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YouTuber Who Defamed Cardi B Can’t Dodge Most of $4M Judgment Via Bankruptcy

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Two years after Cardi B won a nearly $4 million defamation verdict against a YouTube host named Tasha K over her salacious lies about drug use, STDs and prostitution, a federal judge has ruled that the gossip blogger cannot avoid paying most of the judgment through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Tasha, who filed for bankruptcy in a May petition that said she had less than $60,000 in assets, will not be able to “discharge” $3.4 million owed to Cardi via the Chapter 11 process, Judge Scott M. Grossman ruled Thursday (Oct. 5) — meaning she’ll continue to be on the hook even after she exits bankruptcy.

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Bankruptcy law allows insolvent people to escape certain debts, but it doesn’t shield them from paying money they owe because of “willful and malicious injury” they caused to others. After Tasha filed for bankruptcy, Cardi’s lawyers said that exception clearly applied to the huge judgment — a debt they said Tasha had incurred by “spreading false and defamatory statements” that were intended to cause harm.

After Cardi’s attorneys made those arguments, Tasha’s lawyers didn’t really fight back, essentially agreeing that $3.4 million of the $3.9 million judgment wasn’t going to be erased by the bankruptcy. And on Friday, Judge Grossman made it official: “The award of damages [and] interest thereon pursuant … are excepted from discharge.”

The ruling leaves only $500,000 of Cardi’s judgment in doubt. That money is technically owed solely by Tasha’s company Kebe Studios LLC. Whether or not Tasha herself is required to pay it will be the subject of future proceedings before the bankruptcy court.

Tasha’s bankruptcy attorney did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday.

Cardi (real name Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar) sued Tasha (Latasha Kebe) in 2019 over what the rapper’s lawyers called a “malicious campaign” on social media and YouTube aimed at hurting 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.” Other 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 ordered her and her company to pay more than $2.5 million in damages and another $1.3 million in legal fees incurred by Cardi. Tasha appealed the verdict last summer, but a federal appeals court easily rejected that request in March.

Cardi B has repeatedly vowed to recover the money. Shortly after she won the jury verdict, she tweeted “imma come for everything” along with the acronym BBHMM — “bitch better have my money.” And her lawyers spent months legally pursuing the money, including garnishing her YouTube monetization account.

But in May, Tasha said there was barely any money for Cardi to take. In her bankruptcy petition, she listed just $58,595 in total assets to her name, the vast majority of which came from a truck that’s tied as collateral to an unpaid auto loan. She listed only $11,750 in other properties, including two Louis Vuitton purses and just $95 in actual cash in her bank account. She counted the trademark to her “UnWineWithTashaK” YouTube channel as an asset, but says the value of the brand is “unknown.”

Lawyers for Cardi quickly filed a so-called adversary proceeding — a lawsuit-like process that takes place within a larger bankruptcy case — to ensure that Tasha couldn’t dodge the damages she owes. It was that case that led to Friday’s decision.

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