Rap mogul Suge Knight testified May 5th during a federal bankruptcy hearing in Los Angeles that his jail time and a multimillion dollar judgment awarded to a couple who sued his Death Row Records led to hard times for the label.
Knight answered some, but not all, questions from creditors and frequently conferred with an accountant when asked about his assets and debts of more than $100 million.
He told a bankruptcy trustee that his incarcerations in 1996 and 2003 – both on parole violations – hampered the label’s progress, which included hit records by
He also denied allegations that he has hidden funds in foreign countries or in an African company that deals in diamonds and gold.
Bankruptcy documents filed April 20th showed Knight had no income this year from employment or operation of a business. His bank account contained just $11, and he owned clothing worth $1,000, furniture and appliances valued at $2,000 and jewelry worth $25,000, according to the records.
Knight shuttered Death Row Records after he lost a $107 million judgment to former associate Lydia Harris last year. When asked if he would eventually start the label up again, Knight said “yes,”and added, “Got to play for the people.”
Harris said she helped start the rap music empire with her former husband, Michael Harris, who is doing time at California’s San Quentin State Prison for dealing drugs. Michael Harris claimed he put up $1.5 million to start the label, which Knight has repeatedly denied.
The record exec’s decision to file for bankruptcy protection April 4th averted the court’s decision to put Death Row into receivership.
The move also kept Knight from being jailed on contempt charges for failing to show up for previous state court hearings and stymied the Harris’ attempt to collect the $107 million.
Knight testified that he had settled with Lydia Harris, paying her $1 million. She confirmed the $1 million payment, but said “I didn’t do a settlement for $1 million. That’s ridiculous.”