The Queen Bee has been set free.
Lil’ Kim, who had been serving a 366-day prison sentence for federal perjury since September 19, was released from Philadelphia Federal Detention Center on Monday (July 3), looking surprisingly glamorous in a cleavage-showing white get-up.
The rapper, wearing sunglasses and carrying a balloon and bouquet of white roses, waved and blew kisses to dozens of fans, telling them, “I love you,” according to The Associated Press.
Some fans reportedly stayed up all night to see the star, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, while others made a sign that read “Welcome Home, Queen Bee.”
Lil’ Kim left the prison and went to an undisclosed location in a silver Rolls Royce. She will remain under house arrest for 30 days and is on probation for three years.
“I am thrilled to be coming home,” Kim said in a statement. “I thank all my fans for all their letters, as well as my family and friends for all their support throughout the past 10 months.”
Kim’s early release was announced Thursday (see “Lil’ Kim To Be Released From Prison Early”), although rumors had been swirling since the BET Awards, where the rapper’s mother told reporters she expected her daughter to be released shortly.
“We are pleased that Kim is coming home to start the next phase of her life,” Kim’s attorney, L. Londell McMillan, said in the Thursday statement. “She has accepted responsibility and handled herself in an exemplary manner.”
Kim was convicted on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy in March 2005 in connection with the trial of the 2001 shooting incident outside New York’s Hot 97 radio station.
Kim maintained throughout the trial that Damion Butler, one of her co-managers at the time of the incident, was not by her side when shots rang out in front of the radio station. Security-camera footage later proved he was — a direct contradiction of what she’d told a federal grand jury.
Kim had also told the court she was unable to positively identify a photo of another man who was believed to be involved in the shooting. Both that man — Suif “Gutta” Jackson, a member of her former group Junior M.A.F.I.A. — and Butler later confessed to firing on rap group Capone-N-Noreaga, and pleaded guilty to gun charges as part of a plea bargain.
Other members of Junior M.A.F.I.A., including Antoine “Banger” Spain and James “Lil’ Cease” Lloyd, took the stand during the trial and testified for the prosecution that they too had witnessed Butler and Jackson with Kim at the time of the shooting. Kim was sentenced last summer.
This story was originally published on 06.29.06 at 9:47 p.m. ET