Nicki Minaj’s husband gets home confinement for failing to register as a sex offender

A woman and man hold hands while sitting on wooden chairs
Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty, shown at the Marc Jacobs fall runway show during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 12, 2020, have been married since 2019.
(Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

Kenneth Petty, the husband of rapper Nicki Minaj, will not serve prison time for failing to register in California as a sex offender.

Instead, U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald sentenced Petty on Wednesday afternoon to a year of home confinement and three years of probation. The judge also ordered Petty to pay a $55,000 fine, according to U.S. Department of Justice spokesperson Ciaran McEvoy, whose office prosecuted the case.

Petty, 44, who was convicted in New York in 1995 of attempted rape, previously served a four-year prison sentence for that conviction, which also required him to register as a sex offender wherever he lives.

Petty took a plea deal in September and pleaded guilty to the federal charge that he failed to register when he moved to California after marrying the “Bang Bang” and “Starships” rapper in 2019.


Jennifer Hough, who was sexually assaulted by Nicki Minaj’s husband, Kenneth Petty, detailed her lawsuit’s allegations against the couple on ‘The Real.’

Sept. 24, 2021

Federal prosecutors had called for Petty to spend 15 months in prison in his current case, arguing that home confinement at his wife’s luxe home in the affluent Calabasas community wouldn’t be a severe enough punishment.

But Fitzgerald said prison wasn’t the answer for Petty given the less severe nature of his case — compared to others involving sex offenders failing to register if they move — as well as the strain another inmate would put on a prison system already taxed by the COVID-19 pandemic, McEvoy confirmed Thursday.

“On behalf of Mr. Petty, we appreciate and respect the Court’s sentence of probation and home confinement,” Petty’s attorneys, Michael A. Goldstein and Hagop Kuyumjian, told The Times Monday.

Minaj, 39, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj, first dated Petty when she was 16 and living in Queens, N.Y. The couple wed in October 2019 after reportedly being back together for about a year. They welcomed their first child, a son, in 2020.

Rapper Nicki Minaj announced her pregnancy Monday on social media, showing off her burgeoning belly in elaborately colorful bikinis.

July 20, 2020

Late last summer, shortly after Minjaj eclipsed Petty’s case with her viral remarks about COVID-19 vaccines, the woman who accused Petty of sexual assault in 1994 sued the couple for defamation and alleged that they launched an intimidation campaign against her and threatened her safety.


Minaj was dropped from the federal lawsuit in January, but during a hearing in New York federal court, the woman’s attorney’s said they plan to refile a case in California federal court (and again make the hip-hop star a defendant) because it is a more appropriate jurisdiction.