Recent headlines have suggested that hip-hop icon Irv Gotti never got over his breakup with his protégée Ashanti. We can assure readers they are incorrect.
“F - - k no,” he told Page Six. In fact, forget never getting over her — he’s never forgiven her.
Gotti told us that he felt betrayed by the singer because when he was wrongly accused of using his nascent label, Murder Inc. Records, to launder money for Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff of the legendary Supreme Team, Ashanti hightailed it.
Convicted crack dealer McGriff began working on a movie project with Gotti after McGriff’s release from prison, which drew the FBI’s attention to the label. Investigators raided its headquarters and later arrested Gotti, claiming in 2005 “that the Murder Inc. empire took in garbage bags and shoeboxes stuffed with drug money and laundered it for a notorious Queens crack and heroin kingpin,” The Post reported at the time. (It also reported that Ashanti attended hearings).
Gotti was accused of laundering $1 million for McGriff, but he was exonerated.
“When the feds hit, she ran like the cockroaches when you turn the lights on,” Gotti told us of the singer.
“She was ready to get the f - - k off of the Murder Inc. label and she was ready to abandon me, the person who made her. And yes I can say I made her. How do you know I can say that firmly? The minute I stop making her records . . . She has not made a hit since.”
Ashanti signed to Murder Inc. in 2002 and it released her self-titled debut album, which sold over 505,000 copies in the US in its first week of release.
She later moved on to Def Jam and launched an acting career.
She also moved on from Gotti to a romance with rapper Nelly. The “Happy” singer dated Nelly on and off for 11 years from 2003-2014.
After Gotti spoke of the pain that caused him on the “Drink Champs” podcast recently, reports surfaced that he’s still pining for Ashanti.
The “Murder Inc Story” 5-part documentary airs Aug 9th on BET.