Nicki Minaj‘s father, Robert Maraj, died after being struck in a hit-and-run accident in New York, Us Weekly confirmed on Sunday, February 14. Though the rapper has not yet commented on her dad’s death, she previously admitted their relationship was complicated. Keep scrolling to learn more.
Minaj Tried to Protect Her Mother From Her Abusive Father
“I remember when my mother, [Carole Maraj], would let my father be violent with her and she always brings up this story about when I was a little girl, and I would stand in front of my mother [with my arms open],” she told Glamour U.K. in 2018. “That’s why maybe some people would describe me as abrasive or bitchy or whatever because I vowed from that age no man would ever abuse me, call me out my name, treat me like that.”
The Family Moved from the Caribbean for a Better Life
Minaj, her parents and siblings moved from Trinidad to Queens when she was a child, but coming to the United States didn’t make things easier for the “Super Bass” artist.
In a 2010 interview with Rolling Stone, Minaj said, “When I first came to America, I would go in my room and kneel down at the foot of my bed and pray that God would make me rich so that I could take care of my mother. Because I always felt like if I took care of my mother, my mother wouldn’t have to stay with my father, and he was the one at the time [who] was bringing us pain. We didn’t want him around at all, and so I always felt like being rich would cure everything, and that was always what drove me.”
Maraj Set Fire to Their Family Home
In 2014, The Mirror reported on an incident when Maraj — who struggled with drug addiction — allegedly set fire to the family home while Minaj’s mother was inside.
“I wanted to kill him. I used to wish he was dead,” the mother of one — who shares a son with husband Kenneth Perry — said on ABC’s Nightline of the incident. “We were afraid for my mother’s life because whenever he would have a real bad outburst, he would threaten to kill her.”
Minaj told The New York Times that her father never physically abused her, but she “would always hear him yelling and cursing, always.”
A Difficult Year
According to TMZ, 64-year-old Maraj was walking in the evening on February 12, 2021, when the hit-and-run accident happened. Minaj’s father was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, where he later died of his injuries. The NYT reports that the incident is being investigated by the Homicide Squad.
Maraj’s death comes after her brother Jelani Maraj was convicted of raping an 11-year-old child. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential support.