NEW YORK – A judge on Tuesday dropped charges that rapper Foxy Brown violated a court order by mooning her neighbor after the woman told prosecutors she would not testify at the trial.
Assistant District Attorney Robert Isdith said he had tried to meet with the neighbor, Irene Raymond, in the weeks before the trial and didn't get anywhere. When he finally got in touch with her, she said she didn't want to pursue the case, he said.
"While the district attorney's office has no doubt the defendant committed this crime, we have no other choice but to dismiss this case," Isdith said.
Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, pleaded not guilty to criminal contempt and her trial was slated to begin Tuesday, following a dressing-down at her last court hearing by State Supreme Court Justice John Walsh when she appeared hours late.
The 31-year-old hip hop star was punctual this time, wearing a short silver silk dress and towering spike heels, and smiled and hugged he attorneys as the courtroom erupted when Walsh dismissed the case.
"I was falsely arrested twice, slandered and defamed," she said outside court, as she gave a thumbs-up and smiled for cameras. She described Raymond as jealous, and someone with a "borderline obsession," ''someone who wants to be you or have your life ... that I worked really hard for," she said.
The Brooklyn-based rapper was a teenager when she broke onto the rap scene as a protege of Jay-Z, but her career has foundered in recent years.
Prosecutors said Brown violated the order in July 2010 by screaming at Raymond before bending over, baring her buttocks and showing her underwear while shouting an obscenity.
Had the case gone to trial, her attorney Salvatore Strazzullo said her defense would have been not only did she not moon Raymond, but she wasn't even wearing underwear at the time, so the neighbor was not telling the truth.
Brown was issued the order of protection after pleading guilty in 2008 to menacing Raymond with her cellphone. The two had been in a fight over Brown blasting her car stereo outside their Brooklyn building in the leafy Prospect Heights neighborhood. The restraining order is in effect until 2013, her attorney said.
Strazzullo said they would be filing a civil suit in Brooklyn alleging malicious prosecution.
Brown became one of rap's more popular stars in the 1990s, but in recent years she has stayed in the headlines mainly for her legal problems and hot temper. She also has said she suffered from hearing problems.
Her debut CD, "Ill Na Na," was released in 1996. She released her platinum-selling sophomore album, "Chyna Doll," in 1999. Her third album, "Broken Silence," — released in 2001 — reached gold status.
She rapped in the hip-hop group The Firm, which also featured Nas.
Brown said outside court that she's headed directly to the recording studio now that she's free of the case, and said she's not planning to return to criminal court any time soon.