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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2007, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
Rapper Rhymes faces four trials
Busta Rhymes
Mr Rhymes was present at the hearing in Manhattan District Court
US rap star Busta Rhymes is facing four separate trials for assault and driving offences after a judge rejected a bid to consolidate several cases into one.

He is accused of driving while drunk, driving on a suspended licence, assaulting an employee and beating a fan who allegedly spat on his car.

Manhattan District Court Judge Larry Stephen ruled the prosecution could not combine the two assault charges.

The four trials will run consecutively, starting on 5 September.

On hearing the news, the 34-year-old rapper gave a celebratory "high five" hand slap to his defence lawyer, Scott Leemon.

"The decision today validates the defence's argument," Mr Leemon said.

"We detailed to the court that we have defence to these cases and the court agreed."


The performer, whose real name is Trevor Jones, also refused for the second time the offer of a year in jail to cover all four cases.

He was arrested most recently this May on a drink-driving charge. He allegedly admitted to police that he had drunk a single shot of cognac about an hour earlier.

At that time, he had been scheduled to go to trial on the two assault charges.

In one case, he is accused of beating and kicking his former driver during a pay dispute. In the other, he is charged with assaulting a fan after a performance at a music festival.

While those charges were pending in February, the rapper was jailed briefly after police said they stopped him for running a red light and discovered he was driving with a suspended licence.

The hip-hop artist's hits include Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See, Gimme Some More and Woo-Hah! Got You All In Check.

He has also appeared in films including 2000's Shaft and Finding Forrester.

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