Celebrity blogger Latasha Kebe made a rambling and defiant live address on YouTube Wednesday, vowing to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal the new $4 million jury verdict reached Monday that found her liable for defaming Cardi B.
“These last four years fighting this conspiracy case have been extremely challenging, and yet I wouldn’t change a single thing about any of it. I’ve learned so much,” Kebe, also known as Tasha K, claimed as more than 29,000 viewers tuned in to watch her evening address on her UnWineWithTashaK channel.
Staring into the camera, Kebe bizarrely claimed she was the true victim in the case, not the rapper she falsely and repeatedly claimed had herpes and worked as a prostitute. Without ever identifying Cardi by name, Kebe alleged that a “machine” driven by “corporate interests” including “prostitution, drug use, promiscuity,” and the “glorification” of violence, had “tried to squeeze us for everything.”
“This case was meant to drain me financially, and it did not,” she said, claiming she actually planned to expand her online blogging business after the federal jury in Georgia ordered her to pay $4 million in damages and fees. “I know ya’ll maybe think this is over, but no, this is just the beginning. I will spend as many years as I can to protect our right to voice our opinions.”
Beyond her appeal, the Georgia resident didn’t elaborate on how she might address the $1.25 million in real damages, $1.5 million in punitive damages and $1.34 million in fees and expenses she now owes Cardi and her lawyers. Such awards for intentional torts can’t be expunged through bankruptcy.
“This trial was purely sympathy and payola to protect corporate interests, and we intend to take this all the way to the Supreme Court if need be,” she said. “This is my life, and I will spend my life fighting for my livelihood and our First Amendment right as human beings.”
Cardi, whose real name is Belcalis Almánzar, sued Kebe in 2019 after the blogger uploaded at least 38 videos referencing the rapper and making various false claims including that Cardi worked as a prostitute, used cocaine and would give birth to a child with developmental disabilities.
Kebe also posted on Twitter that the “WAP” rapper had herpes and made a Facebook comment calling the Grammy-winning musician “Herpes B.”
Testifying at her trial two weeks ago, Cardi told jurors that Kebe’s prolific posting left her to feeling depressed, anxious and even “suicidal.” After the jury found Kebe liable on all counts Monday, the rapper hugged her lawyers in the courtroom.
“During this trial, all of you have learned about the darkest time in my life. That moment in time was fueled by the vile, disgusting, and completely false narratives that were repeatedly and relentlessly being shared online. I thought I would never be heard or vindicated and I felt completely helpless and vulnerable,” Cardi said in a statement Tuesday.
“I have never taken for granted the platform that my fame allows me to have, which is why for over three years I dedicated every resource I had to seek justice. And not just justice for me. The truth is that the intentional harm that was done to me, is done to countless others every day. The only difference between me and the high schooler who is being cyberbullied and lied on by their classmates is the money and resources I have access to. We collectively have to say enough is enough,” she said.