Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear issued a public apology to Malik, born Tupac Malik Shakur, after a misunderstanding concerning his name during an application for unemployment benefits.
Gov. Beshear called the attention of the Kentuckian during Tuesday's press briefing in order to apologise. He said he "didn't know" and admitted that it was his fault for immediately profiling the local resident as a prankster for filing claims under the name of the late rapper.
"I owe somebody an apology tonight. Last night I spent a little bit of time talking about fraudulent claims holding us up," Gov. Beshear said in the YouTube video uploaded by ABC TV Station WHAS11.
"I mentioned an individual that filed in the name of Tupac Shakur. I didn't know, and it's my fault, that we have a Kentuckian who goes by Malik whose name is Tupac Shakur. I talked to him on the phone today, I apologised. I told him how it happened, but I owned it. It's my fault," he continued.
Gov. Beshear said he apologised if he embarrassed "or caused him any attention he didn't want." He said that Shakur "was gracious" and "was very kind."
The 46-year-old Shakur lives in Lexington and filed for unemployment claims after he lost his job as a cook at Alfalfa's and Lynagh's amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He confirmed with the Herald-Leader that Gov. Beshear called him to apologise and he said he understands the latter's position as "he's dealing with a lot."
Prior to the public apology, Gov. Beshear accused Shakur of being a fraud and a prankster. He said because of the man's application, they had "to go through so many other claims."
Shakur revealed that he has been waiting on his unemployment money for over a month after filing on March 13. He said he has been calling Frankfurt asking for updates but he never thought that it was held up because the state thought his application was a joke.
"I'm hurt, I'm really embarrassed and I'm shocked. He needs to apologise. That's just my name," Shakur said.
Following his public apology, Gov. Beasher assured Shakur that he will "make sure to resolve his claim." The money will go towards the Kentuckian's bill payments.