NEW YORK — Rapper Jim Jones admitted Monday to punching a friend of Ne-Yo’s in the face in a Louis Vuitton store during a scuffle that erupted as the R&B crooner was browsing.
Jones pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in his Dec. 22 dustup with Jayvon Smith in the luxury-goods retailer’s Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan. Jones, 33, was sentenced to time served — the few hours he was in custody after turning himself in to police in January.
The fight unfolded in front of holiday shoppers in the store, which sits opposite Tiffany’s flagship on Fifty-Seventh Street.
Defense lawyer Scott Leemon had previously said Jones didn’t start the fight. Leemon said Monday the rapper pleaded guilty because he didn’t want to risk probation — and potential touring restrictions — if convicted.
Leemon declined to comment on what started the fight. Ne-Yo told the Los Angeles-based radio station Power 106 in February that Jones and Smith “have had drama in the past.”
Jones still faces a civil suit Smith filed after the incident.
Jones, whose birth name is Joseph Jones, released his latest album, “Pray IV Reign,” in March. He recently starred in “Hip-Hop Monologues: Inside the Life and Mind of Jim Jones,” an off-Broadway play chronicling his life on the road and on Harlem streets.
He said as he left court that he has “just been working on the music and trying to steer clear of any trouble.”