On Friday, a former video girl and model known for her sizable rear won her appeal in a Mississippi court, according to Courthouse News. The woman, Natasha Stewart, was previously sentenced to seven years in federal prison for her involvement in the butt injection-related death of Karima Gordon.
Stewart's case stems back to 2010, when Gordon contacted the model to gain the secret to her huge ass, according to court documents. At that point, Stewart had long given up the charade that her butt was "all natural" and admitted to regularly receiving butt injections. In certain circles, Stewart—who also goes by the stage name Pebbelz Da Model—was known for having "the biggest butt in the entertainment game." Gordon, characterized as an obsessive fan who wanted to break into the industry, allegedly asked Stewart over social media to reveal who had administered her butt injections. This went on for two years.
Court documents report that Stewart eventually relented and invited Karima and a friend to a party she was hosting in New York. There, Stewart finally gave Karima the surgeon's name: Tracey Garner. As a thank you, the court documents allege, Karima paid Stewart $200. Shortly after, Karima travelled to Jackson from Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived, and saw Garner for her new ass. She died a week later from respiratory complications "due to massive soft tissue injection with a non-pharmaceutical lipoid substance."
By now, after a spate of cases involving ass shots gone wrong gained media attention, it's well known that butt injections are dangerous and simply not a medical procedure that any professional would perform. The people who do them will use silicone—from either old breast implants or a hardware store—or even mineral oil. This is only made worse by the fact that these procedures take place in non-sterile conditions. Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian, a California-based plastic surgeon, often sees patients who thought blackmarket butt injections would be a quick and cheap alternative to fat grafting, an established plastic surgery procedure that takes fat from other places to inject it into the butt. Since it comes from within the body and is transplanted into the same person, the body doesn't reject the material—as it would silicon—"and there are fewer complications because it is done in a sterile environment." Fat grafting can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $20,000, Dr. Karamanoukian says.
The illegal alternative's lower cost and instant butt boost may seem appealing, but despite what Nicki Minaj raps on Big Sean's hit, "Dance (A$$)," ass shots don't "wear off" to desirable results, let alone are consequence-free. "This is an underground treatment," Dr. Karamanoukian reiterates to Broadly. "Often times we see short term problems, related to infection and allergic reactions, and long term problems. As the months go by it only gets worse and worse because the body just hates this stuff." Or in Karima's unfortunate case, it results death.
For referring her to the risky procedure, Stewart was convicted on charges of culpable-negligence manslaughter and conspiracy to commit culpable-negligence manslaughter by a jury in Hinds County, Mississippi in 2014. But in her appeal, Stewart denied that she had knowledge that the procedure was deadly and that Karima obtained the procedure from Garner of her own free will. She also claimed that she believed Garner was a nurse in Jackson, Mississippi (she was actually a cook at a nursing home) and that she had received several rounds of butt injections herself from Garner with no apparent problem. "Stewart also declared that had she known Garner was not a nurse, she would not have gone to her for the procedures," the court documents say. They also state that Karima had butt injections before without complication.
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"The problem is that most of the people that have done [illegal butt injections] may not have complications right away, But at some point in their lives they are going to develop problems," Dr. Karamanoukian explains. "It's not common for people to die right away from these procedures, but when someone who has no medical experience does something like this to the body it is wrought with complications." Dr. Karamanoukian says that he's also seen people "who have done very well" with these types of butt injections if they're done in sterile environments, but it's a potentially deadly gamble. "At some point in their lives they're probably going to develop a reaction," he says.
While Stewart, who has appeared in music videos for rappers including Cam'ron, certainly made a poor recommendation, the appeals court ultimately ruled that she was not responsible for Karima's death. "As an accessory before the fact, Stewart's actions are inconsistent with putting Stewart on the path of 'conscious and wanton or reckless disregard of the probabilities of fatal consequences to others as the result of the willful creation of an unreasonable risk,' the appeals court ruled. "Stewart's referral was not made with the purpose of promoting or facilitating the criminal act of manslaughter."
Garner is still serving a life sentence.