The Circus Is in Town: Suge Knight Brings Lawsuit Against Kanye West and Shore Club to Miami Court

In January 2009, bankrupt hip-hop chieftain Marion "Suge" Knight filed a lawsuit against Kanye West, claiming the rapper should be financially responsible for an unsolved 2005 shooting at a South Beach Shore Club party West hosted that left Knight capped in the leg.

Among Suge's alleged damages: medical bills, expenses including "the cost of a private plane to transport him from Florida back to Los Angeles," and a diamond earring, worth $135,000, Suge claims, which was stolen in the melee. The Shore Club's owners were also named as defendants in the suit.

Presumably because we don't have enough ridiculous litigation in South Florida, home of crying judges and Elián González lawsuits, the case has been transferred to Miami federal court.

This month, the festivities kick off when Suge comes to town for deposition. "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."

It's unfortunate for Suge, then, that court cases aren't decided by American Idol-style mass-text votes. The cigar-chomping, Bloods-affiliated former NFL linebacker -- who has been implicated in every conspiracy theory from planning BFF Tupac Shakur's murder to shooting himself in his own damn leg at that 2005 party -- is in serious need of cash. He has already sold Death Row Records and still owes more than $6 million to the IRS.

We're guessing Kanye West isn't losing sleep over this lawsuit, but it's more bad news for the ritzy Shore Club, which was hit with a foreclosure suit last week. Lawyers representing Kanye and the hotel either did not return our calls or declined to comment.

Riptide, for one, is woefully disillusioned by this whole scenario. Since when does hip-hop's resident real bad guy resort to a lawsuit when trying to shake down a rapper for cash? Couldn't he find a balcony high enough?

We've uploaded Suge's formal complaint below.

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Gus Garcia-Roberts