In Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith — the man charged 18 months ago with third-degree assault in connection with the pepper-spray attack of R. Kelly during a Madison Square Garden stop on Kelly’s scuttled Best of Both Worlds tour with Jay-Z — pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct as part of a legal agreement that will spare him a stint behind bars.
According to court records, Smith has been sentenced to two days of anger-management counseling, and has been ordered to complete four days of community service. As soon as he satisfies the terms of the plea deal, his record will be wiped clean of the assault, which took place October 29, 2004 (see “Jay-Z, R. Kelly Part Ways as Best Of Both Worlds Tour Collapses” ).
The deal, which required Smith to admit his involvement in the attack, closes at least one of the chapters in the ongoing legal saga between Kelly and Jay-Z. The R&B crooner and Def Jam’s president have waged a drawn-out legal campaign against one another over the dissolution of the duo’s Best of Both Worlds trek. The most recent legal battle, a $91 million lawsuit Kelly’s lawyers filed last November (see “R. Kelly Sues Jay-Z — Again” ), alleges that Jay-Z rewarded Smith with a cushy executive post at Def Jam for carrying out the attack.
A spokesperson for Kelly said that settlement talks have been ongoing and Kelly’s camp hopes a resolution to the civil matter can be hammered out soon.
A bench warrant had been issued for Smith, a childhood friend of Jay-Z’s and a member of his entourage, in November 2004 (see “Bench Warrant Issued For Jay-Z Associate In Pepper-Spray Incident” ). Smith was charged with assault in the third degree and faced a 12-month prison term if convicted. He was accused of pepper-spraying Kelly and several of the artist’s security guards during the MSG gig.
About 30 minutes into his set that evening, Kelly walked off the stage, claiming he’d spotted men in the crowd who were pointing guns at him. When Kelly attempted to return to the microphone, Smith sprayed the singer and his guards in the face with pepper spray. Kelly and his security team were rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York, where they treated and released.