The legal fracas surrounding the Best of Both Worlds tour continues, now with criminal charges.
A bench warrant has been issued for Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith, a childhood friend of Jay-Z’s and a member of his entourage, in New York in connection with the October 29 pepper-spray attack on R. Kelly and several of his security guards at Madison Square Garden (see “Jay-Z, R. Kelly Part Ways as Best Of Both Worlds Tour Collapses” ), according to the New York District Attorney’s office. Smith was charged with assault in the third degree. If convicted, he could face up to a year in jail.
Representatives for Jay-Z could not be reached for comment.
Kelly had stopped the October 29 show about 30 minutes before the incident because he claimed to have seen men pointing guns at him in the audience. Kelly was allegedly attempting to return to the stage when an individual identified as Smith blocked his way and sprayed Kelly and several of his security guards in the face with pepper spray.
As a result of the attack, Kelly and his security guards were rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, where they were treated and later released.
Despite the assault, Kelly has since said that he was willing to continue with the tour, but Jay-Z has refused to perform with him. Hov has continued the tour, now re-billed as “Jay-Z and Friends” (see ” ’Jay-Z And Friends’ To Complete Best Of Both Worlds Tour” ).
Kelly has also filed a $75 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against Jay and the tour’s promoters (see “R. Kelly Sues Jay-Z For $75 Million, Claims Sabotage” ).