Suge Knight Lawsuit: Kanye West Faces off with Mogul over Shooting

Kanye West and Marion "Suge" Knight (CBS/AP Photo, file)
Kanye West and Marion "Suge" Knight (CBS/AP Photo, file)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight and hip-hop star Kanye West faced off Friday over a beef involving a bullet - with a conference table between them.

The two rap titans were there for West to answer questions about a celebrity-packed Miami Beach party where an unknown gunman shot Knight in the leg. West hosted the 2005 fete at the posh Shore Club before the MTV Video Music Awards, held that year in Miami.

Knight - who promoted some of rap's biggest acts in the 1990s but who has recently been beset by legal and financial troubles - has sued the Grammy Award-winning West and the Shore Club's owners, saying they didn't provide enough security.

Knight said Friday he had hoped a face-to-face encounter with West - and their lawyers - could settle the matter, but he got few answers.

"I figured I could sit him down, man to man, and get this resolved," Knight said after the six-hour, closed-door session at a Fifth Avenue office. "I'm disappointed."

West said he wasn't involved in the security arrangements for the party, said Knight's lawyer, Marc Brumer.

In court papers, West and the Shore Club ownership have denied Knight's claims of negligence.

No one has been arrested in the Aug. 2005 shooting, which erupted in a club full of partygoers, including Jessica Alba, Eddie Murphy, the Black Eyed Peas and Paris Hilton. At least six shots were fired, police said.

The shooting shattered Knight's femur and left him with $200,000 in medical bills, Brumer said.

Knight said in his lawsuit, now being handled in Miami federal court, that West and the Shore Club should have realized the party could produce a "dangerous environment" because of the widely known history of sometimes violent feuding among rap figures.

"My whole thing is: I'm not here to put nobody behind bars," Knight said Friday, saying he mainly wanted to put the specter of rap-related violence to rest.

Knight, nicknamed "Suge" for Sugar Bear, founded Death Row Records and was one of the most powerful music figures of the 1990s.

He's seeking more than $1 million in damages in his lawsuit, but he would have to share the money with a bankruptcy trustee and the Internal Revenue Service if he prevails.

West, 33, rose to become one of rap's biggest stars in recent years, though he also has become known for impolitic outbursts (to put it lightly).