Since 2019 Nicki Minaj has been married to her high school sweetheart Kenneth Petty. Their union plunged Petty into the public eyes overnight, airing some skeletons from his past.
In 2018, the media went abuzz with news of Nicki Minaj’s reconnection with someone from her childhood in Queens. Reports that the pair dated in high school soon surfaced and before long, the rapper confirmed her renewed relationship with her old flame.
Going public with the relationship marked a turning point in Petty’s life as the media worked to dig out information about it. Within days, several details about Petty’s shady past came to light, leaving fans questioning his personality.
However, Nicki Minaj stood in his defense, reassuring fans he was a changed person who left his dark history behind after serving jail time for his crimes. So who is Nicki Minaj’s husband and what scandals surround his past?
Meet Kenneth “Zoo” Petty
Kenneth Petty is Nicki Minaj’s husband who caught the eyes of the public following the disclosure of his relationship with the rapper. The 43-year-old, who prefers the nickname Zoo, was born on April 7, 1972, in Queens, New York.
While his career widely remains undefined, he notably works within the music industry. Previously, he made cameos in two of Nicki Minaj’s music videos, including “Hot Girl Summer,” and “Megathron.”
However, his relationship with Nicki Minaj dates back to long before that. The star admitted to knowing him long before they became famous.
In a tweet from December 2018, the icon confirmed this, saying he was “on her body before her big ol’ ghetto booty,” and before the fame and fortune. She concluded by saying timing was everything.
Petty’s life since his teenage years has not been a smooth ride. However, he has strived to keep pushing. His career in the music industry and other endeavors over the years has earned him a net worth of $500,000.
He Has A Son With Nicki Minaj
Decades after he separated from Nicki Minaj, the duo reunited again during one of her visits to New York City for Thanksgiving. Months later, they obtained a marriage license and by October 2019, the duo tied the knot in a secret ceremony.
They welcomed their first son in September 2021, making Petty the father of Nicki Minaj’s only child. Their son goes by the nick, Papa Bear as the songstress fondly refers to him in her posts.
Petty’s Criminal Record
Although he has since embraced his new life with Minaj, Kenneth Petty has a criminal history which earned him time in prison. Court records show the father of one was once convicted for rape during his teenage years.
The victim Jennifer Hough claimed he accosted her one morning on her way to school and placed an object on her back, ordering her to walk to his house. Once at his place, he proceeded to rape her at knifepoint. However, Hough managed to escape before he completed the act.
Hough reported the incident, leading to Petty’s arrest. Following his arrest, the then-16-year-old denied the rape allegation, with his parents claiming he and Hough were a couple. But the victim claimed otherwise.
Their legal back and forth ended with the alleged rapist’s conviction on one count of attempted rape in the first degree, second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment, and criminal possession of a weapon. He spent about four years behind bars before his release in January 1999.
Seven years after his release, Petty landed another Jail sentence. This time, he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and served jail time from 2006 to 2013.
He Faces A Possible 10-Year Sentence
In March 2020, seven years after his release from prison, Petty found himself under arrest a third time. Authorities said he failed to register as a sex offender following his move to California to live with his wife.
Petty pleaded not guilty. He secured his release on a $100,000 bond but had to wear an ankle monitor while following a strict curfew.
In September 2021, he pleaded guilty to the charges, attracting up to 10 years imprisonment and a lifetime of supervised release. Court records listed his scheduled sentence date as January 2022.
Nicki Minaj Became Entangled In His Legal Issues
It appears the ghosts from Petty’s past were unprepared to let him off just yet. In fact, they returned to haunt him and his new family. Notably, Nicki Minaj became entangled in her husband’s legal issues when Hough sued them in August 2021.
The sexual abuse victim accused Minaj and her team of offering her money to change her story following Petty’s arrest in 2020. According to her, she declined the offer, leading to an onslaught of harassing calls and unsolicited visits to her and her family.
The suit alleged that the songstress’ lawyers reached out to Hough’s brother and offered her $500,000 to recant her statement. When that too failed, the unsolicited visits persisted, so much that Hough’s family felt unsafe in their home.
She had to move in August 2020 to ensure her safety. Yet, the bribe offers and threats to her safety did not end there as the couple kept pushing her to back down from her story.
Hough accused Minaj and her husband of intentional infliction of emotional distress, harassment, and witness intimidation. She reportedly livse in constant fear to date thanks to their incessant pressure.
Nicki has since denied Hough’s claims, saying she only approached the woman to urge her to do the right thing and let truth prevail.
Petty Is Nicki Minaj’s Soulmate
If standing by him and defending him through his worst moments isn’t proof enough that Minaj valued her relationship with Petty, the star has openly proclaimed it.
During a 2021 interview, the mother of one gushed about Petty, while opening up about her marriage. She described their marriage as calming and refreshing, before adding that she felt on top of the world. The star divulged:
“When you have someone that feels like your soulmate or someone who understands you, it just makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.”
In an earlier interview, musician Derrick Milano revealed the couple’s connection stemmed from the fact that Petty understood Minaj as a person. Milano went on to reveal Minaj’s husband did not care about the fame but simply wanted to be with his wife and focus on her.
Hopefully, the spoils of his past would let Kenneth Petty do just that, availing the couple a chance to enjoy their persevering love and marriage to the fullest, without the legal dramas.