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January 25, 2007 


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LEGAL NEWS


Lawsuit Involving Rapper Death Dismissed
Posted: January 20, 2007
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A judge threw out a defamation lawsuit by a man who claimed Fox Television and a hip-hop magazine falsely accused him of involvement in the unsolved murder of rapper Notorious B.I.G.

A Superior Court judge on Thursday dismissed the suit by Tyruss Himes against Fox-owned KTTV-TV in Los Angeles and XXL magazine.

The judge granted defense motions to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that the stories were constitutionally protected free speech.

The judge also said Himes had failed to prove that the media outlets acted with malice and reckless disregard for the truth, which is the standard of proof in defamation cases, said Himes' attorney, Arthur G. Lesmez.

"We are appreciative of the time and effort the court put into reviewing the case," the attorney said Friday. "We're understandably disappointed in the decision and we're evaluating all of our options," including appeal or refiling the case.

Notorious B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was shot to death in a car on March 9, 1997.

There have been recurring rumors that the Wallace shooting was retaliation for the unsolved 1996 killing of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas. The rappers were feuding at the time.

Himes was a friend of Shakur who performed on his album "Loyal to the Game."

Himes sued Fox and XXL Magazine in July. The suit claimed that Himes lost a record deal because KTTV-TV aired a news report implicating him in the Wallace killing and XXL printed a 2005 article indicating that he was "involved in assembling the team" to murder Wallace.

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