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Nicki Minaj’s Indo-Trinidadian Father Dies in Hit-and-run Accident on Long Island

Nicki Minaj’s Indo-Trinidadian Father Dies in Hit-and-run Accident on Long Island

Staff Writer
  • Minaj has had a rocky relationship with her father. In several interviews, the rapper and singer has described her father as a drug addict and an abuser.

Rapper Nicki Minaj’s father has died in a hit-and-run accident in New York. Citing a  statement from the Nassau County Police Department, news reports say Robert Maraj, 64, was walking in Mineola, Long Island, on Feb. 12  evening when he was “was struck by a northbound, undescribed vehicle that left the scene of the accident.” Maraj was taken to a hospital in critical condition and died, Feb. 13. The incident remains under investigation. 

Maraj, a  financial executive and part-time gospel singer is of Indo-Trinidadian and Afro-Trinidadian ancestry. 

Minaj has not yet made public comments about her father’s death, but news reports say that her representative had confirmed the death. 

Minaj has had a rocky relationship with her father. She has posted photos of the two together on her social media handles. However, in several interviews, the rapper and singer has described her father as a drug addict and an abuser.

After her parents moved to the United States from Trinidad, Minaj joined them two years later in Jamaica in Queens, New York. She was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and raised in New York City. 

After her parents moved to the United States from Trinidad, Minaj joined them two years later in Jamaica in Queens, New York. She was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and raised in New York City. 

In 2010 she told Details magazine about how Maraj was allegedly abusive toward her mother, his wife Carol. “He drank a lot and did drugs, and he would get violent when he did. When he set fire to the house, he was attempting to kill my mother,” she said at the time.

In a 2015 interview with the New York Times, she admitted that her father didn’t abuse her. “I would always hear him yelling and cursing, always. And it made me feel it was the way to interact, because that’s how I saw him interacting.’’

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She told Rolling Stone in 2010 that as a child, she “always felt like being rich would cure everything,” allowing her to take care of her mother so they could leave her father. “That was always what drove me,” she said. I thought: “If I’m successful, I can change her life.”

The news of Maraj’s death comes four months after Minaj welcomed her first child with husband Kenneth Petty. 

A year ago, in January 2020, Minaj’s brother Jelani Maraj was sentenced to life in prison in January 2020 for raping 11-year-old stepdaughter. The New York Daily News reported at the time that Jelani Maraj was convicted in 2017 in Nassau County Court. “The girl testified at the three-week trial that Maraj anally raped her and slapped her in the face at their Baldwin home before telling her to keep quiet about his actions,” the New York daily New reported. 

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