Ex-Fugees rapper Pras Michel admitted in court this week that he owns a $10 million watch collection but said he wanted to “rectify” the $127,000 he owes in child support to his ex-wife since he stopped making payments in 2018, the New York Post reported.
Michel told the court that he stopped payments when the federal government froze his accounts after charging him with criminal campaign finance violations tied to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
A separate civil case in federal court accuses him of conspiring with a former Department of Justice official to influence the Trump administration’s probe into Jho Low, the fugitive Malaysian national accused of looting the 1MBD wealth fund. Low has also been charged in the campaign finance case, according to Bloomberg.
“This last year has been a very tough year for me and I have hit the back of the wall,” said Michel, 47, who was representing himself in court, according to the Post.
The rapper said the government froze $74 million in his accounts, and he lost another $20 million when his money manager was arrested.
Michel had been making $4,800 per month payments to his ex for their son, but stopped in November 2018. He tried last month to get the payments lowered but was denied.
Seen on his Instagram account wearing some high end watches, including an Audemars Piguet watch and a limited edition Patek Philippe worth more than $250,000, Michel said his collection is in safety deposit boxes because the insurance rates were too high.
“We decided it was too much to be paying for those watches,” he said. “We are talking about $10 million in watches. I put them in a safety deposit at the bank until we sorted it out with an insurance company.”
Michel answered that he was “not sure” when an attorney asked if he’d withdrawn $1.8 million from a business account between October 2019 and September 2019 — and showed him bank statements and cancelled checks from the account.
“I want to apologize to Angela and my son,” he said in court. “I want to rectify this ASAP.”
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[Featured image: Pras Michel in LA October 13, 2017/zz,STRF,STAR MAX,IPx via AP]