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Recording associates sue Lil’ Kim

Claim hip-hop star failed to pay them for song writing and performing
/ Source: The Associated Press

Grammy-winning hip-hop star Lil’ Kim has been sued by two men who say she failed to pay them for song writing and performing services for her 2003 CD “La Bella Mafia,” which sold more than 1 million copies.

The men say in court papers filed Monday in Manhattan’s state Supreme Court that Lil’ Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, paid them nothing for their work other than giving each man a piece of jewelry she said was worth $10,000.

However, court papers allege that Lil’ Kim later demanded the jewelry back and threatened physical violence if the men refused. The men’s lawyer, Kenneth Sussmane, said “a very large person came around to collect the pieces, and they gave them back.”

Lil’ Kim’s entertainment lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, denied the allegations.

“They were paid,” he said. “They were paid by Atlantic Records. They had a falling out, and now they’ve filed a frivolous and malicious lawsuit to embarrass her.”

Anthony Jeffries and Vincent Hart, both 23, say they co-wrote three songs on the “La Bella Mafia” album and performed on a fourth. They say each was promised $15,000 for performing and $10,000 plus royalties for each song they co-wrote.

The men say Lil’ Kim, 29, also promised to pay them $400 plus per-diem expenses for appearances at her concerts and promotional engagements. They appeared at more than 30 concerts and promotions and were paid for only one, court papers said.

The lawsuit seeks $100,000 for each plaintiff.

McMillan accused the men of capitalizing on the hip-hop sensation’s notoriety stemming from her March conviction on charges of lying to a federal grand jury about a gunfight outside a Manhattan radio station. She will be sentenced June 24.

The rapper won a Grammy in 2001 for her part in the hit remake of “Lady Marmalade.”