An attorney for rapper DMX says that accusations that his client robbed a man after a concert in Newark, N.J., on Saturday are completely baseless, and that the rapper simply walked away from a group of overzealous fans who were trying to sell him drugs.
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, has been accused of snatching $3,200 out of a Newark man's hands after a member of his entourage flashed a handgun and demanded money around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to a statement released by the city's police department.
The man, identified only as a 21-year-old Newark resident, was standing near a gas station along the city's McCarter Highway when he began talking to a man he recognized as the "Party (Up in Here)" rapper, police said. After a brief conversation, a member of DMX's entourage produced a handgun, the statement said.
After the alleged robbery, the victim said DMX and his entourage fled down the highway in four black Cadillac Escalades, police said. Sgt. Ronald Glover, a Newark police spokesman, said the victim followed them into Paterson, N.J., and was able to obtain a license plate number from one of the vehicles.
The man who claimed he was robbed was not injured, and police are reviewing surveillance video from the gas station to see if DMX was actually involved in the robbery, Glover said.
Murray Richman, DMX's longtime New York-based attorney, told the Los Angeles Times that the rapper and his entourage had simply stopped for gas when four men approached them, claiming to be fans.
"He was coming from a show, and he was accosted by these young men to take pictures. He took pictures, and they offered him drugs ... he said no ... he left," Richman told The Times. "There was videotape of this material."
Richman laughed at the idea that his client, who had just been paid for a performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, would rob someone.
“Do you really think for a moment he’s going to hold up two people at a gas station?” he said.
Richman said he did not know where DMX was Monday afternoon. He also said two members of DMX's entourage are retired police officers who serve as bodyguards and may have been licensed to carry firearms. He did not say if anyone brandished a weapon, as the police statement contends.
No charges had been filed in the case as of Monday morning, but a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told the Los Angeles Times that police are certain DMX was at the crime scene. Richman did not dispute that account.
Investigators have not identified the member of his entourage who is accused of brandishing the gun, according to the official, who said it was also not clear if Simmons had left New Jersey yet.
The official, lacking authorization to discuss the case publicly, requested anonymity.
The rapper's Beverly Hills-based agent declined to comment on the allegations and referred all questions to Simmons' publicist, who was not immediately available for comment.
The accusation is the latest in a string of troubles for the rapper, who was arrested three times for various driving infractions in 2013. DMX, who filed for bankruptcy in 2013, was also arrested on suspicion of speeding after allegedly driving at speeds above 100 mph in a Phoenix suburb in 2011, and he landed in handcuffs on drug and animal cruelty charges in 2008.
DMX also made headlines last year when rumors surfaced that he would step into a boxing ring and fight George Zimmerman, the Florida man involved in the controversial killing of Trayvon Martin. The rapper's camp later said the fight was never officially set.
The rapper was in Newark on Saturday to perform on the Masters of Ceremony show, an old-school rap concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center that also featured Big Daddy Kane, Mobb Deep and Slick Rick.
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