Akon Addresses Allegations of False Criminal Background

Dogged by allegations from the The Smoking Gun that his criminal background is fabricated, superstar singer Akon has decided to come clean regarding the accusations against him. In an interview with Access Atlanta, the singer clarified his previous statements that he was incarcerated for three years.

"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 explained. "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."

According to the multi-talented artist, his previous statements of doing a three year bid in prison represented the accumulation of all of his run-ins with the law, not one stretch.

"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."

For Akon, the most important aspect of his story is that his persona was a vehicle for him to inspire those who are and have been incarcerated to turn their lives around through hard work and personal accountability.

"And to give those people who I met behind bars who were so talented. ‘Locked Up’ was like an anthem to them, before it was a hit record," Akon adds. "I'm not trying to glorify convicts and jail life and gangsters."

Akon's statements come as he celebrates the December 2 release of Freedom, his third studio album. The LP features appearances from Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Wyclef Jean, and Kardinal Offishall.