NEW YORK (AP) – Rap star Lil’ Kim testified at her federal perjury trial on Thursday, telling jurors she was bullied by prosecutors when she allegedly lied to a grand jury about a 2001 shootout.

“I was a victim (of the shooting),” the Grammy-winning artist said. “I couldn’t believe I was being badgered the way I was.”

Wearing a lacy peach blouse beneath a white blazer, the 4-foot-11 Lil’ Kim frequently turned toward jurors, flashed broad smiles and dropped names of famous artists with whom she’s worked. She was admonished by the judge after prosecutors complained they heard her say hello to one juror from the witness stand as the jury exited for lunch.

During cross-examination, prosecutor Cathy Seibel confronted Lil’ Kim about a war of words with rapper Foxy Brown that allegedly fueled the violence. The defendant denied her lyric “You local bitch, I’m worldwide” was about Brown.

“I don’t think of her when I write my rhymes,” Lil’ Kim said. “It’s just entertainment.”

Lil’ Kim, 29, known for her risque wardrobe and raunchy raps, and her personal assistant have pleaded not guilty to perjury, obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges. The rapper’s cross-examination was to continue on Friday.

Authorities say the gunfire erupted when Lil’ Kim’s entourage crossed paths with that of rival hip-hop group Capone-N-Noreaga on Feb. 25, 2001, in Manhattan.

One man was injured as more than two dozen rounds were fired on the sidewalk.

After witnessing the shooting, Lil’ Kim allegedly lied under oath to protect two of the shooters – her manager, Damion Butler, and a friend, Suif Jackson – who since have pleaded guilty to gun charges.

In grand jury testimony in 2003, Lil’ Kim claimed Butler wasn’t there and she couldn’t recognize a photo of Jackson – a position she maintained on Thursday while being questioned by her lawyer, Mel Sachs.

“I don’t remember seeing Damion,” she said. “That’s the bottom line – I just don’t remember.”

Lil’ Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, testified that the shooting began without warning and that she was whisked away in a limousine before she could grasp what happened.

“I was stunned,” she said. “I was in shock.”

The jury has heard Antoine “Banger” Spain and James “Lil’ Cease” Lloyd – Brooklyn rappers who once teamed with Lil’ Kim in a group called Junior M.A.F.I.A. – testify that they saw Butler and Jackson at the radio station with her. Security photos taken at the station show Butler opening a door for her and the pair outside together just moments before the shooting.

Lil’ Kim said that after the shooting she had a falling out with Butler, Banger and Cease because they were freeloading at her New Jersey town house. She said she decided to cut off Butler completely after he caused a ruckus outside a video shoot with Phil Collins – the basis of a defense argument that she had no incentive to lie for him.

“I was just fed up,” she said. “They were taking advantage of me.”

The rapper also testified at length about her modest background and mercurial career, which began with an impromptu audition with slain rapper Notorious B.I.G. on the street in their Brooklyn neighborhood. She described traveling the world to perform and promote her records.

“Japan is one of my favorite places to go because all of the clothes fit me,” the tiny witness quipped.

One female juror burst out laughing.



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