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Cops: Nicki Minaj's father killed by hit-and-run driver in Mineola

Nicki Minaj attends the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020

Nicki Minaj attends the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show during New York Fashion Week in New York City, on Feb. 12, 2020. Credit: Getty Images for Marc Jacobs / Jamie McCarthy

Rapper Nicki Minaj’s father, Robert Maraj, died after he was struck in a hit-and-run in Mineola, Nassau County police said Sunday.

Maraj, 64, of Mineola, was walking in the roadway on Roslyn Road at Raff Avenue around 6:15 p.m. on Friday when he was struck by an unidentified vehicle traveling northbound, police said. The vehicle fled, and Maraj was transported in critical condition to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead Saturday.

The area where Maraj was struck is residential, but Roslyn Road is frequently traveled as a route between Jericho Turnpike and businesses, government buildings and medical facilities around Old Country Road.

Minaj, 38, who was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and Tobago and was raised in South Jamaica, Queens, has not issued a public statement on her father's death.

Minaj has said in interviews that she used music as an escape from a difficult childhood, citing that her father was abusive and struggled with an addiction to drugs and alcohol.

David Schwartz, a Garden City-based attorney who represented Minaj's brother, Jelani Maraj, in a recent trial, said: "Robert Maraj was in court for every day of the trial and most court appearances. I know he loved Jelani dearly and was a true gentleman to speak with in court."

Jelani Maraj of Baldwin was convicted in 2017 for sexually assaulting his former stepdaughter and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison last year.

Police ask anyone with information on the hit-and-run to call 800-244-TIPS.

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