Remy Ma Trial Opens With Harsh Words; Prosecution Calls Rapper Calculating, Irresponsible

Ma's lawyer calls alleged victim a celebrity groupie in opening remarks.

Opening remarks in Remy Ma's trial for allegedly shooting her one-time friend began Monday in New York, and lawyers for both sides tossed barbs as sharp as any line you'd hear in a dis song.

Prosecutors called the rapper calculating and irresponsible, according to Reuters. And Ivan Fisher, representing Remy Ma (real name Reminisce Smith), characterized Makeda Barnes-Joseph as a celebrity groupie. Fisher claimed Barnes-Joseph misrepresented the nature of events in order to win money from his client, a Grammy-nominated artist.

The trial stems from an incident that occurred in July 2007, when Smith was arrested on charges of attempted murder after she and Barnes-Joseph got into a violent altercation after attending a mutual friend's birthday celebration in Manhattan.

Barnes-Joseph claims Smith shot her in the midsection after the rapper accused her of stealing a large sum of money from her purse. Smith vehemently denied shooting Barnes-Joseph (who was in fact hospitalized for gunshot wounds), and the attempted-murder rap was later reduced to an assault charge. She faces up to 25 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Berland questioned the rapper's character and dismissed her bullying tactics, citing an incident in August, in which Barnes-Joseph's boyfriend was allegedly attacked by a group of men on orders from Smith and suffered a broken jaw during the altercation.

"(Smith) is not the type of person to sit back and let people testify against her," Berland said.

A New York Supreme Court judge ordered Smith to stand trial on additional charges of witness tampering and gang assault stemming from the August incident. Barnes-Joseph has also filed a $10 million civil lawsuit against Smith.