Rapper Nicki Minaj was met with backlash Sunday when she took to Instagram to reveal her new boyfriend—a convicted sex offender with a manslaughter conviction, according to reports.
US Weekly reported that Minaj, 36, posted a picture of herself close to Kenneth Petty, 40, while celebrating her birthday this weekend. The “Chun-Li” rapper reportedly disabled comments on the post shortly after users began discussing Petty’s criminal past.
Court records obtained TMZ stated that Petty, then 16, was convicted in April 1995 with the first-degree attempted rape of a 16-year-old victim. Petty was accused of using a sharp object during the attack, for which he served four years in a New York prison.
Years after his release, Petty was reportedly convicted of involuntary manslaughter for shooting a man. The tabloid reported that he served seven years and was released in 2013.
Minaj reportedly defended her relationship, responding to a comment on Instagram with, “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.”
The reveal of Minaj’s new beau has led some to call attention to what they believe is a disturbing trend of her excusing pedophilia.
In late July, Tekashi69 released his video for “FEFE,” a single which features Minaj. The release comes months after the rapper, whose real name was Daniel Fernandez, 22, was handed four years’ probation following his 2015 arrest for using a child in a sexual performance. E!Online reported that videos showed the then-18-year-old rapper sexually engaging a 13-year-old girl.
Moreover, Minaj brother, Jelani Maraj, 38, was convicted in November 2017 of sexually assaulting his 11-year-old stepdaughter. Months before his conviction, Maraj’s attorney told People that his rapper sister supports him “100 percent.”
[Featured image: Nicki Minaj, Kenneth Petty/Instagram; Kenneth Petty/Handout]