Cardi B Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Strip Club Brawl Charges After Rejecting Plea Deal to Misdemeanor
In April, Cardi B rejected a plea deal that would've granted her a conditional discharge
Cardi B is back in court for her ongoing legal battle over a strip club brawl.
On Tuesday, the rapper, who was born Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, was seen in New York City’s Queens Criminal Court. Reuters reports that she pled not guilty to numerous charges, including two felonies for attempted assault with intent to cause serious injury. Other misdemeanor charges include harassment, criminal solicitation, conspiracy and reckless endangerment.
She entered the courthouse wearing a blue and pink pantsuit paired with a bright pink handbag as bodyguards led her inside the facility. Fans lining the stairs yelled “Free Cardi B!” as she passed.
According to ABC 7 New York and TMZ, Cardi declined the judge’s offer to read her charges aloud in court. Then the star leaned into the microphone and addressed the judge, saying: “Not guilty, sir — your Honor.” Her two co-defendants also pleaded not guilty.
On Friday, a Queens district court spokeswoman confirmed to PEOPLE that Cardi, 26, was indicted by a grand jury on 14 charges for her part in the melee that took place last August.
During her performance at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Saturday, Cardi remained defiant on the matter, chanting “I ain’t going to jail, I got a daughter,” at the end of her set.
However, in April, she rejected a plea deal that would’ve granted her a conditional discharge in return for pleading guilty.
Outside the courthouse on Tuesday, Cardi’s co-counsel, Jeff Kern and Drew Findling, offered a statement to reporters which he later shared with PEOPLE.
“We don’t think the indictment changes anything,” says Kern. “We understood it was a possibility. We are under a constitutional obligation to effectively and thoroughly investigate the accuracy of the allegations and we will continue to do so.”
Findling added: “I know Cardi on a personal level. I know her as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a sister and a friend to many. I know her as a caring, loving and kind person which is why I happily accepted her invitation to join her defense team. Along with Cardi, our entire defense team is 100 percent confident this matter will result in a positive outcome for her.”
Representatives for Cardi’s accusers declined PEOPLE’s request for comment.
In October 2018, the star surrendered to police and was subsequently arrested before she was charged with one count of assault and two counts of reckless endangerment.
The charges reportedly stem from an incident that occurred in August, when two bartenders, Baddie Gi and Jade, at Angels Strip Club claimed that Cardi ordered an attack on the women because she believed her husband, Migos rapper Offset, had had an affair with one of them.
A police spokesperson told CNN that Cardi was allegedly “throwing chairs, bottles and hookahs in the club at 3 a.m.” NBC New York reported Cardi was caught on camera tossing an ice bucket at the women.
Kern previously told reporters he was “aware of no evidence that she caused anybody any harm on that night. We expect that the matter is going to be resolved expeditiously.”