Death Row Close To Court Takeover
Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight skipped a court-ordered appearance at a hearing about his assets Saturday, setting the stage for courts to take control of his Death Row Records label.Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight skipped a court-ordered appearance at a hearing about his assets Saturday, setting the stage for courts to take control of his Death Row Records label.
Knight has missed several hearings in a legal battle since he lost a $107 million judgment last year to Lydia Harris, a former associate who claimed she helped start the rap record empire with her former husband, Michael Harris.
Michael Harris, an imprisoned drug dealer, says he put up $1.5 million to help start the record label -- an assertion Knight has repeatedly denied. A judge last month ordered the record company into receivership, which hinged on Knight's appearance at Saturday's hearing.
A court-appointed "receiver" would take control of all assets of Death Row Records, including a music library containing the records of such artists as Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dog and Dr. Dre, said Steve Goldberg, attorney for Michael Harris.
Lawyers for the Harris' said they would ask that Knight be held in contempt and jailed until he participates in the hearing to disclose his assets. "He's had his last chance as far as we're concerned," Goldberg said.
A hearing was set for tomorrow to finalize the receivership and address the contempt request. "We are going to ask the receiver to take ownership of the music library and auction it off," Goldberg said. He predicted this could be "a death sentence for Death Row Records."
Knight's attorney, Dermot Givens, would say only, "We try our cases in the court and not in the press." Givens also did not appear at the hearing. Givens had said Friday that he told opposing lawyers Knight would not appear at the hearing. He gave no reason.
Last December, a judge froze Knight's assets, saying he and his lawyers had failed to answer questions and provide information in the case.
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