NEW YORK – Grammy-winning hip-hop star Lil' Kim (search) lied to a grand jury about a shootout at a radio station in 2001 to protect her former manager and a friend, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday at her perjury trial.
Lil' Kim, a whose real name is Kimberly Jones, and her assistant "flat-out lied" by testifying that the manager was not at the station during the fight, in which one man was wounded, prosecutor Daniel Gitner said in opening statements.
The manager, Damion Butler (search), has pleaded guilty to gun charges.
Lil' Kim and her assistant, Monique Dopwell, are charged with perjury and conspiracy charges. If convicted, they could get 30 years in prison.
Defense attorney Mel Sachs suggested Lil' Kim was too traumatized by the gun battle at rap radio station WQHT, or Hot 97, to recall every detail, arguing "a person can be incorrect and not intentionally lie."
The 2001 gunfight occurred as Lil' Kim's entourage was leaving Hot 97 (search), and the entourage of rap group Capone-N-Noreaga was arriving. More than two dozens bullets were fired. One man was struck in the back but survived.
On Monday, a man was shot in the leg outside the same radio station. Police were investigating whether that shooting stemmed from a feud between rapper 50 Cent and a former protege, The Game.
Last August, the entertainer, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, complained the case was part of the government's continued indictment against the hip-hop industry.
But on Monday, her lawyer, Mel Sachs, insisted: "The rap and hip-hop music industry are not on trial here. The musical artist known as Lil' Kim is on trial here. Applying the law to the facts will mandate that she is not guilty."
Prosecutors declined to comment.
In September, one of Lil' Kim's former bodyguards, Suif Jackson, 34, was sentenced to a dozen years in prison after he admitted firing a gun at least 20 times in the incident.
The shootout occurred the same year Lil' Kim won a Grammy Award for her part in the hit remake of "Lady Marmalade."