A man named Tupac Shakur has gotten a public apology from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who had accused him of filing his unemployment application under a fake name as a prank, Entertainment Weekly reports.
The rapper Tupac Shakur was born in 1971 with the name Lesane Parish Crooks, but he later changed it. He died in 1996, although conspiracy theories posit that his death was a cover-up and that he’s alive and well.
It so happens that a Kentucky man shares a name with the late rapper. Kentucky’s Tupac was also born in the 1970s, and these days he prefers to go by his middle name, Malik. He had recently been laid off from his job as a cook after the restaurant where he worked closed down in order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. And on his unemployment application, he, of course, applied using his legal name.
When word got to Beshear that an unemployment application was filed using the name Tupac Shakur, he wasn’t having it. He accused the man of playing a prank and said that it wasn’t funny at all. He noted that Kentuckians feeling the pinch of the coronavirus pandemic need to get their unemployment claims resolved quickly, and suggested that bogus applications clog up the system.
“That person probably felt they were being funny, they probably did. Except for the fact that, because of them, we’ve got to go through so many other claims,” Beshear said at the time.
Kentucky’s Tupac was understanding about Beshear’s consternation, however, telling a local news outlet that “mistakes happen.”
“That’s just my name,” he said.
Beshear has since learned that Kentucky’s Tupac is a real, living person with that name, whose unemployment application was a genuine request for benefits and not a joke.
He has apologized, both in private and publicly.
“I talked to him on the phone today, and I apologized. I told him how it happened, but I owned it. It’s my fault. He was gracious. I said I’m sorry if I embarrassed him or caused him any attention he didn’t want, and he was very kind. He ended the call, ‘God bless,'” Beshear said at a press conference.
Peak 2020 is the governor of Kentucky apologizing to Tupac Shakur after accusing him of unemployment fraud
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 28, 2020
Beshear also promised to see to it that Shakur’s unemployment claim is resolved quickly.
The debacle generated its share of giggles on social media. For example, one Twitter user referenced the conspiracy theory that the rapper Tupac Shakur is not dead.
“Took a pandemic for Tupac to come out of hiding,” the Twitter user wrote.