“Daddy, Am I Your Baby?”: Legal Expert Says Mariah The Scientist And Young Thug Have “Grounds For A Lawsuit” Over Leaked Prison Call

A private prison call between Young Thug and Mariah The Scientist was leaked online. Legal expert Law By Mike answers whether they have grounds to sue.

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Young Thug and Mariah the Scientist’s relationship can’t seem to catch a break. As the RICO trial against Young Thug approaches its two-month mark, the rapper found himself in yet another spotlight, this time due to a viral incident involving his romantic connection with Mariah the Scientist.

On Jan. 25, a video surfaced online featuring a private phone conversation between the two, gaining rapid attention due to the content of their discussion. In the leaked call, Mariah the Scientist asks, "Daddy, am I your baby?" as Thug discusses the Cuban link chains he bought for her.

While some social media users were amused by the conversation, fellow artists began speaking out in outrage. Most notably, Drake commented on Instagram, writing, “This gotta be some form of jail misconduct. [Y]ou gonna drag this talented man then not be able to control your employees using his personal business for their own gain?” Meek Mill echoed Drake’s concern, writing on X, “This is top tier lawsuit. Your personal call not suppose to be on the street.” 

Well, is Meek right? Aside from the probable embarrassment and invasion of privacy, is the leak of Young Thug and Mariah the Scientist grounds for a lawsuit? Complex spoke to Law By Mike, lawyer and legal influencer, to answer that question and shed other insight about the situation. 

Is this illegal? 
So the answer depends, which, I know, is a typical lawyer thing. But you know, I was looking into this, and a recent case to relate this to is R. Kelly is suing because of leaked emails and phone calls. He's actually also alleging that the officer in that situation violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which would be a federal crime. But to go back to what's happening [with Young Thug], it's going to depend on the facts of how this video call was accessed and who accessed it. If it was someone who had permission to access the video, then it's likely not a crime in the sense of violating that Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. 

"It's going to depend on the facts of how this video call was accessed and who accessed it."

If it's someone who didn't have access and they went into the computer, even if they worked for the prison, but they're not supposed to have access to those files, then they arguably could be in violation of that act and the federal crime. At the very least, though, you're talking about some type of policy violations. I have to assume that the prison has certain rules of what can be done, where [the files are] kept. So it's got to be some sort of misconduct. What happened with the R. Kelly situation is that the DOJ did open an investigation to see if there was misconduct. They ultimately declined to indict any wrongdoers. But, you know, I would have to imagine something similar will happen here as far as some sort of investigation into how this got leaked and whether anyone should be criminally charged. 

If wrongdoing is found, can the people on the call file a lawsuit? 
Well, the short answer is there can always be a lawsuit. Anyone can sue; whether their case will win or if it gets dismissed is a whole different story. Relating it to the R. Kelly case—R. Kelly is suing for negligence, invasion of privacy,  intentional infliction of emotional distress [not intentional affliction, emotional distress, civil theft, and civil conspiracy, just to list off a few. In this situation, when you're not talking about criminal [acts], there's definitely room to sue, because this information shouldn't be leaked outside of the prison system. I believe someone profited from this. I'm sure of it. So there's definitely some sort of misconduct here. And so depending on how bad the damages are really is where you have this potential for a lawsuit. Obviously, if there's no damages, then it’s unlikely that you'll have a viable lawsuit. 

"There's definitely some sort of misconduct here. And so depending on how bad the damages are really is where you have this potential for a lawsuit."

There's also the issue of proving that there is some sort of negligence or an invasion of privacy, but it does seem like on the surface level there was some sort of negligence to allow this to happen. So I think there's grounds for a lawsuit. Will they win the lawsuit? I can't say. But you know, if a criminal inquiry goes into seeing how this was leaked, and if they do indict people or find that there is some criminal liability, that's definitely going to help the civil lawsuit, and help identify the people that need to be sued, whether it's an individual or group of people that leaked this video. And then they're going to have to show that this video being leaked somehow harmed Young Thug or Mariah the Scientist, whether that be emotional distress, emotional harm, or financial harm because of it being leaked. 

Is this grounds for attorneys to file a motion to dismiss Young Thug’s criminal case? 
I don't think so. In my opinion, the conversation is not protected. It's not privileged. It's not a conversation with him and his attorney. Everyone who's in jail knows they're being recorded to see if they do say something incriminating on a jail phone call. My understanding is that nothing was said that was damning to his case. But there's also that point that even if he did say something bad, it could still come in because this isn't a conversation with an attorney of his. So it doesn't seem like it could really affect his case, but I do know there's a lot of other things going on in his case. And in those other things, especially the ones that are occurring in the courthouse are things that they could point to, to appeal the decision or mistrial. So I think this isolated [incident] doesn't seem like it has any relevance. 

"Everyone who's in jail knows they're being recorded to see if they do say something incriminating on a jail phone call."

What else should people know about this situation? 
I think a lot of people in jail don't know that they're being listened to. They're being listened to, to see if you're committing another crime or if you're admitting to crimes. The only ones that are protected are when you're talking to your lawyer. So any call you have with a family member or friend when you get arrested or when you're currently in jail is all fair game. I do think it is an important topic as to, what sort of privacy rights should you have, and should this be allowed?

And it does seem like someone messed up. This stuff shouldn't be leaked, especially if it's used for financial gain. And it seems like someone probably profited from leaking it. So that's the real topic here: What can be done to not let this type of stuff happen, and will someone be punished, whether it be criminally or civilly, for letting this happen?

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