Mother of slain rapper Shakur sues his label

Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

The mother of rap star Tupac Shakur sued Death Row Records for fraud Friday, accusing the company of bilking her son out of an estimated $1 million from sales of unauthorized merchandise.

The lawsuit, filed by Afeni Shakur and New York attorney Richard Fischbine, co-administrators of the rapper's estate, the lawsuit names four defendants, including Globex, Cronies/Reproductive Images and Death Row attorney David E. Kenner.

Shakur, whose last two albums have sold more than 4 million copies in the United States, was gunned down in a Las Vegas drive-by shooting on Sept. 7 and died six days later.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, contends that Shakur's "All Eyez on Me" album contains an advertisement and order form for the unauthorized merchandise. The suit alleges that thousands of hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing Shakur's likeness have been advertised and sold.

Death Row Chairman Suge Knight was sent to prison last month on a probation violation. Representatives for Globex and Cronies/Reproductive Images could not be reached for comment. In a phone interview, Kenner said the claims against Death Row and him lack merit.

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