A federal jury Monday awarded rapper Cardi B $1.25 million in damages in a libel lawsuit against a celebrity gossip blogger who had posted videos in 2018 claiming that she was a prostitute who had contracted sexually transmitted infections and used cocaine.
Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, had sued the celebrity gossiper, known as Tasha K, in 2019 for posting more than 20 videos that spread “malicious rumors” about the rapper, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, where Tasha K lives.
The jury found Tasha K, whose real name is Latasha Kebe, liable on two counts of slander and one count each of libel and invasion of privacy, according to a verdict filed Monday.
Kebe had also posted in 2018 that Almanzar had herpes outbreaks in her mouth and that she would give birth to a child with intellectual disabilities.
Almanzar, 29, testified in court this month that she “felt extremely suicidal” after Kebe posted the videos, adding that “only an evil person could do that,” Lisa Moore, a lawyer for Almanzar, said Monday.
In the lawsuit, the rapper’s lawyers said that the content would damage her reputation with her fans and affect her business prospects. Cardi B, a Grammy-winning rapper from the Bronx, New York, found fame in 2017 with her song “Bodak Yellow,” which immortalized her propensity for making “money moves.”
Kebe’s claims have helped her amass millions of views on Twitter, Instagram and her YouTube channel, unWinewithTashaK. Most of the content can still be viewed online, even though the rapper sent Kebe a cease-and-desist letter a few months after Kebe first posted about her in 2018, according to the lawsuit.
Almanzar’s lawyers said Kebe was “obsessed with slandering” the rapper and that she posted the content because it got more views than her other posts, according to the lawsuit. Almanzar’s lawyers said that the rapper was not a prostitute, had never had herpes and had never used cocaine.
Kebe’s lawyers did not immediately respond to emails or phone calls Monday.
On Monday afternoon, Kebe said on Twitter that “My Husband, Attorney’s, & I fought really hard,” adding, “it’s only up from here.”
Almanzar had filed the lawsuit against both Kebe and Starmarie Ebony Jones, a guest on Kebe’s YouTube channel who had claimed to be a former friend of the rapper.
Jones was not included in the verdict Monday because she moved to New York after Almanzar sued her, the rapper’s lawyers said. The lawyers filed another lawsuit against her in New York, where she was found liable last year on counts of libel, slander and invasion of privacy. A lawyer for Jones could not immediately be reached for comment Monday night.
This case was not the first time the rapper found herself in court. She was indicted in Queens, New York, in 2019 in connection with a fight in a strip club the year before. The case is still ongoing.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.