A federal judge rules that, despite filing for bankruptcy, the YouTuber who defamed Cardi B is still on the hook for over $3.4 million.
YouTuber Tasha K must still pay Cardi B the more than $3.4 million she owes in the defamation judgement ruled in January 2022, despite filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year. Latasha Kebe, a YouTube gossip vlogger under the name Tasha K, filed for bankruptcy in May this year, 18 months after a federal judge ruled in Cardi B’s favor in a nearly $4 million defamation lawsuit against Kebe.
But Judge Scott M. Grossman ruled on Thursday, October 5, that Kebe cannot “discharge” the $3.4 million owed to Cardi B through her Chapter 11 filing — so she’ll still be on the hook for the payments even after exiting bankruptcy. While bankruptcy law allows insolvent individuals to evade certain debts, money owed because of “willful and malicious injury” caused to others is an exception.
Attorneys for Cardi B insisted that the exception undoubtedly applied here, as Kebe incurred the debt through “spreading false and defamatory statements” intended to cause career damage to their client. Kebe’s lawyers offered no rebuttal, and Judge Grossman ruled on Friday that the money owed was ineligible for discharge.
The ruling pertains to $3.4 million of the $3.9 million judgement — Tasha K’s company, Kebe Studios LLC, owes the remaining $500,000. Future proceedings before the bankruptcy court will determine whether Kebe herself is on the hook for that money.
The lawsuit stems from 2019 when Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, sued Latasha Kebe over a “malicious campaign” on social media and in YouTube videos aimed at harming the star’s reputation. Cardi B’s attorneys had tried and failed repeatedly to have Tasha K’s videos taken down; the lawsuit cites videos saying the star had herpes, that she had been a prostitute, had done hard drugs, and that she had cheated on her husband.
Kebe was held liable for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. The court ordered her to pay over $3.5 million in damages and another $1.3 million in Cardi B’s legal fees. Tasha appealed the verdict last year, but a federal appeals court rejected it in March.
In May, Kebe reported having less than $60,000 in assets, mostly from a vehicle linked as collateral to an unpaid auto loan.