MINEOLA, NY — Robert Maraj, the 64-year-old father of rapper Nicki Minaj, died Saturday at a local hospital, a day after he was struck in a hit-and-run, Nassau County police said.
Police said that Maraj, of Mineola, was walking on Roslyn Road at the intersection of Raff Avenue at about 6:15 p.m. Friday when he was struck by a northbound car that did not stop, police said. He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, police said.
Police still do not have a description of the car that struck Maraj. Detectives are requesting that anyone with information about the crash call Crime Stoppers, a confidential police hotline, at 1-800-244-TIPS.
Known by her professional name, Minaj, 38, was born Onika Tanya Maraj in Trinidad and Tobago, but grew up in South Jamaica, Queens, Newsday reported. Minaj has not publicly commented on her father’s death, but she has spoken out in a 2012 interview with Nightline, saying that her father struggled with an alcohol and drug addiction and was abusive, the Daily News reported.
Celebrity news site TMZ reported there are photographs of Minaj and her father together over the years showing that they had a decent relationship.
Minaj’s brother, Jelani Maraj of Baldwin, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2020 for repeatedly raping an 11-year-old girl. A family attorney told Newsday, Maraj’s father, Robert, was present during the trial of her brother and loved him dearly.