Nicki Minaj breaks silence on father’s ‘devastating’ hit-and-run death

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Nicki Minaj is making her first public comments about the death of her father, Robert Maraj, in a February hit-and-run.

"Tho I can’t really bring myself to discuss the passing of my father as yet," she wrote in a letter to fans posted on her website Friday, "I can say it has been the most devastating loss of my life."

(Photo: tellyvines via Instagram)
Nicki Minaj has broken her silence on father’s hit-and-run death. He was fatally struck by a car while walking in Long Island, NY, in February. (Photo: robertmarajofficial via Instagram)

The "Trollz" singer, 38 said she finds herself "wanting to call him all the time," adding, "More so now that he’s gone. Life is funny that way."

Minaj, who welcomed her first child in September, ended by saying, "May his soul rest in paradise. He was very loved & will be very missed."

(Screenshot:  nickiminajofficial.com)
Nicki Minaj speaks out for the first time about her dad's sudden death. (Screenshot: nickiminajofficial.com)

Maraj, 64, was crossing a Mineola, N.Y., intersection at 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 12 when he was fatally struck by a vehicle that then fled. He was taken to an area hospital in critical condition but succumbed to his injuries the next day. 

Nassau County Police tracked down the driver of the white 1992 Volvo station wagon seen on surveillance video, leading to the arrest of Charles Polevich, 70. He was charged with two felonies: leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality and tampering with evidence. He pleaded not guilty.

"He was absolutely aware of what happened," Nassau County Police Det. Steven Fitzpatrick said at a news conference after the arrest. "He got out of the car and he looked at the deceased, got into his car, and made the conscious decision to leave instead of dialing 911, instead of calling an ambulance for the man. He went home and secluded the vehicle. He’s well aware of what he did."

Police said Polevich — a hydrogeologist who owns Allied Pacific Environmental Consulting — exited his car after hitting Maraj, stood over him and asked if he was OK, but then walked back to his car and fled the scene. It's alleged that he returned home and parked his car in a detached garage to conceal it from view.

Minaj's mother, Carol Maraj, filed a $150 million civil lawsuit in March against the driver, calling his behavior "criminal, cowardly, and immoral." An attorney for Polevich said he has a "tremendous amount of empathy for the family [and] the loss that they’ve suffered."

Minaj, who was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and was raised in NYC, welcomed her first child, a son, with husband Kenneth Petty on Sept. 30. In her fan letter, she described herself as "overwhelmed with joy & fulfillment in the world" thanks to the baby boy she publicly refers to only as "Papa Bear." "Each day creates a new & fascinating, magical memory that I hide far away into a little cute compartment of my heart; vowing never to forget any of it... It’s kind of crazy how they have a full personality so early on. Yesterday I made him say mama. Even got it on video. Just... Wow."

The star has remained largely out of the spotlight otherwise, but on Friday she released her 2009 mixtape Beam Me Up Scotty on streaming services for the first time, as well as new tracks "Fractions," "Seeing Green" with Drake and Lil Wayne, and the "Crocodile Teeth" remix.

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