A federal jury awarded the rapper Cardi B around $4 million in a libel lawsuit against a celebrity gossip blogger who had posted videos in 2018 claiming that she was a prostitute who had contracted sexually transmitted infections and used cocaine.
Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, had sued the celebrity gossiper, known as Tasha K, in 2019 for posting more than 20 videos that spread â€œmalicious rumorsâ€ about the rapper, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, where Tasha K lives.
The jury found Tasha K, whose real name is Latasha Kebe, liable on two counts of slander and one count each of libel and invasion of privacy, according to a verdict filed on Monday.
The jury awarded Ms. Almanzar $1.25 million on Monday and an additional $2.8 million on Tuesday, according to separate verdicts filed on Monday and Tuesday. The award includes $25,000 for medical expenses and around $1.3 million to cover the rapperâ€™s legal fees.
Ms. Kebe had also posted in 2018 that Ms. Almanzar had herpes outbreaks in her mouth and that she would give birth to a child with intellectual disabilities.
Ms. Almanzar, 29, testified in court this month that she â€œfelt extremely suicidalâ€ after Ms. Kebe posted the videos, adding that â€œonly an evil person could do that,â€ Lisa Moore, a lawyer for Ms. Almanzar, said on Monday.
In the lawsuit, the rapperâ€™s lawyers said that the content would damage her reputation with her fans and affect her business prospects. Cardi B, a Grammy-winning rapper from the Bronx, found fame in 2017 with her song â€œBodak Yellow,â€ which immortalized her propensity for making â€œmoney moves.â€
Ms. Kebeâ€™s claims have helped her amass millions of views on Twitter, Instagram and her YouTube channel, unWinewithTashaK. Most of the content can still be viewed online, even though the rapper sent Ms. Kebe a cease-and-desist letter a few months after Ms. Kebe first posted about her in 2018, according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Almanzarâ€™s lawyers said Ms. Kebe was â€œobsessed with slanderingâ€ the rapper, and that she posted the content because it got more views than her other posts, according to the lawsuit. Ms. Almanzarâ€™s lawyers said that the rapper was not a prostitute, had never had herpes and had never used cocaine.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ms. Kebeâ€™s lawyers, Olga Izmaylova and Sadeer Sabbak, said they disagreed with the verdict and planned to appeal it.
On Monday afternoon, Ms. Kebe said on Twitter that â€œMy Husband, Attorneyâ€™s, & I fought really hard,â€ adding, â€œitâ€™s only up from here.â€
Ms. Almanzar had filed the lawsuit against both Ms. Kebe and Starmarie Ebony Jones, a guest on Ms. Kebeâ€™s YouTube channel who had claimed to be a former friend of the rapper.
Ms. Jones was not included in the verdict on Monday because she moved to New York after Ms. Almanzar sued her, the rapperâ€™s lawyers said. The lawyers filed another lawsuit against her in New York, where she was found liable last year on counts of libel, slander and invasion of privacy. A lawyer for Ms. Jones could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday night.