Rapper Cardi B pleads not guilty to ordering 2 women beaten

Rapper Cardi B and others were indicted on multiple felony counts.

June 26, 2019, 1:27 AM

Fresh off winning Best Album and Best Female Hip Hop Artist of the Year at the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards, rapper Cardi B faced a New York judge on Tuesday on upgraded charges stemming from allegedly orchestrating two fights at a Queens strip club last summer.

Cardi B, whose real name is Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar, was arraigned on a 12-count indictment, in which the two top charges are felony second-degree attempted assault.

"Not guilty sir, honor," said the Bronx native as she leaned into the microphone in Queens Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas' courtroom.

Cardi B and alleged co-defendants, Tawana Jackson-Morel and Jeffrey Bush, were previously charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly throwing glass bottles at two bartender sisters inside a College Point strip club on Aug. 15 and 28.

PHOTO: Cardi B leaves her arraignment on two felony assault counts and other misdemeanors at Queens County Supreme Court, June 25, 2019, in Queens, New York.
Cardi B leaves her arraignment on two felony assault counts and other misdemeanors at Queens County Supreme Court, June 25, 2019, in Queens, New York.
Anthony DelMundo/Getty Images

According to the original criminal complaint, the Grammy Award winner allegedly ordered eight people, including Bush and Jackson-Morel, to separately assault Sarah and Rachel Wattley in the belief that they were having an affair with Cardi B's husband, Off Set.

Cardi B allegedly planned the attacks with Jackson-Morel using "social media chats" and Bush was allegedly directed to record the attacks, according to the indictment that was unsealed on Tuesday.

Jackson-Morel allegedly admitted to police that she "smacked a drink" on one of the victims, according to a newly released court document.

After the entertainer turned down a no jail plea deal earlier this year, Queens prosecutors put the case in front of a grand jury, which upgraded the top charges against Cardi B and the others to felonies.

Stacey Richman, an attorney for Jackson-Morel and Bush, entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.

The trio each face up to four years in prison for each attempted assault charge.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events