She’s a family woman! Nicki Minaj married the love of her life, Kenneth “Zoo” Petty, on October 21, 2019, after one year together. Less than 365 days later, the couple welcomed the birth of their first child, Us Weekly confirmed on Thursday, October 1. Nicki first announced her exciting news on Instagram in July, where she shared a photo of her pregnant belly. But how exactly did Kenneth and Nicki meet? Keep scrolling to learn more about him!
Kenneth and Nicki Met When They Were Younger
Nicki met Kenneth when they were growing up in New York. “I met my husband when I was 17 out in Queens / If you love it, let it go, now I know what that means / While he was up North for a body / I bodied everybody and got known for my body,” she raps on her song “Zanies and Fools.” In February 2019, Nicki admitted there is a lot of history between the pair. “He’s known me since I was 14,” she said on her Apple Beats1 talk show, “Queen Radio.” “There’s a different level of passion and friendship with him.”
During one of the episodes of her show, Nicki also recalled the time when Kenneth got into a fight with her ex-boyfriend when they were in their teens. “I said be nice, I said we are not beating the s–t out of people,” she said in August. “That was my first love, babe. You need to stop. That was a couple of years into the relationship, that is why I was clarifying it. I think I was on my last year of school when you saw me at the bus stop, sweating me, but then our lives just took completely different turns.”
The Pair Debuted Their Relationship in December 2018
The brunette beauty uploaded two photos of herself with her man during a trip to Turks and Caicos in December 2018. “Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing happens? … It’s no secret … that both of us … are running out of time,” she captioned the snaps. In another photo, she took a mirror selfie with her beau. “Oh, they want to talk? Let’s give them something to talk about. *Shania voice,*” she wrote.
The Couple Got Their Marriage License in June 2019
Well, they got their first marriage license. They picked up their second one in August 2019. The Grammy nominee revealed their mishap the first time around when they didn’t walk down the aisle fast enough. “We still had to pick it up, and I was traveling, by the time I came back, we had to renew it again,” she said on August 12, 2019. “From that time, you have 90 days to get married. That was about a week ago, so now I have about 80 days.”
Nicki explained that their first ceremony would be small, but they would have a bigger party down the line. “I have to work on my album, and I have a lot to focus on that I don’t want to do the big wedding now. We’ll do the big wedding later,” she said. “I’ll be married before my album comes out but will have my wedding after the album comes out. Before the 90 days is over, yes, I will be married.”
Nicki’s Been Talking About Babies for a While
They were only married for one day when Nicki first hinted that she wanted to start a family. “For the record: that was iced tea in the lobsterita glass,” she wrote in June. “No alcohol was consumed in the making of our dinner date.” Fans speculated that Nicki might have a bun in the oven when she rapped, “He the Clyde to my Bonnie, ‘bout to walk down the aisle and be a mommy,” on her song “Zanies and Fools.”
In September 2019, she said she was “retiring” so she can “have a family” — and though she’s still in the music game, it seems she was serious about that goal. In February 2020, she and Kenneth sparked pregnancy rumors when fans noticed he couldn’t stop rubbing her belly. At the time, she played it off, but now it seems she really was pregnant. On July 20, she shared a photo of her pregnant belly on Instagram, confirming that a baby Barb is on its way. “Preggers,” she captioned the shot with a yellow heart.
While Nicki has shared photos of their son on social media, she has not yet revealed his name.
Kenneth Is a Registered Sex Offender and Was Convicted of Manslaughter
Kenneth is a level two registered sex offender in New York, and he was convicted of one count of first-degree rape. Kenneth was arrested on September 16, 1994, by the New York City Police Department Sex Offender Unit for having “sexual intercourse” with a 16-year-old female, according to New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services files obtained by Radar Online. Additionally, Kenneth pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2006 after he shot a man named Lamont Robinson in 2002. He spent seven years in prison and was released in 2013.
But the “Megatron” rapper has stuck by her man through it all. “He was 15, she was 16 … in a relationship. But go awf, internet. Y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you, boo,” she wrote in December 2018.
The legal trouble didn’t end there, though. On March 4, 2020, he was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in California after he relocated. Kenneth moved to California in July 2019. After a traffic stop in November 2019, he was arrested and released and faced charges from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, In Touch confirmed. After months passed and he still hadn’t registered, he was indicted by federal prosecutors on February 25, 2020.
Later in March, he finally joined the California sex offender registry after he turned himself in. A source told In Touch he entered a not guilty plea and posted $100,000 bail, while E! reports his court date was set for April 28. However, the federal government pushed to delay due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Then in September 2021, Kenneth pleaded guilty during a virtual hearing.
In July 2022, Kenneth was sentenced to three years probation and a year of in-home detention in light of his March 2020 arrest.
Nicki Has Faced Legal Trouble Related to Kenneth
In August 2021, Nicki became involved with Kenneth’s legal issues when his alleged rape victim, Jennifer Hough, filed a harassment lawsuit against the couple. The complaint claimed that Nicki and Kenneth tried to use their money and status to threaten her into taking back her rape accusations. She also alleged that the “Tusa” rapper called her to request she change her story and offered her $20,000 to sign a prepared statement that recanted the accusations.
“As a direct result of the actions of Defendant Minaj and Defendant Petty, Plaintiff has been traumatized her entire life,” the lawsuit read. “Plaintiff has never felt safe since being raped by Defendant.”
The lawsuit was later dropped in January 2022.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A trained staff member will provide confidential, judgment-free support as well as local resources to assist in healing, recovering and more.