Rap mogul Marion 'Suge' Knight paid JIMMY JONES JOHNSON $5,000 (GBP2,630) to assault rapper Dr Dre at the VIBE AWARDS November (04) - according to the attacker himself.

Johnson has told police Knight hired him to harm and embarrass his former Death Row Records partner Dre - who has a restraining order against the hip-hop boss - as he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Santa Monica, California, ceremony.

Knight's lawyer has blasted the claims, stating "there is absolutely no truth to it. I am so confident that there is no issue".

With a criminal record filled with past felonies, Johnson - who was allegedly stabbed after he punched Dr Dre - is facing life imprisonment, reports website ALLHIPHOP.COM.

Meanwhile, rapper Young Buck pleaded not guilty on Friday (14JAN05) to charges he assaulted Johnson with a knife at the event.

17/01/2005 09:34