It's hot under the spotlight
When Nicki Minaj’s brother, Jelani Maraj, was first taken into custody for repeatedly sexually abusing his step-daughter, his defense team seemed hopeful. Shortly after the superstar posted her brother’s $100,000 bond, rumors swirled that Nicki would take the stand to testify on her older sibling’s behalf. In terms of their case, Jelani’s lawyers put a lot of weight on Nicki’s testimony — so much that the 38-year-old turned down his 15-year-to-life plea deal.
Though the district attorney’s office found Maraj’s DNA on the minor, then 11 years old, and she was able to describe the abuse in “graphic detail,” Maraj’s lawyers claimed he was being framed as part of a scheme for money. The “Super Bass” artist was supposed to sit on the stand and tell jurors about her interaction with her brother’s wife of less than a year.
In the middle of the trail, reports broke that Nicki Minaj claimed Jacqueline Robinson, Jelani Maraj’s then-wife, offered to drop the charges if Nicki handed over $25 million. The defense, adamant that Maraj was innocent of all charges, appealed to the jurors, saying, “Why would [Robinson] lie and force her children to lie? I can give you 25 million reasons why.”
“An evil Jackie targeted him,” the lawyer added, “trying to get him to marry her, and then just four months after they were married, we have this.”
However, Nicki did not take the stand to defend her brother. On Nov. 9, news that Jelani Maraj was going to prison hit the headlines. In a three-week trial, the jury found Jelani guilty of predatory sexual assault against a child and endangering the welfare of a child, leaving him to face 25-years-to-life in prison.
Nicki has yet to comment on the situation, but she reportedly went to visit her brother in jail alongside her mother.
It is damning, though circumstantial, evidence of Jelani’s guilt that Nicki didn’t come to his aid. Whether the Pink Friday rapper’s refusal to testify for her brother single-handedly sent him to prison remains to be seen though. All Jelani’s defense team has said so far is that they plan to appeal the verdict.
Even more damning is that Nicki reportedly did not what to go see Jelani in prison. The “Anaconda” rapper found herself at Nassau County Jail only because her mother, Carol, hadn’t seen her son since the verdict. According to TMZ‘s sources, Nicki has been unusually distant from her brother since he was charged.
Do it for the internet
Just because her brother has been convicted of serious criminal charges doesn’t mean Nicki is laying low or staying out of the public eye. Though she attempted to go see her older sibling in prison as quietly as possible, she loudly tried to “break the internet” with her PAPER magazine cover earlier this week.
Possibly trying to switch topics from the bad press surrounding her name lately, the 34-year-old artist participated in a “Minaj à Trois” themed photoshoot. Clad in several barely-there outfits, the star is shown in a three-way with herself and herself. Unfortunately, some of her fans and hip-hop veteran Eve wasn’t impressed.
“But as a woman, I personally would not be able to do that. In this climate I think it’s not good,” Eve shared amongst her co-hosts on The Talk. “I just don’t think it’s right.”
Jelani will be sentenced on Dec. 14. What do you think about his jury’s decision? Sound off in the comments and SHARE this article.