Nicki Minaj says she skipped Met Gala over childcare not vaccine mandate

Rapper has rubbished claims she didn't attend the event over its Covid-19 jab requirement

FILE - This Nov. 6, 2017 file photo shows Nicki Minaj at the 14th Annual CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Gala in New York. The chart-topping rapper announced Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, on Twitter that she “decided to retire & have my family.”  In the tweet, Minaj she took a jab at her critics and asked her fans to “keep reppin me, do it til da death of me.” In July, Minaj announced she was pulling out a show in Saudi Arabia to show support women's rights, gay rights and freedom of expression. She also canceled her appearance at the BET Experience Concert earlier this year. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
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Nicki Minaj has revealed she didn't attend this year's Met Gala as she didn't want to travel, in response to claims she skipped the event as she refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The annual fashion bash, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, required all guests to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, which the rapper confirmed she was not.

However, the Super Bass star, 38, has hit back at allegations that she avoided the event because of its inoculation mandate, instead confirming, "I cited my young child as why I didn’t want to travel".

"I have an infant with no nannies during Covid," she said. "Not risking his health to be seen."

Minaj first sparked rumours that her unvaccinated status was behind her non-appearance at the gala when she told fans on Twitter, "They want you to get vaccinated for the Met".

"If I get vaccinated, it won’t be for the Met. It’ll be once I feel I’ve done enough research," the rapper posted in a series of tweets on Monday.

"I’m working on that now. In the meantime my loves, be safe. Wear the mask with two strings that grips your head and face. Not that loose one."

The Met Gala, which was cancelled entirely in 2020 owing to the pandemic, was attended by the likes of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and Billie Eilish, with guests appearing mask-free on the red carpet.

Minaj, who welcomed her first child with husband Kenneth Petty in September 2020, also suggested she had recently contracted Covid-19, which forced her to skip Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards.

"I was prepping for VMAs then I shot a video and guess who got Covid? Do u know what it is not to be able to kiss or hold your tiny baby for over a week? A baby who is only used to his mama?" she wrote to her 22 million followers.

"I had the exact same symptoms as people with the vaccine," the musician later said.

Minaj did, however, confirm she is "sure" she'll get the jab in the future.

"A lot of countries won’t let people work without the vaccine," she replied to a fan who said he couldn't get a job without the jab.

"I’d [definitely] recommend they get the vaccine. They have to feed their families. I’m sure I’ll be vaccinated as well because I have to go on tour, etc."

Minaj did, however, come under fire for a controversial tweet in which she suggested her "cousin in Trinidad won’t get the vaccine because his friend got it and became impotent".

According to the United States’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence to support claims that vaccines cause problems with fertility in women or men. The UK's NHS also debunks such myths on its website.

The rapper was called out by fans for spreading misinformation but Twitter has since confirmed her tweet does not violate its rules.

The social media platform announced in March that it would label tweets that include misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines and remove accounts that repeatedly break its rules.

A Twitter representative told The Verge that Minaj's posts “you referenced are not in violation of the Twitter Rules", when the website reached out to the platform.

Click through the gallery below to see the best looks from this year's Met Gala.

Updated: September 14, 2021, 6:41 AM