Nicki Minaj’s father, Robert Maraj, died over the weekend following a tragic hit-and-run. Less than six months after the arrival of Minaj’s first child with husband Kenneth Petty in September, TMZ confirmed the death of her father on Feb. 14, revealing that Maraj was walking across the street when the incident occurred. He was 64. The outlet also noted that Maraj’s relationship with Minaj, whose birth name is Onika Tanya Maraj, had been on and off for years.
According to People though, Minaj and Maraj looked to have reconciled by 2012, after Maraj completed time in rehab. In 2015, Minaj even wished her father a Happy Father’s Day on Instagram, writing to him, “Happy Father’s Day daddy!!!!!!!!!!! I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee uuuuuuuuuuuuu!”
However, when it comes to the status of their relationship at the time of Maraj’s death, it is not known where they stood, and Minaj has yet to address what happened to her dad just days ago. In the past, Minaj has been open about her troubled relationship with her father in a number of different interviews, accusing him of alcoholism, drug use, and abuse.
Nicki Minaj on her relationship with her father
“My father was abusive,” Nicki Minaj told ABC News in August 2012. “We were afraid for [my mom’s] life because whenever he would have a real bad outburst, he would threaten to kill her.” Despite the trauma she sustained as a child though, Minaj said that she had forgiven her father for the years of turmoil he put her and her family through — especially her mother.
In another 2012 interview with The Guardian, Minaj shared that her father had gone to rehab and had “cleaned himself up.” She said that he started to attend church at this time, too, and that he and her mom were still together. When asked when they had separated, the rapper was surprised at the question, explaining that they weren’t. She said, “He’s away from drugs now. He doesn’t instill fear in people any more.”
Following the hit-and-run on Sunday, Robert Maraj was rushed to the hospital in critical condition before succumbing to his injuries. An investigation into his death is ongoing.
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