Kenneth Petty: Meet Nicki Minaj’s Husband and Learn About Their Marriage

Megan Thee Stallion's latest diss track seemingly takes a dig at Kenneth's criminal history. Here's everything you need to know about the man married to Nicki.

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Kenneth Petty is Nicki Minaj‘s childhood sweetheart turned husband, but their relationship is far from perfect. Kenneth has been involved in numerous legal issues, including having to register as a sex offender over two decades after he was convicted of attempted rape, for which he served over four years in prison. As a matter of fact, Megan Thee Stallion apparently took a dig at Kenneth’s past in her latest track, “HISS,” with the lyric, “Megan’s Law,” which refers to a law that requires all U.S. states to have sex offender registries that the public can view.

“These hoes don’t be mad at Megan, these hoes mad at Megan’s Law,” Megan raps in one verse. “I don’t really know what the problem is, but I guarantee y’all don’t want me to start / Bitch, you a p***y, never finna check me.”

Despite Kenneth’s controversies, Nicki has stood by her husband — though she did open up about their marital issues and how they struggled after the birth of their son in her December 2023 cover story with Vogue.

“I’m not going to lie, things got testy between us,” Nicki said in the interview. “Because of our history, I think we knew we’d get past it. But there’s no such thing as confidence in parenthood.”

Keep reading to learn more about Kenneth and his relationship with Nicki below.

Nicki Minaj husband prison
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When Did Nicki Minaj & Kenneth Petty Get Married? 

Kenneth and Nicki secretly married in October 2019, she revealed to shocked fans on Instagram. The Queen Radio host posted a cute video to Instagram showing off their wedding swag, including “Mr. & Mrs.” coffee mugs, and snapbacks that said “bride and groom.” Next to the table lay a pair of sky-high, glittery stilettos — presumably what the rapper wore when she said “I do” to her man. She simply captioned the October 21 post, “Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty 10•21•19” (her full, married name) and added bride and groom emojis, as well as prayer hands and tears.

How Did Nicki Minaj & Kenneth Petty Meet?

Kenneth and Nicki are actually teenage sweethearts who started dating when Nicki was 16 years old. They fell head over heels for each other. Nicki has said in the past that Kenneth was even one of her “first loves.” Th two fell out of contact over the years, but rekindled their spark as adults. After the two picked up their marriage license in 2019, Nick tweeted about her love for Kenneth. “He won’t even say the word ‘Nicki.’ He has called me Onika since I was 15 so it’s hard to change that,” Nicki wrote. “I wouldn’t date anyone cuz I’m about to be married to my soulmate. But that was the problem, others r infatuated w/ Nicki Minaj he DGAF about this industry & is very protective.”

Nicki Minaj & Kenneth Petty’s Son

Nicki announced her pregnancy in July 2020 with a stunning photoshoot on Instagram that revealed her full, bare baby bump. In the photos, a radiant Nicki cradled her bump while wearing a bejeweled bikini and gigantic, platform stilettos. Of course, Nicki picked out a number of candy-colored wigs for the pregnancy shoot, too. She simply captioned the shocking post “#Preggers.” Nicki gave birth to her and Kenneth’s son that September, and spent the months since gushing over their absolutely adorable bundle of joy.

Nicki and Kenneth haven’t revealed their son’s name yet, but have nicknamed him “Papa Bear.” There was concern that Kenneth wouldn’t be present when Nicki gave birth at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles due to his legal problems, which included a court-mandated curfew. So far, Nicki’s “loving every minute” of being a mother.

Nicki Minaj and Kenneth Petty

What Was Kenneth Petty Convicted Of?

Kenneth is a registered sex offender. He was convicted of first-degree attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl in 1995, and served time in a New York state prison for the crime. He was required to register as a sex offender in the state. His legal problems came to light when he and Nicki went public with their relationship in 2018. He got into trouble again in November 2019 during a traffic stop in Los Angeles.

After running his license, officers discovered that he wasn’t registered as a sex offender in the state of California — a requirement of his sentence. He was arrested in March 2020 and initially pled not guilty to the charges. While prosecutors wanted him placed under house arrest, he was instead required to wear an ankle monitor, abide by a curfew, and surrender his passport. Furthermore, he was barred from leaving Southern California or using drugs, even marijuana, which is legal for recreational use in California.

In Sept. 2021, Kenneth pled guilty to the one count of failure to register as a sex offender charge, seemingly striking a plea deal. He was sentenced on July 6, 2022. Although it was initially reported that he could face up to ten years in prison, his sentencing was three years probation and one year of home confinement, a representative from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California confirmed to HollywoodLife.. He also had to pay a $55,000 fine.

Kenneth’s Conviction Is Tied Into Nicki’s Defamation Suit

In September 2022, Nicki filed a defamation lawsuit, accused blogger Nosey Heaux (real name Marley Green) of calling her a “cokehead” and of making “vile” comments about her young son. Nosey turned around and said the lawsuit is in retaliation for her support of Jennifer Hough, the woman who accused Kenneth of rape in 1994, for which he plead guilty and was convicted, serving four years in prison, per The Cut. Hough also accused Nicki and Kenneth of harassment in 2022, but later dropped the case.

“This is because I introduced Jennifer Hough. Because I encouraged Jennifer Hough publicly to sue Nicki Minaj for harassment,” Nosey said in an Instagram Live, per the outlet. “So that’s how this started.”

Kenneth Appeared In Two Of Nicki’s Music Videos

Kenneth, who goes by “Zoo” professionally, has made sultry cameos in two of his wife’s most famous music videos. Catch him in the spots for “MEGATRON” and “Hot Girl Summer,” her collab with Megan Thee Stallion. It’s a sweet gig for Kenneth, who’s said in the past that he wants to get more involved in the music industry in the future.

Kenneth’s Educational Background

Kenneth reportedly dropped out of high school and has not pursued any higher education. Wife Nicki, who went to LaGuardia High School in New York City with him, attended community college but did not receive a degree. She frequently tells her fans to get good grades and stay in school — and never skip class to see one of her concerts. In a July 2019 Instagram Live, Nicki said that her “only regret in life is not going to college.”

How Many Kids Does Kenneth Really Have?

That’s still unclear. Aside from his son with Nicki, Kenneth reportedly has five other children from past relationships. He is “reportedly in the lives of all of his children,” according to MediaTakeOut.

Kenneth Grew Up In Queens, New York

Kenneth is a native New Yorker who spent his childhood in the famed Jamaica area of Queens. He is of African-American ethnicity. Details about his family life before Nicki aren’t well known, but it’s clear that they’ve made a family of their own. Just the two of them, and their darling baby boy.