Prosecutors in Lil’ Kim’s perjury trial dropped an opening-day bombshell Tuesday, revealing that one of the very people the petite rap diva’s accused of trying to protect — by allegedly lying to a federal grand jury looking into a 2001 shooting — will not be returning the favor.
According to New York’s Newsday, Assistant Manhattan U.S. Attorney Daniel Gitner informed jurors that Lil’ Kim’s former manager, Damion Butler, would provide testimony to support the prosecution’s position that the rapper, born Kimberley Jones, lied about what she witnessed outside the offices of New York radio station Hot 97 on February 25, 2001 (see “Lil’ Kim Indicted For Lying About Hot 97 Shootout With Capone” ).
As part of a plea bargain offered by prosecutors, Butler and a member of Lil’ Kim’s entourage, Suif Jackson, confessed they fired on members of rap group Capone-N-Noreaga that afternoon. The shooting is believed to stem from a beef between Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown, who dissed Kim on Capone-N-Noreaga’s 2000 album, The Reunion.
Prosecutors also announced that Capone and members of Lil’ Kim’s former group, Junior M.A.F.I.A., would testify against her later in the proceedings.
In her grand-jury testimony, Lil’ Kim denied that Butler and Jackson were at the scene of the shooting and even denied knowing Jackson altogether. The prosecution has promised to provide photographic and video evidence, along with the liner notes from one of Lil’ Kim’s albums, that will show she did, indeed, know both men. Jackson, prosecutors added, was a member of Junior M.A.F.I.A.
According to Newsday, Lil’ Kim’s lawyer, Mel Sachs, defended his client by saying the grand jury asked her more than 2,300 questions and instructed her to answer them to the best of her memory.
“She was frightened, she was scared, she was shocked,” Sachs said of Lil’ Kim at the time of the 2001 shooting. The paper reported that he later told jurors the prosecution was “strewing red herrings in your path and using window dressing to make you believe that [Lil’ Kim] did something wrongful.”