Lil' Kim is convicted of perjury. Rapper faces up to 20 years in jail for lying to investigators about radio-station shooting

By Michael Slezak
March 17, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Lil' Kim: Richard Drew

For a woman whose last record was called La Bella Mafia, Lil’ Kim is now facing the darker side of criminal life. The 29-year-old rap star today was found guilty of lying to a federal grand jury about a shootout that took place on the sidewalk in front of Hot 97, a Manhattan radio station.

Lil’ Kim and her assistant, Monique Dopwell, were convicted of perjury and conspiracy, but were acquitted on a charge of obstructing justice. The maximum sentence the Grammy winner could receive would be 20 years: five each for three counts of perjury and an additional five for conspiracy. Her sentence will be handed down June 24.

Lil’ Kim (real name: Kimberly Jones) had told the grand jury she did not see her friends, manager Damion Butler, and Suif ”Gutta” Jackson at Hot 97 on the day of the 2001 gunfight, even using her sunglasses as an excuse, but security photos and eyewitnesses told a different tale. One man was injured when Lil’ Kim’s entourage exchanged gunfire with a group including rival rappers Capone-N-Noreaga.

”You would have to believe they were magic sunglasses that only block out your friends who were shooting people,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Cathy Seibel said in court, according to The Associated Press.

Lil’ Kim and Dopwell shook their heads when they heard the verdict, noted the AP. Some of the singers’ fans, who were in the courtroom, meanwhile, began to cry.