Everything to Know About Nicki Minaj's New Husband Kenneth 'Zoo' Petty
Nicki Minaj is officially a married woman!
The rapper, 36, announced on Monday that she had tied the knot with Kenneth Petty after almost a year of dating, sharing a video of matching “Mr. and Mrs.” mugs and “Bride and Groom” baseball caps on Instagram.
It was just last December that Minaj became Instagram official with Petty, 41.
The pair first sparked romance rumors after Minaj posted photos with him in Nov. 2018. Since then, the pair haven’t shied away from showing their affection for each other in photos on social media.
But while Minaj appears to be very much in love, her fans have been quick to point out her man’s problematic backstory, which includes jail time for manslaughter and his status as a registered sex offender.
Here’s all the chatter about Kenneth “Zoo” Petty.
1. Kenneth Petty is from Minaj’s past.
Minaj confirmed that the pair met years ago in her verse on Chance the Rapper’s reggae-tinged song “Zanies and Fools.”
“I met my husband when I was 17 out in Queens / If you love it, let it go, now I know what that means / While he was up North for a body / I bodied everybody and got known for my body,” she raps.
The couple first dated when Minaj was 16 years old and living in Queens, New York City, according to TMZ, which also reported that the rapper has referred to him as “one of her first loves” and is “confident he’s matured” over the years.
2. He’s a registered sex offender and was convicted of manslaughter.
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.
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 outlet, Petty pleaded 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.
In response to Instagram comment criticisms about the relationship, the “Barbie Dreams” artist wrote, “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.”
This past July, Minaj clapped back at critics of her relationship again during an episode of her Queen Radio podcast.
“When a person is with a n— that loved them before they had a dime in their pocket? How do you not understand that? How do you not understand happiness vs clout?” Minaj said on the episode, according to E! News.
“How f—ing dare you talk about lowering standards,” she added, before telling haters to “wake up” and realize that love should not be based on materialistic desires and circumstances.
“It’s the truth, money cannot buy me happiness and good sex,” Minaj said.
3. Petty spent his 2018 birthday weekend with her.
While celebrating in Turks and Caicos, Minaj shared two photos — one that features her posing with her leg wrapped around Petty while he looks at her lovingly and 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.
Another 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.
4. The couple got a marriage license in June — and revealed they would be married within 80 days in August.
“We did get our marriage license,” Minaj said on her Apple Beats 1 show in June. “I think I have what I was striving for, just happiness. It was so hard to get to a happy place. Now that I’m there, I don’t want to compromise that for anyone or anything.”
“We still had to pick it up and I was traveling, by the time I came back, we had to renew it again,” she explained. “From that time, you have 90 days to get married. That was about a week ago, so now I have about 80 days.”
Even though she made it official, Minaj still had music priorities to attend to.
“I have to work on my album and I have a lot to focus on that I don’t want to do the big wedding now,” she said at the time. “We’ll do the big wedding later.”
5. She already has babies on the brain — and possibly in the belly?
In July, Minaj left fans speculating that she was expecting a baby with Petty, after hearing her verse on “Zanies and Fools.”
“He the Clyde to my Bonnie, ’bout to walk down the aisle and be a mommy,” raps Minaj on the track. “Ooh, I remember when I cried like, ‘Why me?’ / Now I wouldn’t exchange my life for Armani.”
The “Megatron” rapper also paired those lyrics with a photo of her and Petty posted on Thursday prior to the song’s release.
Then just one month later, the rapper claimed on Twitter that she was going to retire to focus on family.
“I’ve decided to retire & have my family. I know you guys are happy now. To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me … Love you for LIFE,” Minaj posted on the social media site in a since-deleted Tweet.
She later clarified her message and reassured fans she’s “still right here” and “still madly in love” with her fans.
“In hindsight, this should’ve been a Queen Radio discussion & it will be,” she wrote, referring to her Apple Beats 1 show. “I promise u guys will be happy. No guests, just us talking about everything.”
“The tweet was abrupt & insensitive, I apologize babe ❤️🙏,” Minaj added.