A lawyer for Jay-Z claims he has obtained a videotape that will prove the rapper was not involved in the stabbing of a record-company executive last week.
"It clearly establishes, from my point of view, that he didn't do it," Jay-Z's attorney, Murray Richman, said Friday (Dec. 10). "It shows the fight in the background and our client not being involved."
The 29-year-old rapper (born Shawn Carter) was arrested Dec. 2 and charged with stabbing record executive Lance "Un" Rivera at the Kit Kat Club in New York a night earlier. Rivera, who started the Untertainment label with the late Notorious B.I.G., was hospitalized for wounds to his stomach and back and later released.
Richman said the tape shows Jay-Z "in the shot not doing anything" on "the other side of the room" from the assault. "Jay-Z is talking to someone else and the melee is going on elsewhere," he said.
The tape clearly includes "the date, the place, everything," according to the lawyer. "There is no question of the event."
Richman would not say how he obtained the tape or specify whether it was taken on a personal camcorder or another kind of camera. A woman who answered the phone at the Kit Kat Club on Friday but would not give her name said the club does not have security cameras inside.
The lawyer, who said he obtained the tape three days ago, said he will not present it to authorities until the middle of the month. He said he is busy with other cases until then.
"I think it will help us greatly," he said.
A spokesperson for New York police said that investigators have turned over the case to the district attorney's office. A spokesperson for the district attorney did not return calls by press time.
Neither Rivera nor his spokesperson could be reached for comment by press time.
Jay-Z, who has denied being involved in the assault, referred to his legal situation while accepting the award for Rap Artist of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards on Wednesday night, following a presentation during which two female wrestlers staged a fight. "I hope they don't charge me for what just happened, too," the rapper said.
On Dec. 1, the night of the attack, Jay-Z had performed songs from his upcoming fourth album, Vol. 3 ... Life and Times of S. Carter (Dec. 28), during a listening party at Irving Plaza. He went to the Kit Kat Club later in the evening for a party attended by The Artist, Puff Daddy and Busta Rhymes, celebrating Q-Tip's Amplified. Police allege Jay-Z approached Rivera during the party and stabbed him.
The attack was one of three in which Jay-Z now stands accused. He also was charged with attacking an unidentified person with a bottle at the same club Nov. 26 and attacking a man, Marcus Delgado, in the same fashion at the Carbon Club on April 12, 1998.
In 1998 Jay-Z became the first hip-hop performer to hold the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart for five consecutive weeks. That disc was the rapper's quadruple-platinum Vol. 2 ... Hard Knock Life, which featured the single "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" (RealAudio excerpt).