Verizon Drops Akon Like He's Hot

By | May 5, 2007 at 10:41 AM

Verizon really didn’t want to see Akon “Smack That.”

The communications company scrapped its partnership with the 25-year-old rapper Friday after a video was released that shows him simulating sex onstage with an underage girl during an Apr.12 concert in Trinidad.

According to various accounts, 15-year-old Danah Alleyne thought she had won a dance contest when she was invited to dance with Akon, but soon found out that first prize was a close encounter with the Konvicted rapper.

The Trinidad Express reported that Akon got seven women to come up and dance with him, promising that the best of the bunch would score a grand-prize trip to Africa.

“We’ve never done this in the Caribbean before, but my DJ assures me that Trinidad has the best winers. Is that true? Well, y’all gotta represent here. Come on up now. Don’t be scared,” he told the crowd.

“I got carried away,” Alleyne, a pastor’s daughter, said in a public apology last month after a local TV station aired the footage. “I started to dance, as well, but I never thought it was going to be like that. I was shocked. My head was hitting the floor.”

None of which sat well with Verizon, which will be taking their featured ring tones elsewhere.

“This week the partnership ended,” Verizon said in a statement to Fox News. “We have music services on our cell phone service and we were promoting him as one of the artists. The other part of the sponsorship was the Gwen Stefani tour, of which he was an opening act. We are no longer sponsoring the tour.”

The video depicting Akon improvising multiple sexual positions with Alleyne turned up on, and has since been pulled from, YouTube, but it can still be found elsewhere on the Internet.

Alleyne wasn’t even supposed to be in the over-18 Zen nightclub, where the unofficial dance contest went down. Authorities have since closed the establishment and Trinidadian Prime Minster Patrick Manning has opened an investigation into the show.

“I have taken very careful notice of this matter and the owner of Zen owes it to the public to take responsibility,” Manning told “I will be interfacing with Zen because that kind of thing should never be allowed to happen in this country.”

Meanwhile, Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds thinks Akon should get the Richard Gere treatment, describing his actions as “lewd” and suggesting that the hip-hop star be prosecuted.

“This whole hip hop thing is a guise and I don’t want any part of it,” Alleyne said. “I don’t want any part of it. Look at what I have to go through with one mistake that I made. My dad warned me every time and I didn’t listen. I am sorry.”

Akon performed “The Sweet Escape” with Stefani on American Idol in March and then appeared two weeks later to sing “Don’t Matter.” His sophomore album Konvicted dropped in November and has sold more than 2.2 million copies.

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