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Wednesday, 27 February, 2002, 14:34 GMT
Death Row in profits legal battle
Marion
Marion Knight headed Death Row records while in prison
One of the biggest hip hop record companies in the US is at the centre of a legal battle over profits.

Record producer Lydia Harris is suing the owner of Death Row Records, Marion "Suge" Knight, and several alleged co-conspirators.

Harris claims she was co-founder of Death Row, and alleges that they changed the legal existence of the record label to exclude her from being involved with it.

The label is one of the most famous rap/hip hop record companies in the US, and it launched the careers of Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg.

Harris' attorney David Casselman said she had initially became involved with the label as a 50% shareholder in a company called GFP Inc, which was the parent company to Death Row.

Damages

It is alleged that Knight, along with Harris' former attorney David Kenner, covered up her ownership stake with paperwork and behind-the-scenes manoeuvring.

Mr Casselman said damages should be "certainly in the tens of millions and could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars".

Tupac Shakur
Tupac was shot in a drive-by shooting
Harris said she was suing "in order to restore my good name and reputation, which (Knight) has callously attacked in recent months."

Knight shot to fame in the early 1990s running Death Row, but he was jailed in 1996 for his part in a fight with a rival gang just hours before his protégé Tupac Shakur was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Knight landed in jail after breaking a 1995 probation order he received for two counts of assault following a fight with two rappers.

He also pleaded guilty to federal charges of attempting to commit a drug-related offence and conspiracy.

The 36-year-old had remained the head of Los Angeles-based Death Row during his imprisonment.

He was released after serving half of a nine-year jail sentence.

See also:

07 Aug 01 | Music
Hip hop boss leaves jail
23 Apr 01 | Music
Rap's stormy Knight
19 Apr 01 | Music
Hip-hop boss to leave jail
17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Puff Daddy's life of rhyme
17 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Puff Daddy cleared of gun charges
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