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Cardi B Is Sentenced Following 2018 Strip Club Brawl and Insists “These Moments Don’t Define Me”

Rapper and actress Cardi B pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from a 2018 incident at Angels Strip Club in Queens, New York, where she was involved in a brawl that saw a number of people, including Cardi herself, throwing bottles and chairs at each other. Cardi also admitted to paying someone $5,000 to beat up a woman who was employed by the club.

The two counts of misdemeanor charges were determined to be third-degree assault and second-degree reckless endangerment, while another 10 charges involved with the case were dropped.

Cardi B was then sentenced to 15 days of community service, with the stipulation that she would have to spend 15 days in jail if she does not complete the community service in full, reports Good Morning America. A total of 10 people, many of whom started throwing bottles and other items at Cardi’s request, were involved in the incident.

According to The Guardian, the rapper appeared in court with two co-defendants, Jeffrey Bush and Tawana Jackson-Morel. Both co-defendants pleaded guilty, as well, and Bush was sentenced to six months in jail. The incident stemmed from a conversation between Cardi and a bartender at the Queens strip club, who claimed that she was having an affair with Cardi’s husband, Offset, a rapper known as a member of the hip-hop trio Migos.

All three co-defendants have agreed to stay away from the two bartenders, the woman involved in the alleged affair as well as her sister. The indictments handed down by the grand jury follow an April 2019 decision where Cardi rejected a plea agreement, with the rapper, her co-defendants, and her legal team opting to pursue another plea deal, reports NBC News.

Vanity Fair reports a statement from Cardi’s lawyer, Drew Findling, who said, “There are too many things that she has planned for her family, for her career, and for the community.’ He continued, “She just felt, quite honestly, that a three-week jury trial was going to be a distraction from the things that she felt were most important. And so hence, we made contact with the prosecution.”

Cardi also provided an official statement on the day of sentencing. “Part of growing up and maturing is being accountable for your actions. As a mother, it’s a practice that I am trying to instill in my children, but the example starts with me,” the rapper wrote. “I’ve made some bad decisions in my past that I am not afraid to face and own up to.”

She continued, “These moments don’t define me and they are not reflective of who I am now. I’m looking forward to moving past this situation with my family and friends and getting back to the things I love the most – the music and my fans.”

Queens district attorney Melinda Katz was satisfied by the jury’s decision, according to HuffPost. In an official statement, she wrote, “In pleading guilty today, Ms. Belcalis Almanzar and two co-defendants have accepted responsibility for their actions,” adding, “which includes appropriate community service.”

Jeff Kern, a lawyer involved with the case, also agreed with the sentencing agreement, saying, “The idea is she’s going to do something that plays to her strengths, in terms of reaching people, particularly young people,” adding, “Positive messages about education, about staying on track.”

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