Did Lil’ Kim’s big head leave her believing she was above the law?
Such were the charges leveled by prosecutors during closing arguments at the rapper’s perjury trial Monday.
“Maybe she believed she was a Queen Bee, above the law, that for a multifaceted superstar, the rules were different for her,” said Manhattan Assistant U.S. Attorney Cathy Seibel.
The rapper’s defense attorney, Mel Sachs, disagreed, calling the prosecution’s case “asinine.”
Now the diminutive rapper’s fate lies in the hands of a jury of her peers.
Lil’ Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, faces possible conviction on one count of conspiracy, three counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstruction stemming from her alleged lies to a grand jury about a 2001 shootout between her posse and a rival hip-hop crew. Her assistant, Monique Dopwell, faces the same charges.
Lil’ Kim’s troubles began on Feb. 25, 2001, when members of her Junior M.A.F.I.A crew and rival hip-hopsters Capone-N-Noreaga exchanged gunfire outside of New York radio station Hot 97.
No one was killed, but one man was seriously injured.
When investigators questioned Lil’ Kim, she allegedly lied about who was involved and what she witnessed. She claimed she had no relationship with one of the gunmen–Suif “Gutta” Jackson, a longtime friend–and that her former manager, Damion Butler, was not present at the time of the shooting.
Videotape of the incident contradicted her testimony. Both men later pleaded guilty to weapons charges and testified against Lil’ Kim for the prosecution.
The question is, will the jury believe Lil’ Kim’s claims that she was a victim of the shootout and was badgered by prosecutors, that her disavowed testimony was the result of faulty recollection, not of lying, and that the whole case is merely a witch hunt targeting the hip-hop industry?
Or, will they be swayed by the prosecution’s contention that the hip-hop diva’s testimony was “laughable” and “preposterous” and that Lil’ Kim simply tells “whatever lie is expedient at the moment” to help her case?
Over the course of the trial, Lil’ Kim did her best to make nice with the jurors. She toned down her signature skimpy style and dressed conservatively, made frequent eye contact with the jury and at one point, even said hello to a juror and was subsequently reprimanded by the judge.
However, no matter how much effort Lil’ Kim put into impressing the jurors, their decision will come down to which side put on the better case.
If the rapper is found guilty, she faces up to 30 years behind bars.