Cardi B, Hennessy Carolina and Michelle Diaz are facing a lawsuit over a Labor Day Weekend incident in New York.
According to a lawsuit filed in Suffolk County on Sept. 21 and obtained by Billboard, plaintiffs Peter Caliendo, Pauline Caliendo and Manuel Alarcon say that they were at a beach near Smith Point on Sept. 6 when the defendants parked and blocked Alarcon’s vehicle. When Alarcon — wearing a MAGA hat — approached driver Diaz (who is Carolina’s girlfriend), Carolina started filming the interaction and allegedly “shouting foul and threatening language and defamatory statements.”
The suit claims that Carolina, who is Cardi B’s sister, “sprayed her copious spittle upon said plaintiffs as she raged,” and that she should know the dangers of that behavior during the coronavirus pandemic. They also accused her of using intimidating language against them such as the N-word, “racist,” threatening “F–k these n—-s before I bring my f—–g n—-s to beat your f—–g a– for real,” and more. Per the suit, Carolina also told the plaintiffs she has “9.5 million followers” and then published the videos online.
They also accused Cardi B, Carolina and Diaz of editing the posted videos “to remove portions thereof, and thereby hold plaintiffs in a false light, so as to tend to expose and in fact expose each plaintiff to public contempt, ridicule and disgrace and harm,” and accusing the plaintiffs of “racism.”
In sum, they are accusing Carolina of assault and battery, and all three women of defamation of character and violating civil rights to privacy. Per the suit, the plaintiffs are suffering from “fear, intimidation, and mental anguish,” and the loss of fair market value of the use of each plaintiffs’ depictions.” They are seeking attorney’s fees, punitive damages, exemplary damages, costs and disbursements.
“These peaceful Suffolk County residents were quietly enjoying a Sunday at the Smith Point beach with their families, when rap celebrity Hennessy Carolina suddenly approached them, raging, spitting, insulting, assaulting, defaming and threatening them, all the while videotaping them because one of them wore a MAGA hat,” John Ray, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told ABC New York. “Then Hennessy, Cardi B and celebrity model Michelle Diaz deviously edited the videotape and published the edited version all over social media, across the world for all to see, and maliciously falsely labeled these residents and their families as ‘N…s’ and as racists. … Real threats of harm were made. They live in fear now. Their reputations have been ruined.”
Cardi B tweeted about the incident Sept. 6, including audio of Carolina and Diaz discussing the situation from their point of view. “We moved out of respect and you still came — two men — to us, and yelled ‘Get out of here; go to your f—–g country’ because you saw us parking here and we were speaking Spanish?!” one of them can be heard saying.
The “WAP” rapper also tweeted a video of the incident that Carolina had shared to Instagram Stories that day.
Billboard has reached out to Cardi B’s rep for comment.