Last week's suicide of veteran hip hop manager Chris Lighty, whose business acumen guided the careers of Diddy, Busta Rhymes and 50 Cent among many others, continues to reverberate throughout the music world, with friends, fans and peers still struggling to understand the Hows and Whys of Lighty's death. Early reports cited Lighty's IRS debt—which media reports pegged as anywhere from $330,000 to $5 million—and a fight with wife Veronica as possible motives in the manager's suicide. But according to the NY Daily News, Lighty's widow now claims that neither money nor marital problems contributed to Lighty's untimely death.
“My husband was too smart of a man," she told the paper. "He was a genius. No smart man is going to leave his children for fighting with his wife. That makes absolutely no sense. We had a passionate relationship. We fought all the time.”
Lighty also disputed reports that her husband owed money to the IRS and that the couple were divorced. "We were not in debt $5 million," she said, adding later, “I had filed for divorce last year, but retracted it” two days before Father’s Day, she said. “That was my gift to him.”
Last week, Russell Simmons publicly cast doubt on the New York City medical examiner's official suicide ruling, tweeting, "I don't think Chris Lighty killed himself. His brother Dave wants an investigation and so do I. Nothing's adding up."
After Lighty's death, artists flocked to Twitter to pay tribute to the hip hop mogul and co-founder of Violator Management, with Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, LL Cool J and Mariah Carey all sending RIP messages.