Suge Knight Claims Dr. Dre Tried to Have Him Killed—And the Cops Were In On It
Just when you think the saga of Suge Knight couldn’t get any crazier, it does.
On Friday, Knight’s new lawyer, Thaddeus Culpepper, filed a motion with Los Angeles Superior Court alleging a “massive cover-up”: that Knight’s former pal-turned-foe, Dr. Dre, conspired with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department to have the plus-sized music mogul murdered at a club in Los Angeles. The motion further argued that Knight is being held on lockdown—sans any communication or visitor privileges—in order to prevent him from “connecting” his current murder case with the nightclub shooting.
According to TMZ, Knight claims that on the night of Aug. 24, 2014, Sheriff’s Deputy Henry Boyd was working at the nightclub 1 Oak in West Hollywood, California. It was a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party hosted by Chris Brown, and according to the docs filed by Knight’s attorney, there is surveillance footage showing Deputy Boyd allowing the alleged gunman into the club right before Knight was shot six times. In a strange twist, Knight also alleges in the legal docs that “the shooter confessed that Dr. Dre paid him and a friend $50K for the hit,” and that not only did the L.A. Country Sheriff’s Department “inexplicably release the shooter from custody,” but that Culpepper is “privy to video shot at LAX which allegedly shows Deputy Boyd helping the gunman flee the country,” reported TMZ.
Knight, 50, is behind bars on murder and attempted-murder charges stemming from his involvement in a Jan. 29, 2015, incident in which he killed one man and maimed another with his vehicle in the parking lot of the Compton fast-food joint Tam’s Burgers, near where a promo shoot was occurring for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. The gruesome incident was caught on video.
As for the 1 Oak nightclub shooting, The Daily Beast reported at the time that, according to a source connected to the venue, “The Game was coming to hang with Chris [Brown] and they didn’t let him in, which caused tension outside. The Game is connected to the Bloods, and that means Chris is around Bloods.”
Meanwhile, eyewitness Katie Clendon, 21, told The Daily Beast there was lax security at the venue that evening—bags weren’t checked and there “were no pat-downs”—and that the whole terrifying ordeal left her in a state of shock.
“I was dancing with one of my friends,” said Clendon. “My other friend called us over to the table she was at directly across the way. As I was turning around and walking away from Chris Brown’s table, I heard three loud bangs. Everyone dropped to the floor, and then immediately after evacuated. One of the men who was shot rushed past me holding his shoulder and dripping blood. Everyone was screaming and trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. The cops were immediately on the scene as we were leaving 1OAK. We saw a man being carried out on a stretcher, then we were asked to leave the area immediately.”
Despite being shot six times, Knight was able to walk from the venue to the ambulance, and recovered shortly thereafter.
It wasn’t the first time Knight’s been shot at a pre-VMAs party, either. On Aug. 28, 2005, he was shot in the leg in the Red Room of Miami’s Shore Club at a pre-VMAs event honoring Kanye West. According to police reports, six shots rang out at the club, with one hitting Knight, shattering his leg.
As for the history of acrimony between Knight and his former Death Row artist Dr. Dre, well, the two have plenty of history. Knight still seems to hold ill will toward Dre for severing ties with Death Row (and the mogul), and starting his own label, Aftermath Entertainment—the development is even depicted toward the end of the film Straight Outta Compton. Since then, Knight’s made it a point to slander Dre as often as possible.
In 2002, just after his release from yet another prison stint, Knight went on The Howard Stern Show and, in a truly batshit interview, claimed that he: A) “folded up like a lawn chair” when he went to jail for assaulting veejay Dee Barnes, B) accused Dre of “snitching” on him to his parole officer, landing him back in jail, C) accused Dre of being “gay” and having a lover named Bruce who he’s been sleeping with “for years,” and D) claimed that Tupac once confronted Dre about his alleged homosexuality, telling him, “I don’t wanna be in the studio doing no songs with a guy who’s pounding other guys in the butt.”
The feud seemed dormant for a while, with Knight headed in and out of prison—and battling various financial woes—but seemed to spark back up with the release of Straight Outta Compton, which depicts Knight as a thug and bully who used intimidation to bend his stable of Death Row artists to his will.
As The Daily Beast’s Jen Yamato reported last year, “According to a court documents reviewed by The Daily Beast, Knight was upset he wasn’t getting paid for the use of his likeness in [Straight Outta Compton] and sent threatening text messages in 2014 to an unidentified victim that read, ‘I will see u in person… u have kids just like me so let’s play hardball you bitch ass Nigga’ and ‘I’m from Bompton… time has arrived Faith in God keep people safe The Devils money can’t save no 1…I will make sure u an that Fagg [Dr. Dre] and Taft High school graduate [Ice Cube] receive your hugs…’”
Knight will stand trial on the murder and attempted-murder charges on Aug. 1. Dr. Dre, meanwhile, is almost a billionaire.