NEW YORK -- Rapper Foxy Brown was handcuffed, threatened with jail and made to apologize Friday after she opened her mouth and stuck out her tongue in the direction of a judge who had asked her to stop chewing gum.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Melissa Jackson told Brown that she was showing disrespect to the court and had previously been "making faces" at the judge. "I don't like her attitude," Jackson told Brown's lawyer Joseph Fleming.
Brown, 25, denied she was chewing gum, but the judge said she believed she was. At that, Brown opened her mouth and wagged her tongue as if to show her mouth was empty. Jackson ordered the rapper handcuffed to the defendants' bench along a courtroom wall.
While Brown was being handcuffed, a ruckus erupted in which she and a female court officer yelled at each other. Brown shouted that the numerous bracelets and bangles on her left wrist "are in the way," and, Jackson said, Brown struck the officer.
The judge gave Brown two chances to apologize. After the first, Fleming seemed to be telling Jackson that his client didn't feel she had anything to apologize for.
The judge told the lawyer to go back and explain to his client that without the apology, she would find Brown in contempt of court. A contempt finding would expose Brown to 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, Jackson said.
After a second meeting on the defendants' bench, the rapper, both hands cuffed behind her back, appeared before the judge and said, "I apologize for my actions."
Brown came to court expecting to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and get a nonjail sentence stemming from a fight over a manicure bill in a Chelsea nail salon. The deal hit a snag, apparently because Jackson was unsatisfied with Brown's plea statement.
Assistant District Attorney Gary Galperin said at the start of the proceeding that he believed the statement was legally and factually deficient, indicating that he believed Brown had not accepted enough blame for the fracas.
As Jackson set a return date of Jan. 23 for Brown, the judge said to Fleming, "Counsel, she has gum in her mouth."
Fleming denied that Brown was chewing gum, and told the judge the rapper could not hear her.
Brown, whose real name is Inga Marchand, is accused of assaulting two nail salon workers on Aug. 29, 2004, in a fight over payment for a manicure at Bloomie Nails in Manhattan's Chelsea area. She was initially charged with misdemeanor assault, attempted assault and harassment.
Prosecutors alleged that Brown, with a cell phone clutched in her closed fist, attacked and kicked one worker, and hit a second worker in the face.
Under the proposed plea deal discussed at her last court appearance, Brown would have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and served 10 days of community service.