If cavorting with politicians who are facing federal corruption charges is of concern, rapper and NCIS star LL Cool J is playing it, well … pretty cool.
Malcolm Smith had been indicted for his role in trying to bribe his way onto the Republican ticket for New York City mayor. But the stain of such criminality washed right off of LL Cool J, as the pair were living it up and co-hosting a community basketball event over the weekend.
State Senator Malcolm Smith may be facing federal corruption charges, but LL Cool J is cool with it.
The 90s heart-throb, rapper and star of NCIS: Los Angeles returned to his childhood neighborhood in southeast Queens yesterday to co-host a basketball tournament with the indicted pol, who recently pleaded not-guilty to federal corruption charges for allegedly orchestrating an elaborate scheme to get himself elected mayor.
“The beauty about the American system is that you’re innocent ’til proven guilty,” the rapper told Politicker as he greeted excited fans at the annual basketball event when asked about the scandal.
Later, LL Cool J told reporters that, while he was familiar with the charges against Mr. Smith, he didn’t plan on worrying about them until after the case had worked its way through court.
Smith was rather overjoyed at his Hollywood friend making an appearance.
“It means a tremendous amount to the community,” the Democratic state senator told Politicker in an interview. “He’s an NCIS star, he’s a rap artist. His coming back to the community shows the young people that they can make it … This tells the community that, you know, nobody forgot about you.”
“Oh, I love it. I love every minute of it. It’s tremendous!” he further exclaimed of the opportunity to hang out with the superstar.
Mr. Smith was less interested, however, in discussing the pending charges, which he claimed he rarely faces questions about anymore.
It should be noted that Smith isn’t simply facing run-of-the-mill allegations about his attempt to bribe his way into the mayoral race, he was one of the state senators who had conversations taped by former Senator Shirley Huntley.
Huntley is currently serving a one-year sentence for stealing money from her own taxpayer-funded charity.