News: Cheers Greet Lil' Kim's Prison Release
Rapper Lil' Kim has left prison after serving nearly 10 months for perjury and, in typical fashion, she did so in style.
Wearing a low-cut white top and flashy sunglasses, the diminutive star clutched a bouquet of flowers as she greeted fans before stepping into a shiny Rolls Royce.
The rapper received an early release from a federal detention center in Philadelphia that morning after nearly 10 months behind bars. A throng of fans was there to greet her.
Toting a balloon and a bouquet of white roses, the 4'11," 30-year-old rapper walked out of the jail looking glamorous in sunglasses and an all-white, cleavage-baring outfit, reports the Associated Press.
Waving to dozens of cheering onlookers - some carrying signs reading, "Welcome Home, Queen Bee" - Lil' Kim climbed into a silver Rolls Royce that ultimately pulled into a nearby parking lot where she re-emerged to greet the crowd.
"I love you," she said, blowing kisses to her fans.
She has been in jail since September after being convicted of perjury in testimony to a federal grand jury about a shooting outside a New York radio station. She was released more than two months early for good behaviour.
"Today is a joyous day for me and my family. I am extremely grateful and happy to be home," Kim said in a statement.
"Many special thanks go out to my fans, who were critical in helping me get through these past 10 months. I am looking forward to adjusting back to my normal life and getting back to work," she added.
Lil' Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, won a Grammy award in 2001 and has produced albums such as La Bella Mafia and Notorious K.I.M.
During the February 2001 incident that led to her conviction, gunfire broke out after Lil' Kim's entourage encountered rap act Capone-N-Noreaga outside the radio station.
Kim testified she did not notice two of her close friends, Suif Jackson and Damion Butler, at the scene, but was discredited after the men later pleaded guilty to gun charges.
The 12 months-and-a-day sentence was lenient compared to the 33 months that prosecutors sought in the high-profile case, which shed light on complex rivalries in the hip-hop world. Lil' Kim is reported to have an ongoing beef with rap rival Foxy Brown.
Kim will still have to undergo 30 days house arrest.
Her publicist said Kim would spend some time with family and friends before going back to work.
"Kim had a lot of time to be able to think and she has definitely been the type of person to turn a negative situation into a positive one," said Tracy Nguyen.
"I am thrilled to be coming home," Lil' Kim, real name Kimberly Jones, said in a statement. "I thank all my fans for all their letters, as well as my family and friends for all their support."
Lil' Kim was released more than two months before her jail term was to expire in September, but will remain under house arrest for an additional 30 days. She was found guilty in March last year on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiring to obstruct justice.
The rapper (real name Kimberly Jones) will remain under house arrest for 30 days and be under supervised release for three years. "She has accepted responsibility and handled herself in an exemplary manner," her attorney, L. Londell McMillan, said in a statement released by Lil' Kim's publicist.
Lil' Kim, the first prominent female rapper to serve a prison sentence, was convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about a shootout outside a Manhattan radio station and began her sentence on Sept. 19, 2005. McMillan, noted at the time that she could be released early for good behavior.
Her case stemmed from a gun battle between Lil' Kim's entourage and rival rap group Capone-N-Noreaga. One man was injured.
Lil' Kim told a jury that she hadn't seen two friends - who later pleaded guilty to gun charges - at the scene. But security photos showed one of the friends opening a door for her, and witnesses said they saw her at the station with both of them.