Man Named Tupac Shakur Files For Unemployment In Kentucky
The governor of Kentucky apologized to a man named Tupac Shakur on Tuesday after citing him as an example of the “bad apples” who filed for unemployment under fake names during the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press conference on Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear accused the man of false identity while talking about how the state is trying to process all unemployment claims filed in March amid pandemic.
“We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky,” Beshear said, likely thinking of the late rap legend who was killed in a shooting in 1996.
“And that person may have thought they were being funny, they probably did. Except for the fact that because of them, we had to go through so many other claims.”
However, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who goes by his middle name, Malik, lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Shakur worked as a cook before restrictions to stop the spread of the coronavirus shut down restaurants. He filed for unemployment insurance on March 13 and has been waiting to receive his first check.
“I’ve been struggling for like the last month trying to figure out how to pay the bills,” Shakur said.
He told the newspaper he wondered why his benefits hadn’t come more than a month later but did not think the labour cabinet would declare his claim was a prank.
“I’m hurt, I’m really embarrassed and I’m shocked,” Shakur said.
Gov. Beshear’s office originally said the state could not verify the identity on the application but after getting information from the newspaper, the state is working to resolve the claim.
The governor called Shakur personally on Tuesday to apologize and Shakur said he appreciated the gesture and forgave Beshear.
“I understand, he’s dealing with a lot,” Shakur said. “Mistakes happen.”
The Herald-Leader reports that Shakur hasn’t always been Tupac Malik Shakur. His father practised Islam and after he died in the early 90s, Shakur took up the faith. Shakur said he had his name legally changed around 1998 and that he chose the last name because it means “thankful to God” in Arabic.