Rapper Cardi B pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to several charges related to a brawl last year at a New York strip club.
The 26-year-old hip-hop star, whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar, was arraigned in Queens County Criminal Court along with Tawana Jackson-Morel and Jeffrey Bush, according to a statement from Acting Queens District Attorney John Ryan. All three are charged in a 12-count felony indictment with attempted assault, harassment, conspiracy and reckless endangerment.
“Not guilty sir, honor,” Cardi said in court Tuesday, according to ABC 7.
Cardi was arrested and released in October on two misdemeanors related to an Aug. 29 fight at Angels Gentlemen’s Club and Restaurant in College Point, Queens. The musician reportedly rejected a plea deal early on, but her charges were upgraded to felonies in a Friday indictment after prosecutors allegedly found new information in the case last month and presented it to a grand jury.
According to police, the incident began when Cardi and others with her started arguing with a bartender. A brawl broke out that included throwing hookah pipes, bottles and chairs.
“The victims allegedly had glass bottles hurled at them, alcoholic drinks thrown in their faces and one woman’s head was slammed into the bar,” Ryan said in his statement. “This kind of violence won’t be tolerated in our community. The defendants will be held accountable for their alleged actions.”
The “I Like It” rapper’s lawyer had maintained she didn’t harm anyone.
Cardi’s next court appearance will be scheduled after Jackson-Morel and Bush return to court Sept. 9, according to Ryan. All three were released on Tuesday but could face up to four years in prison if convicted.
The arraignment came just days after the Bronx-born rapper won Album of the Year and Best Female Hip Hop Artist of the Year at Sunday’s BET Awards. At a performance in Los Angeles the night before, Cardi addressed her legal drama and said, “I ain’t going to jail,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Read the indictment below: