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Cardi B Judge Says YouTuber Tasha K Must Pay $4M or Secure Funding During Defamation Appeal

The rapper's lawyers have warned that Tasha is taking "steps to insulate herself" from the huge damages award against her.

The federal judge didn’t phrase it quite the same as Cardi B, but the message was the same.

Months after the superstar rapper tweeted BBHMM – “bitch better have my money” – Judge William Ray ruled Thursday that a gossip blogger who made salacious claims about Cardi must either immediately pay her an almost $4 million defamation verdict, or secure a bond covering the entire amount.

With the blogger Tasha K seeking to pause the huge judgment while she appeals it, Judge Ray said he would only do so if she can post a so-called supersedeas bond covering the entire amount. If Tasha (real name Latasha Kebe) loses her appeal, that money will then be automatically handed to Cardi.

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Issued by private lenders, such bonds allow a losing litigant to delay paying a full judgment while they appeal. But they typically require large upfront deposits and property collateral to cover an eventual payment in the event that the appeal is unsuccessful.

Cardi’s lawyers asked for the bond last month, citing Tasha’s own public statements like one suggesting she had perhaps moved to Africa. They said they were worried she might use the delay caused by the appeal to avoid paying entirely.

“This is more than a hypothetical concern in this case,” attorney Lisa F. Moore and Cardi’s other lawyers wrote Friday. “During the litigation, Kebe bragged publicly that she had taken steps to insulate herself from a judgment. And there have been recent online reports that Kebe has moved from Georgia to avoid enforcement of the judgment.”

The judge did order additional briefing on the total amount of the bond, saying he might consider “an amount less than the full amount of the judgment” if properly persuaded. Lawyers for Tasha did not immediately return requests for comment. Lawyers for Cardi declined to comment.

Cardi B (real name Belcalis Almánzar) sued Tasha in 2019, seeking to end what the rapper’s lawyers called a “malicious campaign” to hurt Cardi’s reputation. The star’s attorneys said they had repeatedly tried – and failed – to get her to pull her videos down.

One Tasha video cited in the lawsuit includes a statement that Cardi had done sex acts “with beer bottles on f—ing stripper stages.” Others videos said the superstar had contracted herpes; that she had been a prostitute; that she had cheated on her husband; and that she had done hard drugs.

Following a trial in January, jurors sided decisively with Cardi B, holding Tasha liable for defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. They awarded more than $2.5 million in damages and another $1.3 million in legal fees incurred by the rapper, and Judge Ray later issued an injunction forcing her to pull the videos from the internet.

Tasha appealed that verdict last month, arguing in her opening appellate brief that Judge Ray withheld key details from jurors and the verdict was the result of a “very lopsided” trial. She’s vowed to keep fighting the case “all the way to the Supreme Court if need be,” even if it “takes years” to do so.

But Thursday’s order means that appeal will not offer Tasha much reprieve from the judgment unless she wins it. And appeals like the one Tasha is fighting face long odds, particularly when they seek to overturn a jury’s verdict.

It’s unclear if she would be able to pay the judgment or secure a supersedeas bond; in a recent Instagram post, she claimed to have withdrawn the last $1,083 from her bank account. Federal bankruptcy is an option, though civil judgments and other debts incurred by wrongdoing aren’t always discharged through that process.