South Florida, home to sobbing judges and Elián González lawsuits, is the nation's capital of ridiculous litigation. So it's only fitting we play host to this doozy: Marion "Suge" Knight versus Kanye West.
In January 2009, the bankrupt former Death Row Records CEO filed a federal lawsuit against West, claiming the rapper should be financially responsible for an unsolved 2005 shooting at a party he hosted at South Beach's posh Shore Club that left Knight capped in the femur.
Among Knight's alleged damages: medical bills, expenses including "the cost of a private plane to transport him from Florida back to Los Angeles," and a supposedly $135,000 diamond earring that Knight claims was stolen in the melee. The Shore Club's owners were also named as defendants in the suit.
Originally filed in California district court, the suit has now been transferred to Miami."People shouldn't underestimate Suge Knight," says his boisterous lawyer Marc Brumer, adopting the tone of a boxing promoter before a title fight. "He's a very adept businessman. He's a mess, but he's sharp. Nobody likes Kanye West anymore. Even though he's still selling millions of records, everybody's sick of him."
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It's unfortunate for Knight, then, that court cases aren't decided by American Idol-style mass text votes. The cigar-chomping, Bloods-affiliated ex-NFL linebacker is in serious need of cash. He has already sold his record label and still owes more than $6 million to the IRS.
Knight was scheduled to come to town for a deposition last week, but it appears the big man can't catch a break. "He was in a pretty serious car accident," Brumer explains. "He lost a couple of teeth, he's in pain, and he can't speak."
West might not be losing sleep over Knight's attack, but it's more bad news for the Shore Club, which was hit with a foreclosure suit in March. Lawyers representing the rapper and the hotel either did not return our calls or declined to comment.
This whole scenario woefully disillusions Riptide. What's the world coming to when hip-hop's resident real bad guy — who once reportedly hung Vanilla Ice from a balcony to wrest royalty rights from him — resorts to a lawsuit in shaking down a rapper for cash?