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Cardi B Hit With Felony Charges Over Strip Club Brawl, Could Face Prison Time

Cardi B leaves Queens County Criminal Court on January 31, 2019
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Cardi B leaves Queens County Criminal Court on January 31, 2019 FRANK FRANKLIN II / AP / SHUTTERSTOCK

Cardi B is now facing multiple felony charges in connection with a brawl at a Queens strip club last summer, according to court records posted ahead of her arraignment on Tuesday afternoon.

The indictment includes a total of 14 charges—a significant jump from the two misdemeanors she initially faced, for which she declined a plea deal in April. The top charge, assault in the second degree, carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

A lawyer for Cardi did not respond to Gothamist's inquiries. But the Bronx-born rapper doesn't seem be sweating the case too much; while performing at the BET Awards in Los Angeles this weekend, she reportedly led the crowd in "no jail" chants, before confidently declaring, "Fuck you mean? I ain't going to jail, I got a daughter."

The charges stem from an August incident at Angels Strip Club in Flushing. Bartenders Rachel Wattley, 21, and Sarah Wattley, 23, allege that Cardi ordered her entourage to beat them up, claiming that one of the sisters was sleeping with her husband, Offset. Sources tell NBC that police have surveillance footage of Cardi chucking an ice bucket during the melee. She's also accused of threatening them on Instagram and in person.

During a December court appearance, a judge issued an order of protection for the Wattley sisters, telling Cardi to "please be very careful" with social media.

It's unclear why the charges have since been updated, and a spokesperson for the (interim, outgoing) Queens District Attorney did not respond to a request for comment. In addition to the two counts of felony assault, Cardi faces a slew of misdemeanors, including criminal solicitation, reckless endangerment, conspiracy and harassment.

The platinum-selling rapper is set to embark on a European tour later this month. Her latest single, "Press," debuted in the Top 10 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart last week, with a cover featuring a nude Cardi being removed from a courtroom amid a flurry of flashbulbs. The chorus goes "Press, press, press, press, press/Cardi don't need more press."

You can watch her exuberant Saturday performance of the song below—and check back later today for minute-by-minute updates and photos from her arraignment.

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