The rapper appeared to make her romance with Kenneth "Zoo" Petty, who is a registered sex offender in New York, Instagram official over the weekend

By Brianne Tracy
December 10, 2018 06:15 PM
Advertisement
Nicki Minaj and Kenneth “Zoo” Petty
Nicki Minaj/Instagram

Fans are not impressed with Nicki Minaj’s new beau.

The “Barbie Dreams” rapper appeared to make her reported romance with Kenneth “Zoo” Petty — who is a registered sex offender in New York — Instagram official over the weekend after posting photos of him from her 36th birthday celebration in Turks and Caicos.

On Sunday, Minaj shared two photos — one that features her posing with her leg wrapped around Petty while he looks at her lovingly another shot of him looking off into the distance — along with a caption quoting lyrics from Adele’s 2015 hit, “Hello.”

“Did you ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happens?…it’s no secret…that the both of us…are running out of time,” Minaj wrote.

Minaj — who turned 36 on Saturday — posted numerous photos and videos from her trip over the weekend. In one since-deleted clip, Minaj stumbles while posing for pictures with two of her girlfriends and a man, who presumably is Petty, can be heard in the background laughing and saying, “Baby, get your ass up!”

A more recent collection of photos features a nearly-naked Minaj posing on a bed with Petty, who snaps their picture in a mirror. “Oh they wanna talk? Let’s give’m smthn to talk about,” she captioned the image.

Minaj disabled the comments on the post debuting her new relationship after fans started slamming her for being with Petty given his questionable past.

Petty, 40, is a level two registered sex offender in New York, which means he’s considered a “moderate risk of repeat offense” and will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

According to online records from the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services, Petty was convicted in April 1995 of attempted rape in the first degree for an incident that occurred in September 1994 involving a 16-year-old girl. He was sentenced to 18 to 54 months in prison, but it is unclear how much time he actually served.

Minaj responded to a fan in the comments, writing, “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.”

TMZ reports Minaj has known Petty since they were teenagers and is “confident he’s matured.” The site reports sources close to Minaj claim the mother of Petty’s girlfriend at the time filed the charges because she did not approve of him.

Neither a manager nor a rep for Minaj returned PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Petty also pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of a man named Lamont Robinson in 2002, according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Blast.

According to The Blast, Petty plead guilty to the manslaughter charge in March 2006 and served seven years in prison after being sentenced to 10. Petty was released in May 2013, and had been on supervised release for five years until May of this year, records accessed by PEOPLE show.

One Twitter user posted a meme that says “Oh no baby, what is you doing???” in reaction to the news with the caption, “It has come to my attention that Nicki Minaj‘s new boyfriend not only a convicted rapist, but also a murderer. 🙊🙊🙊 Not that I meddle into her personal life but I did cos [sic], Girl…”

Another joked that Petty’s name is a sign that Minaj shouldn’t be with him, “Nicki Minaj’s new man’s name is Kenneth Petty….That name is a sign… DUMP 👏🏾 HIM 👏🏾 SIS 👏🏾.”

Some fans expressed concern for Minaj while noting that her 40-year-old brother, Jelani Maraj, was found guilty in November 2017 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl. Minaj has also openly supported rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, who she collaborated with on their track “Fefe” and who was sentenced to four years of probation in October for his involvement in a sexually explicit video depicting a 13-year-old girl.

“I hate to say it, but after #NickiMinaj defended her brother (sex offender) and 6ix9ine (sex offender), I can’t honestly say I’m surprised to hear she’s now defending her new boyfriend- another sex offender,” one Twitter user wrote. “It’s really, really sad.”

Another said, “I’m very concerned about Nicki Minaj’s new hometown boyfriend! Ruined my weekend. No good will come of it, Barbs!”

Minaj first sparked the romance rumors after she posted photos of her hanging out with Petty last month. Last Thursday, she took to Twitter to call out commenters on social media but did not directly say what prompted her to do so: “No one on social media has ever sinned. They are all perfect. They piss champagne & walk on streets of gold,” she wrote.

Minaj has previously been linked to Safaree Samuels, Meek Mill and Nas.