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Akon Apologizes -- I Didn't Know She Was Underage

5/9/2007 5:37 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

AkonTMZ has just received a statement from R&B singer Akon in response to the media firestorm over his onstage simulated sex romp with a 15-year-old during a concert in Trinidad a few weeks ago:

"First, and most important to me, I want to sincerely apologize for the embarrassment and any pain I've caused to the young woman who joined me on-stage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert in Port of Spain on April 12th.

It was never my intention to embarrass or take advantage of my fans in any way, especially those under the age of 18. That is why we tried to make sure that the club did not admit anyone under 18 in the audience. Somehow, that standard was not met.

Again, I apologize to those concerned and to all my fans and I pledge to all that we will strive to make sure this type of incident does not happen again."

114 COMMENTS

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91.

Susan    

Um.. why would it matter if the girl was 15 or 55? I am 30 years old and I can tell you right now that if something like that unexpectedly happened to me up on stage I would sue faster than Akon could say "MISOGYNST". gwen Stefani herself calls this concert PG. Why on earth would anyone expect, let alone want,t to be RAPED with their clothes on?!

Let's place the blame on this pig.

2662 days ago
92.

houdoui@hotmail.com    

Danah's Conduct at Zen: What's the Big Deal?
By Heru
From: Trinidad and Tobago News Blog
April 24, 2007

When this issue first surfaced on the internet and local radio talk shows, before Trinicenter's article "Akon Did Not Abuse Girl At Zen", many people were making very racist comments against Akon. Over time, following the exposure of the racism, more photos and other information surrounding this incident, many have shifted blame to club Zen for breaching the law with regards to minors in such places. Many more have shifted the blame to Danah and are being extreme in their condemnations.

If people are going on about the age of the girl, then fine. There is a law addressing minors in clubs that was breached there. But if you remove the age of the girl from the equation, then Minister Hinds and several other people have expanded on what "lewd dancing" is as an illegal act.

Some people on talk shows are attaching this issue to the controversy over the 'Manzanilla Beach After Carnival Cool Down' which involved ladies actually showing their private parts on stage and not just dancing raunchy. As I stated yesterday, if we are going down the road of charging people for raunchy dancing outside of stripping for cash (although I disagree with the law there) then the government is definitely talking about regulating regular dancing at Carnival time.

The obvious hypocrisies over this issue have been exposed. There are acts with males standing on their heads on stage and females gyrating on them; there are acts with women with their hands on the ground and butts in the air and some guys gyrating on them. There are people who regularly go on the ground and gyrate on each other at Carnival fetes.

I have even seen these behaviours in the local Country Club among many other 'prestigious' places. Generally speaking, when these incidents are reported in the papers, church people make noise and there is much talk about it, but the law generally seems to be clear on what they consider illegal.

If people are just being shown that one small clip aired by TV6 of the girl and Akon at Zen, it does not convey what transpired before and after that one clip. It paints a distorted picture. Before that clip, there is the girl among others wining, 'Dutty Wining' etc. on their own for the audience. Then there are images of the girl pulling the artist closer to her several times, actually holding his belt at one time and pulling him in.

This is all common in club shows and even Carnival fetes and nothing is wrong with that in my view, except if one is deliberately breaking the law with a minor. I will add in this particular show at Zen, there was no evidence that the star or others were paying the girl to strip or participate unwillingly in the dance. The girl herself said she just got carried away. So this incident cannot be equated with the stripping incident at Manzanilla Beach.

Also, I feel people are making too much of the girl's performance as if the girl did something so wrong and is in need of salvation as a result of that dance performance. The behaviour of that girl is typical of teens that have the resources to indulge. Many buy into the "Girls Gone Wild" type of conduct.

If the girl felt that how people are reacting to her performance is fair and she would reconsider her actions in the future, then fine. But some of the comments actually speak about the repressed sexuality of the commentators. They make a big deal at the sight of people gyrating as if there is something wrong with that.

This country was Christianized and certain immature acts, curious behaviours and even harmless normal behaviours have been criminalized as a result.

There also seems to be some special relationship between this government and Zen's owner, Johnny Soong. Not that something is wrong with that per se, but there seems to be an effort to play down the only aspect of that incident that was a clear breach of the law - the age of the girl in the club.

Mr. Hinds accused Akon of possibly committing, "...a criminal offence of lewd dancing in public", which is spurious at best, but called on Zen to more or less do better age checks in the future.

Now the Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, got involved and is calling on the public to forgive the actions of teenager Danah Alleyne. He also said: "I have taken very careful notice of this matter and the owner of Zen owes it to the public to take responsibility. I will be interfacing with Zen because that kind of thing should never be allowed to happen in this country." His statement about interfacing with Zen is even stranger. Why is he going to meet with the owner of Zen? I did not know that Zen was such an essential service that when they are clearly in breach of the law, the Prime Minister has to talk to them about possibly bucking up. This new aspect has added a strange dimension to this deba

2662 days ago
93.

Get to Know Your Time Zones    

http://www.myspace.com/divatrixie

Thing is…. She is still lying… this is her myspace page and she logged in today and it says she is 19…. There are also pictures of her wearing the outfit she wore…. Daddy got mad at her and now she is saying what she can to shut him up….. she needs to stop lying!!!!!

2662 days ago
94.

Lesley    

I blame the parents. Why was this girl in an 18 and up club and dressed like a skank anyway and plus she had piercings and tatoos at 15? Why would you let a child do this to herself. This is the parents fault for letting their daughter act his way, and the father suppose to be a priest. He is just trying to get money, and that fault is all his. I dont like Akon, but this isn't his fault and he shouldnt be sued because of the someone else's bad parenting skills.

2662 days ago
95.

melanie    

OMG. Stop saying it's "rape" when she was riding him at some point with a big smile on her face.

2661 days ago
96.

momoftwo    

As a mother I find it very disturbing that this fifteen year old girl was even in the club. I feel as though the parents and the club owner should share major responsibility in this situation. Fake id or whatever got her in, her parents should have been more aware of their daughters whereabouts. Bumping and grinding (or simulated rape) has been a part of dancing forever, not to say it is right, but hey! Parents are responsible for their children.

2661 days ago
97.

angel    

she may be 15yrs old, but at what point is she held resonsible for HER actions????? SHE got up there and acted like a tramp!!!!!!SHES the one at 15yrs old went into a 18 and older club!!!!! SHES THE ON WITH NO RESPECT FOR HERSELF!!!!!!!! BLAME THE TRAMP!!!!!!! and this shes just a child (COME ON ALREADY) THATS HOW WE GOT PARIS HILTON AND SHE'S 26 NOW AND STILL THINKS SHE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR HER ACTIONS (ROLE MODELS HA,HA, HA ) JUST TEACHING KIDS HOW TO ACT LIKE HER WITH OUT CONSEQENCES. AND WHAT KID WALKS OUT LOOKING LIKE THAT ANYWAY?????? SHE WAS OUT LOOKING FOR TROUBLE !!!! STOP ACTING LIKE ITS ALL RIGHT JUST BECAUSE YOUR A KID. AND AT WHAT POINT IS IT THE PARENTS FAULT TOO?????? LIKE THEY DONT KNOW THERE DAUGHTER ACTS LIKE THIS

2661 days ago
98.

caboverde's finest    

We really need to look at the facts people. First off none of this would be an issue at all if this club Zen did not allow this child into an enviroment where it was mandatory for everyone to be an 18 and over adult. It cannot get any simpler than that. Reguardless of how Akon behaved on stage, that is his perogative to do what he sees fit as a entertaining performance and as long as it is within the confines of the law. At the time of the incident Akon had no reason to believe this girl was a minor, because everyone at the concert, by law, was supposed to be 18 and over, so he can't get the blame for her being a minor and to call him a rapist is a little over the top. Now if he knew this girl was 15 then thats when we call him a rapist, but at the time of the occurance, to him, they were two consenting adults dancing very pervocatively. Secondly I know this might be shocking to you all, but in the Carribean they really do dance that way,even some Carribean artist come here to the USA and do the same thing Akon did, right here. So I can see where Akon would get the idea that he wasn't doning anything wrong and where there really wasn't a problem with the way he was dancing. Besides that not one person in the audience protested, even when you watch the video you can see and hear everyone cheering "THEM" on. So surely if this was such a violent act then someone would have stopped it. You can't really blame him for that. Alot of people commented about how she was getting banged around; but if you were to look at the stll pictures you will be able to see very clearly that this girl was endulging and enjoying every minute of it smiling and laughing the whole way thru. So either way, she enjoyed what she was doing, and she even said so on her myspace page, stating that she had the best time of her life. Yes Akon does do things on stage that some people may not like and if thats the case then don't go to his shows but there are people out there who can relate to what he does as an artist and like the way he performs on stage. Who is anyone to say anything about what he does on stage as long as it is not illegal. Still, I just don't see where Akon has done something wrong. From the facts that have surfaced in this case I have gathered that the problem should be between Club Zen and the parents of this young lady not Akon. Its not his fault that she decided to lie to her parents about where she was going, sneak into a 18 and over club so that she could hang out around a bunch of adults and then the club actually let her in. There is no way anyone can pin that on him, the dancing is not his fault either, the girl was dancing with him too, if she didn't like it there wouldn't be still picture shots of her smiling from ear to ear.

2661 days ago
99.

Lorraine    

IT DOESN'T MATTER IF SOMEONE IS STANDING NAKED IN FRONT OF YOU BEGGING FOR IT, YOU AS AN ADULT IS THE ONE WHO IS RESPONIBLE FOR YOUR OWN ACTION. STOP THE WHINNING HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SLEPT WITH HER IF HE DIDN'T GET BUSTED. SHAME ON YOU AKON.

2660 days ago
100.

Tracy Wright    

Akon is just another example of those who have no slf control!! This has taken money out of his pocket. http://granitehardwaredesigns.com

2660 days ago
101.

BFBTrip    

Yeah, I don't think much people would want something like that done to their female relatives. But I guarantee, if this incident gets more backbone because of the media, she will try pursuing some money for it, then I bet her family won't give a damn. I can bet, that if most of your families had this happen, if you got some money out of it, you wouldn't really care what Akon did to her. You need to stop making up situations of what if it happened to you anyway. Obviously is she is 15, her parents don't have any control over her. If she was 51, it was her choice to be there. Don't act like she is an innocent victim. Just because Akon WAS a convict, don't mean he's the same. So, what if he's ugly, or if you hate his voice. This is just another way to TRY to destroy someone's career, just because you don't like him. I'm not a big fan, I'm not a fan of anybody really. But, you don't see me ranting about he should be prosecuted. Ok, let's say it did happen to my sister, 1st of she is to blame for going there...yeah, she got past security, not Akon's fault. What Akon did, he's a grown man, and she was supposed to be over 18, he didn't know. What is he gonna do, "oh, let me check ya ID before I fake f**k you". She took her ass in there, and she know she liked it, so what's the deal. He was man enough to step up and apologize, so what if he was afraid it would be catastrophic if he didn't. I probably would probably wanna beat his ass, but I ain't gone try to ruin his career. Just because I'm black, doesn't mean I'm ignorant.

2660 days ago
102.

Catafli    

News Flash! African native "Akon" comes to America, makes it big in the music industry and becomes an instant "asshole"!

2660 days ago
103.

mosley    

Trish, i agree with you 100%. in march 2007 alone i saw a 13 yr old, and 15 yr old, both HIV positive, and the 13 yr old was pregnant. both contracted by sexual intercourse. But these were 2 separate cases. The 15 yr old couldn't get his 2 girlfriends to come in to get checked. Only GOD knows how many more he has been with, these are the only 2 he says he really cares about.

2660 days ago
104.

chynamami    

Everyone is so quick to jump down Akon's case. Now of course I dont advocate any type of sexual battery against minors or children,HOWEVER- Akon is just there to perform, not be the door keeper and check ids, thats up to the club owner to ensure that he is not allowing those underage into his establishment. Now as for the simulated sex act on stage.. so be it.. those that attended the show probably have his cd and wasnt expected him to be singing amazing grace..they know that his cd has adult content and for the to purchase tickets to his show, mean that they were in agreement with it and didnt find it offensive. so if they like it, i Love it!! hes there to entertain. I dont think he had any way of knowing that girl was 14/15 or whatever. she really didnt look like the daughter of a preacher scantily clad and bumping and grinding.i'm so sure they didnt teach her that at prayer meeting or bible study, so just give akon a break..please

2659 days ago
105.

draia    

I dont think Akon is to blame at all . The club is supposed to be 18+, how was he supposed to know how old she was.AND where in the HELL were her parents!?!?! Why didnt they know she was out at an 18 and over club....Keep doing your thing Akon ... and to the comment that person left about him Being crusty and ugly..remember sweetie,if you are African american or not.. Whatever race you come from. We come in all shades ..And Black is Beautiful! ...I like you Akon,and I'm also over 18.

2659 days ago
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