Nicki Minaj’s mother has filed a civil suit in the death of the rapper’s father, Robert Maraj, who died last month in a fatal hit-and-run accident.
The $150 million lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of her mother, Carol Maraj, against the driver in the Supreme Court of the State of New York by Ben Crump Law, according to a statement shared by the lawyer’s verified social media accounts.
Maraj, 64, was crossing the street in Long Island on Feb. 12 when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Charles Polevich, 70, who stopped to ask the injured man if he was OK but didn’t call for help before leaving, according to the Nassau County Police. Maraj was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead the next day.
Nicki Minaj’s father dies: Robert Maraj, 64, was killed in hit-and-run accident
“After striking Maraj, (Charles) Polevich left the accident scene and did not call for emergency services or render aid to Maraj,” Crump wrote. “He was not only irresponsible and negligent, but more concerned about running away and hiding than seeking help.
“Polevich’s behavior was criminal, cowardly, and immoral. We will hold him responsible for his reckless actions that led to Robert Maraj’s death!”
USA TODAY has reached out to Minaj’s representative and Crump for comment.
Polevich’s attorney, Marc C. Gann of Collins, Gann, McCloskey & Barry PLLC, shared a statement with USA TODAY on behalf of his client.
“Mr. Polevich has expressed empathy and condolences to the Maraj family. While the civil suit is not unexpected, the criminal charges pending against Mr. Polevich have no bearing on the civil case. It has yet to be determined whether there was any negligence involved in the accident or the degrees of any negligence,” the statement says. “I will add that the amount demanded is shocking to say the least and I don’t believe is in any way reasonable.”
Polevich has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and tampering with evidence. Police said he parked his 1992 Volvo station wagon in a detached garage after the accident to conceal it.
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Minaj, 38, born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Queens, New York, has not spoken publicly about her father’s death.
She gave birth to her first child with husband Kenneth Petty last September in Los Angeles. Minaj announced that she was expecting her first child in July 2020, just a few months after the performer said she would be retiring.
The couple has been private about their new baby boy and his name, though Minaj has revealed that they almost named him Ninja.
“Becoming a mom is by far the most fulfilling job I’ve ever taken on. Sending love to all the superhero mothers out there,” she wrote on Instagram in January with first-look photos of her son. “Big hugs to all the women who have been pregnant during this challenging time.”
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff and Rasha Ali, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press