updated 04/15/2003 AT 1:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/15/2003 AT 11:55 AM ET
Hip-hop mogul Marion “Suge” Knight said Monday that his company, Death Row Records (now called Tha Row), had no involvement with an aspiring rapper who is charged with murdering a woman in Los Angeles last year, reports Reuters.
The comment came after the family of the victim launched a wrongful-death lawsuit, which names rapper Big Lurch (real name: Antron Singleton), as well as Knight’s company. Lurch is also awaiting a criminal trial over the death of murder victim Tynisha Ysais, 21.
Ysais’s mother, Carolyn Stinson, is suing Lurch, Death Row Records and another label (said to be a division on Tha Row) called Stress Free, as well as two employees, claiming the labels provided Big Lurch with drugs and encouraged him to “act out in an extreme violent manner to make him more marketable as a ‘gangsta rap’ artist.”
Ysais was reportedly discovered in her Los Angeles apartment with teeth marks on her face and on pieces of her lung, which had been torn from her chest.
Big Lurch was arrested on a nearby street after police found him staggering naked, apparently dazed and covered in blood.
Knight said he had never met Lurch, nor has he heard of Stress Free. “I don’t know this guy,” he said. “Nobody from our company knows this guy. I never even heard the guy rap.”
Knight said the lawsuit had been filed in an attempt to cash in on his brand of rap.
“They’re just looking to get paid,” he said. “It’s not only just slander. It’s fraud.”
Stinson’s lawyer, Winston McKesson, tells Reuters that Big Lurch could have been linked to Knight’s label by mistake and, should that turn out to be the case, Knight will be dropped from the lawsuit “immediately.”