Live on stage, T.I. confronts stand-up comedian who brings up his sexual-assault case

( LATimes.com )

Rapper T.I. got into a heated spat with a comic at an Atlanta comedy club on Monday but has apparently reconciled with her after the exchange spilled onto social media.

Based on Instagram posts from comedian Lauren Knight, the “Ant-Man” and “Genius” actor commandeered the open-mic night she was hosting at Our Bar ATL on Monday after repeatedly heckling her. That led Knight to respond by bringing up sexual-assault allegations and a lawsuit against him that he vehemently denied and asserted had since been dismissed.

Footage posted online from inside the club showed Clifford “T.I.” Harris taking the microphone and sounding off on Knight while defending himself. By Tuesday, Knight took to Instagram to explain what provoked the outburst.

T.I., who has been dabbling in stand-up comedy for a few months, arrived at the end of the open-mic night and delivered a 30-minute set. When he was done, Knight returned to the stage, but the rapper repeatedly heckled her.

Knight said she was talking about marriage, but T.I. kept cutting her off, telling her shut up and calling her names. He appeared in front of the stage while Knight was on it.

“So, I’m like, ‘Alright, come on. Stop playing with me. It’s crazy, like you keep going and I can’t say nothing to you,’” she said in a Tuesday Instagram video explaining her side of the story. She said that T.I. kept telling her to take off her wig and refused to stop.

She characterized his behavior as harassment, then responded by bringing up the allegations levied against him and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, last year. (The couple has denied the alleged 2005 incident, and the Los Angeles County district attorney declined to file criminal charges against the couple.)

“I said, ‘All right, I’ll take my wig off when you speak on the allegations. Nobody was tight, except for him. Nobody called him a rapist. I responded to him telling me — in a room full of people — to rip my wig off. And made a joke just like he did. So if you gotta a problem with it, not mine,” she said Tuesday.

A four-minute video obtained by Baller Alert shows the heated exchange picking up in the club around when T.I. delivers an expletive-laden tirade denying the sexual-assault accusations.

“[W]hen you stop talking about it, when you stop playing with me and mine, I’ma stop saying something,” he told Knight in the club. “Ain’t no mother— case, ain’t never been no mother— case. ’Cause I ain’t did nothing wrong, and my wife ain’t did nothing wrong. And if you keep on playing with me … [I’m going to] continue to confront you publicly, verbally.”

Knight then told the audience that she believes T.I. and his wife are innocent, but that prompted another confrontation.

“T.I. is innocent. I truly believe it,” she said. “Give it up for him. There are no charges.”

The rapper began yelling again and told Knight to “stop playing with” him. She said she wasn’t and reminded him she was just doing her job as a comedian.

“This is not a rap battle. This is a mother—comedy show,” she said. The rapper later walked onstage and gave her a hug.

“And be clear, if I want to make jokes about something, I’ll make jokes about something,” Knight said. “Absolutely. You’re not going to tell me to shut the f— up in my s—. This is my s—. Let’s be very clear.”

T.I. then took the mic from her and said “no, it’s not.” Then the sound was cut.

“See it went from something simple that should’ve got squashed and settled to this man using his platform to lie on me to justify some bull—,” she wrote Tuesday, posting a video of T.I.’s IG Live claiming that he never called her a b—. She then shared footage of him doing just that.

“Everybody is tripping. I just wanna do comedy. @troubleman31 run me my million. We ended on a positive note now you lying and saying s— to weaponize your fan base and THAT I’m not here for,” Knight added. “Idgaf about how y’all feel I’m here for the truth. I’m getting death threats and harassed cause a n— wanna lie. That’s lame as hell.”

By Wednesday, all seemed to be well again, and the rapper plugged Knight and her work on Instagram, sharing a clip of the two of them briefly making nice onstage Monday night.

“I’ve said from my entrance into the world of comedy that I intend to use my light to shine on others. To bring awareness to those who also have love and respect for the art form,” he wrote. “In the spirit of that… Everyone I’d like to introduce you to @sheslaurenk she’s a young up & coming comic on the scene in Atlanta check her out.”

“She’s a young black women fighting to use her voice for laughter & I understand that may take us down dark roads at times but there’s always an opportunity to find a beacon of light & produce a positive outcome,” he continued. “As i say all the time… all ships rise with the high tide. May she use whatever fame & notoriety she receives for good. I wish you the best & hope you bring the world more joy & laughter with the light you receive. I’ve done my part here… moving on. Love & Respect.”

Reps for Knight did not immediately respond Wednesday to The Times’ request for comment.

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