The mother of rapper Nicki Minaj filed a $150 million lawsuit against a Mineola man who allegedly killed her husband in a hit-and-run accident last month, according to a statement from an attorney representing her.
Minaj’s father, Robert Maraj, died after a hit-and-run incident on Roslyn Road in Mineola on Feb 12. A few days after his death, officials from the Nassau County Police Department arrested 70-year-old Mineola resident Charles Polevich, who allegedly hit Maraj with his white 1992 Volvo station wagon.
Officials said Polevich initially stopped after hitting Maraj before he fled the scene and left Maraj on the side of the road. Maraj was taken to a local hospital, where he was initially listed in critical condition, according to the police. Polevich was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality and tampering with evidence.
The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court of Nassau County in early March, claims Polevich was negligent and careless in his actions.
“Polevich’s behavior was criminal, cowardly, and immoral,” Benjamin Crump, one of the attorneys representing Minaj’s mother, Carol Maraj, said on Instagram. “We will hold him responsible for his reckless actions that led to Robert Maraj’s death!”
Polevich’s attorney, Marc C. Gann of Collins, Gann, McCloskey & Barry PLLC gave a statement to USA Today on behalf of Polevich.
“Mr. Polevich has expressed empathy and condolences to the Maraj family,” the statement said. “While the civil suit is not unexpected, the criminal charges pending against Mr. Polevich have no bearing on the civil case. It has yet to be determined whether there was any negligence involved in the accident or the degrees of any negligence.”
Polevich reportedly posted bail set at a $250,000 bond or $125,000 cash and was released after pleading not guilty at his February arraignment, according to Newsday.
Efforts to reach Gann or a representative from the law firm for further comment were unavailing.
In several interviews, Minaj, whose real name is Onika Tanya Maraj, said her father displayed various forms of abuse, ranging from drugs and alcohol to setting her childhood house on fire while her mother was still inside in Jamaica, Queens.
“It’s the price you pay when you abuse drugs and alcohol,” Minaj said in a 2010 Rolling Stone interview. “Maybe one day your daughter will be famous and talk to every magazine about it, so think about that, dads out there who want to be crazy.”
Minaj said she was not physically abused by her father in a 2015 interview with The New York Times, but said his actions caused emotional harm to her and her mother.
“I would always hear him yelling and cursing, always,” Minaj told The Times. “And it made me feel it was the way to interact, because that’s how I saw him interacting.’’
Efforts to reach officials and family members of Maraj for an update on the investigation were unavailing. Minaj did not respond to requests for comment from multiple news outlets, but representatives of the rapper confirmed the death of her father.