Rapper DMX tested positive for cocaine and pot several times while on out on bail in his tax evasion case, a judge said Friday.
The revelations emerged after DMX, whose legal name is Earl Simmons, showed up late for his own bail hearing at Manhattan Federal Court.
An angry Judge Jed Rakoff said the 46-year-old Simmons, who was dressed in a blue tie-dyed Def Leopard T-shirt, violated bail “probably more times than I can even remember” in such a short period of time.
The gravelly voiced rapper tested positive for cocaine four times in less than four weeks. He was twice found to have marijuana and opiates in his system as well, the judge said.
DMX faces rough ride as judge suspects bail violations
“He does have a rap sheet that does suggest more than a passing acquaintance with illegal drugs and more than a passing acquaintance with hand guns,” Rakoff said.
But the judge still showed mercy on Simmons — ordering him to home detention with an electronic ankle bracelet rather than sending him to jail.
“I’m going to not detain him in jail, although a very strong argument could be made for detaining him in jail,” Rakoff said, adding that he believes too many people are locked up before trial.
Rakoff sent off Simmons with a warning.
DMX raps about his lawyer while leaving Manhattan court
If he jumps bail, Rakoff said, “it will be the end of his career and the end of living a decent life.”
Simmons, after emerging from the courthouse, munched on hot dogs from a sidewalk vendor.
A photographer asked how he planned to celebrate the judge’s decision to spare him jail time.
“That’s a celebration right there,” Simmons said. “Just being in there and being able to walk out.”
“It’s a blessing,” he added.
Simmons was free on $ 500,000 bond after pleading not guilty on July 14 to evading $ 1.7 million in income taxes.
In court, his lawyer Murray Richman said Simmons’ problems stem from his battles with substance abuse.
“Mr. Simmons is a decent human being,” Richman said. “He’s caught up with a problem.”
The judge was unmoved. “It sounds like total self-denial,” Rakoff said.
Richman said Simmons learned his lesson. Rakoff shot back with a reply that acknowledged Richman’s stellar record defending mobsters and hip hop stars.
”The lesson he seems to have learned over the last few weeks” is that “Murray Richman will always get him off,” Rakoff said.
Richman also addressed Simmons’ courtroom tardiness, blaming the driver who whisked him from his rented home in Westchester to Lower Manhattan.
The driver “took a circuitous route and got here late,” Richman said.
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