Tupac Shakur out on $1.4-million bail

Published Oct. 14, 1995|Updated Oct. 4, 2005

Rapper Tupac Shakur was released from prison on $1.4-million bail just eight months after a New York judge sentenced him to a prison term of up to 4{ years for sexual assault, officials said Friday. Shakur, 23, was released Thursday pending an appeal of his conviction, said New York state Corrections Department spokesman Michael Huston. The singer had been serving his sentence at Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora, about 325 miles north of New York City. "He's out on bail and here in Los Angeles. I had dinner with him last night," said his publicist, George Pryce at Death Row Records, the controversial rap label that recently signed the singer. Shakur, a multimillion-selling gangsta rapper and occasional movie actor who goes by the stage name 2Pac, was handed a maximum 18-month to 4{-year prison term in February for sexually assaulting a 21-year-old woman in a New York hotel room. Along with road manager Charles Fuller, he was convicted of the assault in December, but acquitted of the more serious charges of sodomy and criminal weapons possession. In May, a state judge knocked down Shakur's bail from $3-million to $1.4-million, said his attorney, Edward Shaw. The money was raised by Atlantic Records, which guaranteed $850,000. The rest was put up with a $300,000 bail bond and $250,000 in cash, Shaw said. Death Row, whose roster includes Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, also announced Shakur's signing to the label. He previously was on Interscope Records, which distributes Death Row products. The Atlantic Group, which includes Atlantic Records, distributed his Interscope releases.

Turner postpones airing

of "The Birth of a Nation'

The fallout from the O.J. Simpson verdict continues to spread. The latest example comes from a cable TV channel, which has postponed plans to show The Birth of a Nation, the sweeping 1915 epic that vilifies freed slaves as despoilers of white womanhood and romanticizes the Ku Klux Klan as their noble avengers. "When the racial temperature went up from 98.6, we discussed it and said maybe this is not the best time to show it," said Jim Weiss, the vice president of public relations for Turner Classic Movies, which had scheduled the film for Oct. 29. "We're not canceling it," he added, "just postponing it until the racial temperature goes down." The network had planned to present the D.W. Griffith film, a groundbreaking work of cinematic art despite its virulently racist message, and follow it with a round-table conversation with Dr. Thomas Cripps, a film scholar at Morgan State University, and Charles Burnett, director of To Sleep With Anger, both of whom are African-American. Whenever the film is presented, Weiss said, the network will include a discussion of its historical and cinematic context, and the controversy that has always surrounded it.

In other news . . .

Misdemeanor charges have been dropped against actor Robert De Niro, who scuffled with a video cameraman last week outside a trendy Manhattan bar, police officials said Friday. An investigation also will be launched into whether the cameraman, his attorney or others committed any crimes stemming from the incident, said Barbara Thompson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. WCBS Radio reported the cameraman and another man allegedly asked for $150,000 from De Niro in exchange for dropping the charges and a civil lawsuit threatened against him.

Ralph Fiennes, star of the new movie Strange Days, and his wife of 10 years, stage actor Alex Kingston, have split, it was disclosed Friday. The actor's spokeswoman refused to say if divorce was imminent.

Lonestar marked the release this week of its self-titled debut album with performances at Wal-Mart stores in the Lone Star State. The BNA recording act, made up of native Texans, visited stores in Porter, Pasadena and Houston on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Sunday, they will perform the national anthem before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Minnesota Vikings game at Tampa Stadium.

Murder One may need medical attention after its first head-to-head confrontation with ER. The ABC show managed only an 8.3 rating and 14 share Thursday, compared with the 24.7 rating and 40 share posted by ER on NBC, according to the networks. A single ratings point equals 959,000 households, or 1 percent of the nation's 95.9-million TV homes estimated by Nielsen Media Research. Share is the percentage of TV sets in use at any one time tuned to a particular broadcast.