Lil’ Kim was charged today with conspiracy to commit perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements stemming from a February 2001 shooting outside the Hot 97 radio station in New York City. Kim was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury and turned herself in at a U.S. District Court, where she was charged.
The twenty-eight-year-old rapper (real name Kimberly Jones) is accused lying to investigators who questioned her after Efrain Ocasio, a friend of rapper Capone, was shot in the back. She is also charged with testifying falsely to a grand jury regarding the incident. Prosecutors accused Kim of lying about her relationship with two men involved in the shooting: bodyguard Suif Jackson, whom Kim said wasn’t with her at the time, and Damion Butler, an alleged acquaintance she said she didn’t know. According to reports, Kim’s attorney, Mel Sachs, called the charges “baseless.”
Police say that a feud between Kim and rival rapper Foxy Brown sparked the exchange of gunfire, as Kim was leaving the station’s East Village location following an interview. Kim had taken a lyrical potshot at Brown on the title track of her 2000 album The Notorious K.I.M., and Brown returned the attack with her guest vocal on Capone-N-Noreaga’s “Bang Bang.” More than twenty gunshots are believed to have been fired when Kim and Capone’s respective entourages crossed paths just outside the radio station.
Kim fled the scene in her limousine, and reports suggest that a security camera caught some of the gunmen jumping into the vehicle and escaping to Kim’s New Jersey home.
Though the investigation continued, at least one party sought to defuse the tension. Brown appeared on MTV the following month to make a peace offering. “We’re bigger than this,” she said. “If it has to start with me, let it start with me.”