During a press briefing on Monday, Beshear called Lexington local resident Shakur a “bad apple,” who “thought he was funny” by using a “fake name” in his application and thereby making other applicants wait longer to receive unemployment payment.
Famous rapper Tupac Shakur, whom Beshear thought the local man was impersonating, was killed in a 1996 shooting.
The man is, in fact, real. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the 46-year-old goes by Malik, his middle name, and worked as a cook before lockdowns occurred during the pandemic. (No photos of this Shakur were made available to media.)
Beshear reportedly called Malik personally to apologize on Tuesday, CNN says.
“I talked to him on the phone today. I apologized,” Beshear said. “I told him how it happened. But it’s my fault. He was gracious. I said I’m sorry if I embarrassed him or caused him any attention he didn’t want. He ended the call, ‘God bless.'”
Malik applied for unemployment on March 13, and is still waiting on his first cheque, the Washington Times says.
“I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked,” Malik told the Herald-Leader. “I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills.”
It seems like there are no hard feelings, however.
“I understand, he’s dealing with a lot,” Shakur said. “Mistakes happen.”
Beshear, per CNN, says the state will make sure his employment claim is resolved.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Kentucky had more than 4,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
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