Nicki Minaj denies entourage involved in Japan death

June 1, 2012 7:45 am


This file photo shows rapper Nicki Minaj performing in Carson, California/AFP
TOKYO, Jun 1 – Rapper Nicki Minaj has denied claims her dancers were involved in the death of a young Irish fan whose body was found in a hotel room after attending a Tokyo concert.

In a posting on her Twitter account, Minaj, who has worked alongside Rihanna and Black Eyed Peas front man, expressed her condolences over the death of the 21-year-old student.

“Saddened to learn one of my precious fans; found tragically murdered in Japan. My love & prayers are with the family of Nicola Furlong,” the US star tweeted on Thursday.

Tokyo police last week arrested two American men, 23-year-old dancer James Blackston and a musician, 19, as part of an investigation into Furlong’s death, a police spokesman said Friday.

Police have not revealed the name of the musician, who is a minor under Japanese law.

One of the men was with Furlong when she was found dead early on the morning of May 24 in a Tokyo hotel room, an earlier report said.
An autopsy reportedly showed she may have been strangled.

The men were detained on suspicion of giving alcoholic drinks to Furlong’s friend, also a 21-year-old Irish woman, and then groping her inside a taxi, police and reports said.

US-based celebrity gossip blog identified Blackston as a “backup dancer” for Minaj.

But the rapper, whose Pink Friday album enjoyed huge commercial success, denied the arrested men were anything to do with her.

“We do NOT know the men in custody,” she tweeted. “My dancers had nothing to do w/this tragedy. No one in my entourage was questioned or arrested. They all flew home from Japan,” she tweeted.

Earlier reports said after Furlong and her friend left the Tokyo concert they had gone to a hotel in the city with the two men.

Furlong went into the room of the 19-year-old American, while the other woman went with the other man, Kyodo News said.

In the early hours of May 24, a hotel guest complained about a loud noise from one of the rooms.

A hotel employee went to the room and found Furlong on the floor lying near the bed and the US teen standing nearby, Kyodo said.

Furlong was studying in Takasaki city about 95 kilometres (60 miles) northwest of Tokyo, reports said.


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