On Feb. 12, 2021, Nicki Minaj’s dad Robert Maraj was struck by a car during a hit-and-run accident. At the time he was crossing a road in Mineola, New York. The 64-year-old father died from his injuries the following day. A week later, Nassau County Police arrested 70-year-old Charles Polevich in connection to the crime.
Minaj broke her silence a short time after with a touching message on her personal website. “I can say it has been the most devastating loss of my life. I find myself wanting to call him all the time. More so now that he’s gone,” Minaj wrote. “May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved & will be very missed.”
Today (Aug. 3), TMZ announced that Polevich has received one year in prison for his role in Maraj’s death. According to the outlet, the driver was facing seven years behind bars, however, Judge Howard Sturim ruled Polevich will serve no more than a year in prison. After Maraj’s death, officials charged Polevich for leaving the scene of an accident. He also received charges for tampering with evidence. Authorities say he hid his 1992 Volvo station wagon in a detached garage after the accident.
In March 2021, Minaj’s mother Carol Maraj filed a civil lawsuit against Polevich. The family hired attorneys Paul Napoli and Benjamin Crump and sought $150 million in the suit. “Paul Napoli and I have filed a $150 million lawsuit in the hit-and-run death of Robert Maraj, [Nicki Minaj’s] father,” Crump tweeted. “Charles Polevich was not only irresponsible [and] negligent in hitting Maraj, but was more concerned about running away and hiding than seeking help.”
Paul Napoli and I have filed a $150 million lawsuit in the hit-and-run death of Robert Maraj, @NICKIMINAJ's father. Charles Polevich was not only irresponsible & negligent in hitting Maraj, but was more concerned about running away and hiding than seeking help. pic.twitter.com/tPrJgwYRIV
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) March 19, 2021
Polevich’s lawyer Marc C. Gann responded to the civil suit, saying, “Mr. Polevich has expressed empathy and condolences to the Maraj family. 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. I will add that the amount demanded is shocking, to say the least, and I don’t believe is in any way reasonable.”