Hip-hop star Nicki Minaj says she was married on Monday to her boyfriend, Kenneth "Zoo" Petty, whom she has casually referred to her as her husband for many months.
"Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty 10•21•19," the "Barbie Dreams" singer, 36, born Onika Tanya Maraj, posted on Instagram Monday, along with emojis of a bride, a groom, a tearful smiley face, hands clasped in prayer, and a pink bow. Accompanying the message was a silent video of mugs reading "Mrs." and "Mr.," a white baseball cap reading "Bride" and a black baseball cap reading "Groom."
"Congrats queen!" commented music star Christina Aguilera. Supermodel Naomi Campbell wrote, "Congratulations to you both on your beautiful Union," while TV personality La La Anthony said, "Congrats Nick‼️‼️u did it." Others offering good wishes included fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons, head of the KLS label, and "Basketball Wives" reality-TV star Evelyn Lozada.
Minaj on Aug. 16 changed her verified Twitter account's display name to "Mrs. Petty." Earlier this summer she had said on her Apple Music / Beats 1 show "Queen Radio" that the couple had obtained a marriage license, but that because she had been traveling extensively that they had had to renew it. She noted, "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," adding "We'll do the big wedding later."
The two, who had known each other in their youth, sparked unease among fans and some in the music industry when Minaj and Petty, who is in his early 40s, began dating last year and his criminal record became public. Minaj has shrugged off any concerns.
New York State sex-offender records show that while still a minor teen, Petty in April 1995 was convicted of the attempted rape of a 16-year-old girl the previous September. He served an indeterminate amount of prison time, according to People magazine, and remains a Level 2 registered sex offender (moderate risk) in New York State. Court documents obtained by TheBlast.com show he additionally pleaded guilty in Queens in March 2006 to a manslaughter charge for shooting Lamont Robinson to death on April 27, 2002. He served seven years in prison and was released in May 2013.