On Sunday (Aug. 28), Melissa Gabriel of Hot 97 caught up with Gotti on the 2022 MTV VMA’s red carpet and asked how he felt about the various reactions to his Drink Champs interview. The Queens native acknowledged the backlash received but remained adamant about telling his side of the past for his BET docuseries The Murder Inc. Story. “I feel like BET asked me to do a documentary, I did it,” Gotti said. “I told the truth.”
He also spoke on his actions toward Ashanti, which garnered comparisons to convicted sex offender R. Kelly, as well as the label of a sexual predator, which he infers are inaccurate depictions of him as a person.
“Did I feel like I was gonna get this backlash and them thinking I’m a pedophile? Them thinking I’m R. Kelly and the Me Too movement,” Gotti said, rhetorically. “I love the girl, we made great music. Ashanti, I wish you all the best.”
However, the CEO and producer continued to state his case by pointing out that Ashanti was of age during their alleged relationship.
“She was 21 when we,” Gotti began before trailing off and ending the exchange with, “no comment.”
Earlier this month, Irv Gotti and Ja Rule appeared on the Drink Champs podcast, with Gotti sharing alleged details of a sexual relationship between Ashanti and himself during the singer’s stint as an artist on Murder Inc. Records in the early aughts. Gotti’s remarks drew criticism from a number of industry figures, with Fat Joe and even Ja Rule condemning Gotti’s portrayal of Ashanti, whom both rappers collaborated with on Joe’s 2002 single, “What’s Luv?”
While Ashanti has yet to directly respond to Gotti, she recently thanked fans on social media for their outpouring of support and for coming to her defense in light of his remarks.
Check out Irv Gotti’s interview with Hot 97 below.