Gotti Back In The Family

Irv Gotti has returned to Universal Music Group, the company he claims abandoned him in his time of need.

Gotti, whose real name is Irving Lorenzo, was acquitted nine months ago of using his Murder Inc. label to launder money for a convicted drug kingpin. He was indicted in 2005 after a three-year federal inquiry.

Lorenzo was expected to ink a deal with UMG at press time that would make him chief of a profit-sharing venture with Motown, according to The New York Times. The irony is, as Lorenzo told the paper, he is eating out of the hand that once hit him.

UMG “made a decision to destroy me,” he reportedly said. The recording company severed ties with Lorenzo after the indictment and top execs would no longer take his calls, he claimed. Also, UMG allegedly pressured Murder Inc. into vacating its Manhattan office, citing complaints from neighbors.

The producer brings with him Ja Rule and Ashanti and may be allowed to buy their master recordings, the Times said. He is also reportedly considering Vanessa Carlton as a signing.

Soon after Lorenzo’s acquittal, Warner Music Group came courting, the paper reported. WMG’s Lyor Cohen was head of Def Jam when things got rough for Murder Inc.

“I made that man a lot of money,” Lorenzo told the Times, but WMG’s offer was so low he found it “extremely disrespectful.”

Finally, Lorenzo was coaxed into having lunch with UMG’s Doug Morris, where they reportedly aired their grievances and moved forward.

Morris told the paper Lorenzo “really felt betrayed, and I don’t blame him,” adding, “I never had any bad feelings toward him. It wasn’t anything to do about him. He’s one of the most talented people in the industry.”