (at the local frozen yoghurt shop) at the age of 13. I waited tables, babysat, and piecemealed jobs together to cover odds and ends.
“I worked all my life and saved when and where I could—but even that was a luxury – because usually it was about making ends meet and having enough to pay my rent and put gas in my car.
“I expect many of your constituents have their own version of that story,” she continued, before attacking the US economic system.
“Many of our economic systems are past their expiration date, and as you well know, too many Americans are forced to shortchange themselves when it comes to what matters to them.”
Meghan concluded her letter by acknowledging “how politically charged things can – and have – become,” but said the issue “isn’t about Right or Left, it’s about right or wrong”.