Rekindling an old flame! Nicki Minaj and her new beau, Kenneth “Zoo” Petty, have a long history.
“Nicki and Kenneth dated when she was a teenager, before she was famous,” a source tells Us Weekly, noting that the pair recently rekindled their romance when the rapper, 36, went back to Queens, New York, where she and Petty, 40, grew up.
“They linked up when she handed out turkeys for Thanksgiving in her hometown,” the source adds, referencing Minaj’s charitable holiday visit.
The Grammy nominee showed off her man on Instagram on Sunday, December 9, after celebrating her birthday with him. Many fans were quick to voice concerns about Petty’s checkered past, which prompted Minaj to disable comments on the post.
Petty has been registered as a sex offender in New York state since being convicted in 1995 of first-degree attempted rape over an incident that occurred the previous year involving a 16-year-old girl. More recently, he served prison time after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter.
Minaj defended Petty’s attempted rape conviction in an Instagram comment on Monday, December 10, writing, “he was 15, she was 16… in a relationship. But go awf, Internet. y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.”