PHILADELPHIA - Rapper Beanie Sigel, who has sold more than a million records glamorizing a criminal lifestyle, was briefly jailed Thursday until he paid $26,000 in child support.
Sigel, 31, spent about an hour in jail after being sentenced in Family Court to six months in prison unless the payments were made to help his children by two mothers. Sigel paid the money and $2,000 in fines and was released, one of his attorneys said.
The children's names and ages were kept confidential. Sigel said one case involved a child of about 5.
He said he had made cash payments to that child's mother but had no records to prove it.
Sigel attorney Walter McHugh also argued Thursday that Sigel has not been earning money to pay the support because he has been under house arrest, in drug rehab or in prison for much of the past two years.
Chief Assistant District Attorney Maria McLaughlin noted that Sigel donated $5,000 in August for a reward in a high-profile missing-person case. McHugh said the reward money was donated in Sigel's name.
McHugh also contended prosecutors were pursuing the child-support case more vigorously because Sigel was acquitted two months ago of a 2003 shooting.
McLaughlin called the accusation "insulting."
Sigel, born Dwight Grant, has a long arrest record dating back to his youth.
He left federal prison in August after serving nearly a year on a federal weapons charge. In September, a jury found him not guilty in the 2003 case, which carried charges that he nearly shot to death a man on a crowded city street.
Sigel's three albums - "The Truth" in 2000, "The Reason" in 2001 and this year's "The B. Coming" - each hit the top five on the Billboard album chart. Many of Sigel's songs depict guns, drugs and violence.
He also has his own clothing line and starred in the movie "State Property" and its sequel.
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