Exclusive Update: Rapper Da Brat Ordered To Pay $6.4 Million For Night Club Assault


Reporting by Dennis Byron and Michael “Ice Blue” Harris

Da Brat may have been known for throwing tantrums on the mic, but a wild out lash from 2007 will cost the veteran MC plenty.

Da Brat, whose real name is Shawntae Harris, was ordered on Thursday, to pay $6.4 million to a woman she attacked with a rum bottle at an Atlanta night club back in 2007. The First Lady of So So Def Recordings previously pled guilty to aggravated assault charges and was sentenced to three years in prison for the assault and served nearly two years of that time.

Photo by Dennis Byron

Photo by Dennis Byron

Don’t forget that the first trial was declared a mistrial after the jury was seated because one juror in particular, decided that he would lie to the court and not disclose the fact that he was not a US citizen. As a result of his deception, presiding judge Reuben Green had to declare a mistrial.

But not before he berated the juror and told him that he cost the county over $25,000. Judge Green then held him in contempt of court and ordered the sheriff to lock him up.


Judge Reuben Green, Cobb County Superior Court

The footage of his arrest was captured by Dennis Byron and can be viewed on TMZ.com by clicking here.


Da Brat was convicted of attacking former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Shayla Stevens after a verbal disagreement while she worked as a waitress during a Halloween party at record executive Jermaine Dupri’s now defunct club Studio 72. The MC is also still on parole for the 2007 attack. The $6.4 million award will cover previous and future medical and earning loses of Stevens.


The jurors deliberated for about 6 hours before they returned with a verdict that shocked the entire courtroom. A 6-member panel decided that rapper Shawntae Harris was responsible for causing physical and brain damages  to former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader Shayla Stevens. While most of the witnesses that took the stand where either family members of Stevens or individuals who lacked the medical credentials to fully render an expert opinion, the jurors decided it was necessary to send a message to rapper Da Brat.


Did Da Brat deserve such a high civil judgment? Was the jury biased because of her ties to the hip hop community or did they find her rap lyrics offensive?

During court testimony, we learned that Shayla Stevens was an aspiring actress, a handbag designer as well as a dance choreographer that came to a halt after the 2007 Halloween day assault at Studio 72 in Decatur, Georgia.

At times, Stevens testimony appeared to be rehearsed and high-profile defense attorney BJ Bernstein even alluded to jurors while closing arguments that her testimony had a case of bad acting.

Could all this be the result of a brain injury or was she setting the stage to re-launch her acting career? Check out our exclusive footage of the entire trial and you can decide was this a just verdict.

Photos and video shot by Dennis Byron (c) 2014

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