The rival rappers came face to face at the Harper's Bazaar Icons bash on Friday (07.09.18) when Cardi approached Nicki and accused her of badmouthing her and disparaging her skills as a mother.
According to TMZ, Cardi, 25, launched a shoe at Nicki, 35, before she was stopped by the rapper's security. Footage has also appeared on social media of the incident.
An insider told PEOPLE: ''The scene was f**king crazy. It was entourage against entourage.
''They had their altercation on the second-floor balcony, right above the red carpet. All of a sudden there was a big commotion and everyone didn't know what was going on.''
The source added: ''She left barefoot with her dress ripped and butt out.''
Cardi - who wore a red Dolce and Gabbana gown - was later spotted being escorted out of the event with a large bruise over her left eye.
Shortly after leaving the party, she took to Instagram to slam Nicki, saying: ''I've let a lot of sh*t slide. I let you sneak diss me. I let you lie on me. I let you attempt to stop my bags, f**k up the way I eat! You've threatened other artists in the industry, told them if they work with me you'll stop f**king with them! I let you talk big sh*t about me.
''I addressed you once in person, I addressed you a second time in person and every time you copped a plea!! But when you mention my child, you choose to like comments about me as a mother, make comments about my abilities to take care of my daughter is when all bets are f**king off! I've worked too hard and come too far to let anybody f**k with my success!!!
''Bitches talk all that sh*t in they raps but in real life they p**sy. This sh*t really is for entertainment.''
Cardi welcomed her first child, Kulture, with husband Offset, earlier this year.
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