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Cardi B awarded $1.25 million in defamation lawsuit against celebrity gossip blogger and YouTuber Tasha K

ATLANTA — A federal jury in Atlanta has awarded Cardi B $1.25 million in a defamation lawsuit against a celebrity blogger who she says posted videos that falsely state that the award-winning rapper Grammy had used cocaine, contracted herpes, and engaged in prostitution.

Note: The video in the media player above is from a previous report.

The jury on Monday found Latasha Kebe, known online as Tasha K, and a company she owns liable for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the rapper, whose first name is Belcalis Almanzar. Kebe’s lawyers said in an email on Tuesday that they disagreed with the verdict and would appeal.

The jury awarded Cardi B $1 million in general damages for pain and suffering and/or damage to reputation and $250,000 in medical expenses.

Kebe, who lives in the Atlanta area, produces, hosts and publishes a YouTube channel called unWinewithTashaK.

Kebe began targeting Cardi B in early 2018, making “degrading and harassing statements” about her, according to the lawsuit. On September 19, 2018, Kebe posted a video of an interview she did with a woman who said she knew Cardi B before her music career. The video includes the “false, malicious and defamatory” claims that Cardi B was a prostitute, suffered from herpes and suffered from mouth outbreaks, and used cocaine.

“None of the above statements about the plaintiff are true,” the lawsuit states. “The plaintiff has never been a prostitute or a cocaine user. The plaintiff has never had, and does not yet have, herpes, nor has she had any outbreaks of herpes on the mouth.”

Shortly after the video was released, Cardi B’s attorney sent a cease and desist letter to Kebe demanding her immediate removal. Instead, Kebe posted another video on September 21, 2018, claiming everything in the video two days earlier was accurate and also claiming the rapper was cheating on her husband, according to the lawsuit.

Kebe then attacked Cardi B and made false claims about her on social media for months, according to the lawsuit.

The statements caused Cardi B to “suffer from embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional distress,” the lawsuit states. They also “damaged (Cardi B)’s reputation and character within her profession and industry, including, but not limited to, among her fans and with potential business connections.”

Kebe knew the statements she released about Cardi B were false, or knew they were likely false, when she released them, according to the lawsuit.

Cardi B originally filed the lawsuit against Kebe in March 2019. The woman Kebe interviewed in the September 2018 video was also originally a defendant, but the lawsuit against her was closed on Nov. 11, 2020, according to a filing. of the judge. in the case.

Kebe said in a court filing responding to the lawsuit that after posting the September 19, 2018 video, Cardi B contacted her via private message about the interview and was angry because personal details to her subject had been disclosed. Kebe told Cardi B she wasn’t interested in talking via private message and encouraged her to come to his YouTube channel to “tell him the truth” in an interview, the filing states.

Cardi B refused and instead “went wild” on Instagram, posting numerous videos about the information in the video and “began to publicly disparage” Kebe, claiming that she is “always making up fake stories; harasses all of Cardi B’s friends; constantly stalking Cardi B; uses Cardi B’s name for “click bait”; and numerous similar charges,” Kebe’s court filing reads.

Kebe received threats on Instagram and harassing cellphone calls, and his home address was made public, according to his court filing. She feared for her safety and that of her family and contacted the FBI office in Atlanta. After an FBI agent advised her to find a new place to live, she moved her family to another town in another county and ended up having to change her phone number, according to her file.

Kebe has filed counterclaims against Cardi B, claiming the rapper encouraged associates and fans to threaten and harass her. Cardi B and her associates engaged in a “pattern of intimidation and harassment” against her when they threatened physical violence against her, according to the court filing. In addition to the fear and anxiety Kebe experienced while dealing with a high-risk pregnancy, she also incurred unexpected expenses associated with her abrupt move, her filing shows.

Kebe said the rapper was guilty of assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress and should be liable to pay him damages and attorneys’ fees. U.S. District Judge William Ray in July dismissed Kebe’s claims, saying she had failed to provide evidence that established Cardi B as the actual cause of any alleged assault or emotional distress.

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