Akon spoke to Access Atlanta recently and addressed allegations that he fabricated much of his criminal past to create a marketable gangster image.
In April, under the headline Akon’s Con Job, the Web site Smoking Gun reported that the artist was not behind bars for a three-year stretch as he had claimed in media interviews.
Akon told Access Atlanta that his mention of “three years” represented the accumulation of all of his run-ins with the law, not one long sentence.
“I got caught up in cars and this and that. Kept going in and out of jail. Three months here, six months there, two weeks here,” Akon said. “And it was to a point where I was like, ‘This really doesn’t make any sense. What am I doing?’ And the last stretch I did was six months in Dekalb County (Georgia) after I was pulled over in a stolen car.
“So I guess when I was being interviewed, and I would say, ‘Yeah I did about three years,’ I wasn’t saying I did a three year stretch, I was calculating the time from when I started to get in trouble to the time when I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ And I think that was mistranslated in the Smoking Gun article and other stories.”
Akon also dismissed the story of him being jailed for being a leader of a car theft ring, revealing his time in prison was always for receiving stolen goods.
“The majority of the time I was in jail was for theft by receiving. I was always receiving stolen cars,” Akon states. “I mean, honestly, if I was, they would have had enough to make it stick. They tried to convict me as (a) ringleader and they didn’t have enough evidence.”
Akon’s interview was conducted to promote the Dec. 2 release of his third studio album, “Freedom.”