Rapper T.I. denies suicide save was publicity stunt

Thu Oct 14, 2010 6:55pm EDT
 
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rapper T.I. on Thursday denied suggestions that he had helped talk a man out of suicide as a publicity stunt ahead of a key court appearance this week.

T.I., who was released in March from a nine-month prison term for weapons possession, made headlines when he helped Atlanta police coax a suicidal man off the ledge of a 22-story building by taping a video message for him.

The 30 year-old Grammy-award winning rapper and record producer has a probation hearing in the city on Friday, and could face more prison time following a drug arrest in September in Los Angeles.

The court date has led several U.S. media outlets to question the timing of his good deed.

"I didn't know this guy, I didn't wake up in the morning to say 'Hey let me find a way to go and save someone's life so I can be looked at favorably come Friday.' This is not something I could have planned," T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris, told CNN in an interview on Thursday.

The "Got Your Back" singer said he felt he had to help when he heard about the man on Atlanta radio on Wednesday while on his way to shoot a music video.

"My situation never even became a thought in my mind in the process of dealing with this. It was just something that touched my heart." T.I. told CNN.

Asked by CNN about the possibility of being sent back to prison on Friday, T.I. said; "I am not at liberty to really speak upon the facts of anything associated with tomorrow or the outcome of tomorrow."

(Reporting by Christine Kearney and Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

 
<p>The rapper known as T.I. reacts at the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors in New York City June 3, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>