What do Lil’ Kim and Roman Polanski have in common?
Plenty, according to a judge, who on Friday forbade the pint-sized rap star from performing at a concert in the Caribbean later this month.
Lil’ Kim, aka Kimberly Jones, is barred from leaving the country while she faces federal perjury charges.
U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch said the temptation to stay in the islands after Kim performed at the St. Kitts Music Festival this Saturday might be too great.
“People under indictment don’t usually get to leave the United States…once they get out they never come back,” he said.
Her legal eagle, Mel Sachs, argued Kim wasn’t a flight risk because she was “a well-known performer.”
“Tell that to Roman Polanski,” the judge replied, referring to the Oscar-winning director who fled the United States in 1977 to avoid charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl and has never returned.
“Just because you’re a celebrity doesn’t mean you don’t jump bail and leave the country,” said the judge, who criticized the concert booking as reckless.
The 28-year-old hip-hopster turned over her passport in April after she was indicted for lying to a grand jury investigating a shootout between her posse, Junior M.A.F.I.A., and the rival rap entourage of Capone-N-Noreaga outside a New York radio station.
The shooting, which occurred Feb. 25, 2001, left one man seriously injured with a bullet in his back.
But when authorities questioned Kim about the incident, she allegedly fudged the details about who was involved and what she witnessed.
Prosecutors claim to have a videotape showing Kim witnessing the gun battle, then darting into a limousine with some of the alleged shooters.
She was charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction.
If convicted, she faces up to 10 years on the obstruction count and 35 years maximum on all the other charges.
Kim’s pleaded innocent to all charges and remains free on $500,000 bail.
Three members of her posse were also charged in the case, her manager Damien Butler, bodyguard Suif Jackson and assistant Monique Dopwell.
On Friday, Jackson pleaded guilty to four counts that he illegally possessed and transported an unregistered firearm from New Jersey to Manhattan. He also copped to discharging the semi-automatic Mac-11 during the confrontation.
He faces more than 13 years in federal prison.
Kim, well known for flaunting her curvaceous assets, was also in court Friday for her hearing, covered up in a tan pantsuit and alligator pumps. She did not speak.
Her lawyer told reporters that Kim would have received $35,000 for performing alongside Ginuwine and Busta Rhymes at the Caribbean concert. Instead, the Grammy winner will now have to pay an undetermined penalty fee to concert organizers.
Kim’s perjury trial begins Nov. 25.
Lia Haberman – E!Online