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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
"Suge" Knight files for bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday to avoid losing control of his Death Row Records label in a $107 million civil court judgment, his lawyers said.

Knight, who co-founded Death Row in the early 1990s and helped launch the careers of such rap stars as Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, has failed to make good on a March judgment to pay Lydia Harris, who claimed Knight cheated her out of a 50 percent stake in the music label.

Harris's attorneys have accused Knight of "playing games" to avoid payment to their client.

Two weeks ago, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge said he would appoint a court officer, called a receiver, to take control of Knight's assets, including Death Row, and directed Knight to disclose his finances in a debtor's exam set for April 1.

The judge, Ronald Sohigian, said then that Knight could petition the court to remove the receiver if he cooperated in providing information about his assets. But the rap impresario failed to show up for the exam on Saturday.

"He has no choice, the way these people have forced his hand," Knight's new lawyer, Laurence Strick, told Reuters on Tuesday, adding that he will file for bankruptcy for Death Row later in the day.

Another court hearing in the matter was set for Tuesday, during which the judge could formalize the receivership.



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