Cardi B Reacts to Winning Libel Lawsuit, Says Trial Made Public the 'Darkest Time' in Her Life
By Paige Gawley
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Playboy Enterprises International, Inc.
Cardi B is reacting to her big win in court. In a statement to ET, the 29-year-old rapper said that coming out victorious in her libel lawsuit against YouTuber Latasha Kebe, who goes by the name of Tasha K, has brought her "great happiness."
According to court docs obtained by ET, Cardi was awarded a total of $1.25 million in damages on Monday, after a federal jury in Atlanta, Georgia, found Kebe liable on the claims of defamation, false light, and emotional distress. She also received $1.5 million dollars in punitive damages and $1,338,753.47 for her legal fees, for a total amount of over $4 million.
"I appreciate Judge Ray for conducting a fair and impartial trial. I am grateful for the jury and their careful deliberation over the past two weeks. I am profoundly grateful for the hard work and support from my legal team," the statement read. "Most importantly, thank you to my family and close friends who held my hand and helped me get the support I needed during this experience."
Cardi filed her lawsuit in 2019, accusing Kebe of attempting to defame her with dozens of YouTube videos where Kebe made salacious allegations, including that Cardi has herpes, which the rapper denied. While testifying in federal court, Cardi said that Kebe's allegations caused her to feel "extremely suicidal" and "helpless," per Billboard.
"During this trial, all of you have learned about the darkest time in my life," Cardi's statement read. "That moment in time was fueled by the vile, disgusting, and completely false narratives that were repeatedly and relentlessly being shared online. I thought I would never be heard or vindicated and I felt completely helpless and vulnerable."
"I have never taken for granted the platform that my fame allows me to have, which is why for over three years I dedicated every resource I had to seek justice," the statement continued. "And not just justice for me. The truth is that the intentional harm that was done to me, is done to countless others every day. The only difference between me and the high schooler who is being cyberbullied and lied on by their classmates is the money and resources I have access to."
The statement continued with Cardi noting that she and others "collectively have to say enough is enough."
"We can no longer be a society that turns a blind eye to blatant lies," the statement read. "The unchecked behavior and provably false content on platforms like YouTube have to be addressed and removed. The constant harassment and lies that are reported as factual from journalists and bloggers have to end."
Cardi's statement went on to acknowledge the "power" of social media, both good and bad.
"Over the past few years, we've seen how social media platforms were able to bring important and necessary conversations to the forefront -- such as Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, and Women's Rights," the statement read. "However, we've also seen countless stories of children and adults deciding to take their own lives due to cyberbullying and intentional attacks."
"So while I am very grateful that this trial has come to its conclusion and the jury has rendered a powerful and substantial message, literally," the statement continued, "I really hope that my experience forces all of us, but especially the platforms who allow this behavior to be a part of their communities, to re-think what moves us forward as a society versus what cripples us."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).