Akon has issued an apology for dancing provocatively with a young girl at a concert last month.

The US rap artist was filmed dancing with the girl, who it later emerged was just 14, on stage at a concert on April 12th in Trinidad.

After the video appeared on the internet, telecommunications company Verizon pulled out as sponsor of his tour with Gwen Stefani, with whom he appears on The Sweet Escape.

In a statement, Akon said that he did not realise how young the girl was and apologised for any hurt caused.

"I want to sincerely apologise for the embarrassment and any pain I've caused to the young woman who joined me on stage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert," the 34-year-old said.

"It was never my intention to embarrass or take advantage of my fans in any way, especially those under the age of 18.

"That is why we tried to make sure that the club did not admit anyone under 18 in the audience. Somehow, that standard was not met."

10/05/2007 13:12:23