Sun, Jun 03, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Rap artist denies entourage involved in Irish fan’s death

AFP, TOKYO

Rap musician 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 pop singer Rihanna and Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am, 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 US men, 23-year-old dancer James Blackston and a 19-year-old musician, as part of an investigation into Furlong’s death, a police spokesman said on 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 showed she may have been strangled, according to media reports.

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 perezhilton.com identified Blackston as a “backup dancer” for Minaj.

However, the rap musician — whose Pink Friday album enjoyed huge commercial success — denied the arrested men had 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 that after Furlong and her friend left the Tokyo concert, they had gone to a hotel in the city with the two men.

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