July 06, 2005
THIS JUST IN...OH NO NOT MY GIRL
Grammy-award winning rapper Lil' Kim was sentenced Wednesday to a year and a day in prison and fined $50,000 for lying to a federal grand jury to protect friends involved in a 2001 shootout outside a Manhattan radio station.
While many rappers have served time in prison, Lil' Kim is the first big-name female to do so.
Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, could have faced up to 20 years — five years each on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy — at her sentencing before U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch. She was convicted of the charges in March.
Lil' Kim, who turns 30 next week, was the sidekick and mistress of the late Notorious B.I.G. As a solo artist, she has become known for her revealing outfits and raunchy lyrics.
The rapper told the grand jury she did not notice two of her close friends at the scene of the shootout — her manager, Damion Butler, and Suif Jackson, known as "Gutta." Both have pleaded guilty to gun charges.
Jurors at Lil' Kim's trial saw radio station security photos that depicted Butler opening a door for the rap star, and two witnesses who once made records with Lil' Kim said they saw her at the station with Butler and Jackson.
The gun battle happened outside WQHT-FM, known as Hot 97, when Lil' Kim's entourage crossed paths with a rival rap group, Capone-N-Noreaga.
Lil' Kim's group confronted the others about a Capone-N-Noreaga song, "Bang, Bang," that contained an insult to Lil' Kim from rival Foxy Brown. One man was hurt in the shootout that followed.
Hot 97 is the same station where the posses of 50 Cent and The Game traded bullets in February.
At trial, Lil' Kim testified that she had a falling out after the shooting with Butler and with Antoine "Banger" Spain and James "Lil' Cease" Lloyd, the two witnesses who said they saw her with Butler and Jackson.
She said they were freeloading at her New Jersey townhouse. "I was just fed up," she told jurors. "They were taking advantage of me."
Lil' Kim won a Grammy in 2001 for her part in the hit remake of "Lady Marmalade."
Her superstar career began with an impromptu performance for Notorious B.I.G. on the street in their Brooklyn neighborhood. She became "Queen Bee," the only girl in his otherwise all-male clique.
Her 1996 debut album, "Hard Core," was laced with sexually explicit lyrics and became a big hit, thanks to songs like "Crush On You" and others with unmentionable titles.
In the years that followed, plastic surgery helped transform her into a glam fashionista.
In other legal problems, Lil' Kim was sued earlier this year by two men who say she failed to pay them for songwriting and performing services for an album released in 2003. The album, "La Bella Mafia," sold more than 1 million copies.