- A trial has begun in Atlanta for Cardi B’s 2019 lawsuit against a YouTuber.
- The rapper alleges that Latasha Kebe made false claims about her in several videos.
- The lawsuit claims that those false claims included that Cardi B contracted herpes and used drugs.
Cardi B arrived at an Atlanta federal courthouse on Monday to begin a trial against a YouTuber whom she has accused of defamation, Billboard reported.
The rapper alleged in a 2019 lawsuit filed in the Atlanta Division of the Northern District Court of Georgia that Latasha Kebe, who has 1 million subscribers on her channel unWinewithTashaK, went on a “malicious campaign” against her and became “obsessed” with the rapper. The lawsuit claims that Kebe made false statements about Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, in several videos, including that she had tested positive for herpes and abused drugs.
The lawsuit, which was reviewed by Insider, said that the YouTuber knew posting videos about Cardi B “would draw substantially more viewers to her content than she typically garners.”
Kebe denied the accusations and alleged in a $3 million countersuit that Cardi B had sent fans to harass her, according to Billboard. That case was dismissed by a judge last year who said there was “no evidence” of such harassment, Billboard reported.
Claims in other videos posted by Kebe include that Cardi B’s then-unborn child would have intellectual disabilities and that the rapper “prostituted for a living,” according to the complaint.
Further claims made by Kebe that have been revealed over the past two years of litigation include that Cardi B “engaged in a debasing act with a beer bottle” and “committed infidelity,” Billboard reported.
In November 2021, US District Judge William Ray ordered the Center for Women’s Pelvic Health at UCLA to send him “any and all medical records” relating to tests for herpes and HPV, Rolling Stone reported. After receiving the results, judge Ray determined they were “not helpful” to Kebe’s case.
Just selection for the case was completed on Monday, Complete Music Update reported, and proceedings began on Tuesday.
Kebe’s attorney Sadeer Sabbak urged jurors “not to make any judgment” without context, “because context is everything, especially in the media,” according to Law360. “Everyone is familiar with humor, everyone is familiar with opinion, and everyone needs context to appreciate that.”
In return, Cardi B’s lawyer Sarah M. Matz said, “Saying people have highly stigmatic diseases is not a joke,” and that Kebe “knows that statements like this, if false, are defamatory.”
Despite the lawsuit, Kebe has continued uploading videos on her YouTube channel most days, although her last video to mention Cardi B was posted over six months ago.
YouTube’s terms of service state the platform is not responsible for “the Content submitted by any user, or for the defamatory, offensive, or illegal conduct of any user.”
Under its defamation complaint requirements, it states YouTube “will only consider legal complaints where we’ve been notified by the party in question or their authorized legal representative.”
Representatives for Cardi B and Kebe did not immediately respond to requests for comment.