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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 May 2007, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Singer 'sorry' over dance footage
Gwen Stefani and Akon
Akon is now on a lengthy US tour with Gwen Stefani
US hip-hop artist Akon has apologised after footage of him dancing provocatively on stage with a teenage girl was posted on the internet.

It led to telecommunications company Verizon pulling out as a sponsor of his US tour with Gwen Stefani.

The incident took place on 12 April in Trinidad, where Akon was performing at a nightclub. It was later reported that the girl was just 14.

In a statement Akon said he did not know the girl was underage.

Akon's hits include Lonely and Smack That, featuring Eminem.

Club blamed

He said: "I want to sincerely apologise for the embarrassment and any pain I've caused to the young woman who joined me on stage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert.

"It was never my intention to embarrass or take advantage of my fans in any way, especially those under the age of 18.

"That is why we tried to make sure that the club did not admit anyone under 18 in the audience.

"Somehow, that standard was not met."

Eric Rabe of Verizon told the BBC News website the video was "part of the decision" to withdraw their sponsorship of Stefani's tour, which Akon is supporting.

So far, no concerts have been cancelled and Akon remains on the tour.

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