Cardi B told a federal jury in Georgia Thursday (Jan. 13) that she felt “extremely suicidal” in the wake of allegedly false claims spread about her by a prominent YouTube channel as part a “malicious campaign” to hurt the rapper’s reputation.
Taking the witness stand during the fourth day of a trial against YouTuber Latasha Kebe, the “WAP” artist offered emotional testimony to her own attorneys about the toll taken by the blogger’s allegedly defamatory posts, which included claims that the star had herpes and another about a shocking incident with a beer bottle.
“I felt extremely suicidal,” Cardi B said, adding that she felt “helpless” as Kebe – a celebrity news blogger who goes by the name Tasha K – continued to broadcast alleged lies about the star to Kebe’s nearly 1 million YouTube followers. The rapper said she had also developed fatigue, anxiety, weight loss and migraines.
“Only an evil person could do that s–t,” Cardi B said, before apologizing for her language.
The testimony comes amid a lawsuit filed in 2019 by the rapper — whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar — that claims Kebe legally defamed her with dozens of videos containing shocking claims. One video cited in the lawsuit includes a statement that Cardi B “f–ked herself with beer bottles on f—king stripper stages.” The jury trial kicked off on Monday in an Atlanta federal courthouse, and is expected to run into next week.
Earlier in the trial, Kebe was questioned by Cardi B’s attorneys, during which she reportedly offered bombshell admissions. According to a report by Law360, Kebe told jurors that she knowingly published lies about the rapper to generate money for her business. That’s potentially crucial testimony, because a celebrity such as Cardi B can win such a lawsuit only if she can show that Kebe either lied intentionally or recklessly disregarded the truth.
In her own testimony on Thursday, Cardi told jurors how Kebe’s statements had harmed her. She said she had never felt suicidal before, despite well-publicized difficulties earlier in life with poverty, homelessness, and physical abuse, but that Kebe’s claims had been deeply hurtful. She said she struggled to be intimate with her husband – rapper Offset – and eventually decided to see a therapist as a result of the videos.
One of the primary claims in the lawsuit is that Kebe’s videos spread false rumors that Cardi B had contracted sexually transmitted diseases, including herpes. Some posts cited in the case referred to Cardi B as “Herpes B.”
During her testimony, the artist flatly denied she has herpes; she also recounted the specific harm caused by those claims. At one point, she described a particularly painful incident in which she posted a photo to social media of herself kissing daughter Kulture on the lips. She said that users then commented with questions about whether it was appropriate for her to do so, given the herpes rumor.
The trial will continue into Thursday afternoon, potentially with more testimony from Cardi B, before adjourning until Tuesday (Jan. 18).
Cardi B is represented in the trial by Lisa F. Moore and William A. Pequignot of the law firm Moore Pequignot LLC and by Gary P. Adelman and Sarah M. Matz of Adelman Matz PC. Kebe is represented by Sadeer Sabbak and Olga Izmaylova of Sabbak & Izmaylova PC.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255, or dial 988) for free, confidential support and resources 24/7.