NEW YORK – Lil' Kim says she'll be celebrating Independence Day early this year. The rapper, who was sentenced in September to a year and a day in prison for lying about a shootout outside a hip-hop radio station, is being released Monday, the day before July Fourth.
"I am thrilled to be coming home," Lil' Kim said Thursday in a statement issued by her publicist, Tracy Nguyen. "I thank all my fans for all their letters, as well as my family and friends for all their support throughout the past 10 months."
The entertainer, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, began serving her time at a federal detention center in Philadelphia on Sept. 19. Her lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, noted then that she could be released early for good behavior.
"She has accepted responsibility and handled herself in an exemplary manner," McMillan said Thursday.
The rapper, who will remain under house arrest for 30 days after her release, was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury and in the subsequent trial.
The case stemmed from a gun battle that erupted outside WQHT-FM, known as Hot 97, when Lil' Kim's entourage crossed paths with a rival rap group, Capone-N-Noreaga, whose song "Bang, Bang" contains an insult to her from rival Foxy Brown. One man was hurt in the shootout that followed.
Lil' Kim, who won a Grammy in 2001 for her part in the hit remake of "Lady Marmalade," maintained she hadn't noticed two of her close friends — who later pleaded guilty to gun charges — at the scene of the shootout. But jurors at her trial saw radio station security photos that depicted one of them opening a door for her, and witnesses said they saw her at the station with both of them.