Mon Feb 28, 7:53 PM ET
A jury was chosen Monday to hear conspiracy and perjury
charges facing rapper Lil' Kim, whose lawyer said the case against her was not an indictment of the rap or hip-hop music industries.
U.S. District Judge Gerard Lynch told lawyers opening
statements would begin Tuesday.
The charges were brought against the entertainer, whose
real name is Kimberly Jones, by prosecutors who accused her of lying to a grand jury investigating a 2001 shooting involving
members of her entourage.
Last August, Lil' Kim told a news conference that the
case was part of the government's continued indictment against the hip-hop industry and that her innocence would be proved.
On Monday, defense lawyer Mel Sachs said: "The rap and
hip-hop music industry are not on trial here. The musical artist known as Lil' Kim is on trial here."
He added, "Applying the law to the facts will mandate
that she is not guilty."
Prosecutors declined to comment.
In September, one of Lil' Kim's former bodyguards, Suif
Jackson, 34, was sentenced to a dozen years in prison after he admitted firing a gun at least 20 times in the shootout as
the rapper left a Manhattan hip-hop radio station.
Authorities said the shooting occurred as Lil' Kim's
entourage was leaving the station, WQHT, or Hot 97, and the entourage of rival rap group Capone-N-Noreaga was arriving. One
man in the group's entourage was wounded.
The shootout occurred the same year Lil' Kim, known for
her revealing outfits and risque lyrics, won a Grammy Award for her part in the hit remake of "Lady Marmalade."