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Cardi B defamer must post $3.8 million bond with court while appealing defamation ruling

By | Published on Friday 14 October 2022

Cardi B

The YouTuber found liable for defaming Cardi B must post a $3.8 million bond while she appeals the defamation judgement made against her earlier this year, a judge has ruled. However, lawyers for Latasha Kebe have been given the option to submit new arguments as to why that shouldn’t happen.

Kebe was sued by Cardi B – real name Belcalis Almanzar – over various claims that were made about the rapper in her YouTube videos. That included, legal papers said, that Almanzar “was a prostitute … was a user of cocaine … had and still has herpes … had and still has HPV … engaged in a debasing act with a beer bottle and … committed infidelity”.

A jury found Kebe liable for defamation back in January, awarding the rapper nearly $4 million in damages. Kebe is now in the process of appealing that judgement, and has asked the Eleventh Circuit appeals court to overturn the ruling, arguing that it was never proven in court that she acted with actual malice when making her videos about Almanzar and that the exclusion of evidence about the rapper’s character in court resulted in a “very lopsided” hearing.

As that appeal has been set in motion there’s been a side debate as to whether Kebe should post a bond to cover the damages that Almanzar was awarded. For her part, Kebe has argued that she is not obligated under law to post the bond in order to pause efforts by the Almanzar side to enforce the judgement and claim the damages.

She also asked for a formal court session to make that argument before the judge, and/or to seek to reduce the amount of money that might need to be posted. But judge William M Ray II has ruled that Kebe’s team have not yet demonstrated why such a court session is required. According to Law360, he stated this week: “The court is unaware of the rule upon which the defendants rely in arguing that they are entitled to a hearing”.

However, he added, “the court grants the defendants the right to supplement their pleadings with authority as to why they are entitled to a hearing, and in any event to provide through their pleadings evidence which would justify a bond in an amount less than the full amount of the judgment”.

It remains to be seen what new pleadings the Kebe side now makes.