Big Freedia dodged a 10 year prison sentence as well as a $250,000 fine on Thursday (Aug. 25) when a Louisiana judge sentenced her to three years probation. The bounce artist and reality television star reportedly lied about her income for five years to scam government-subsidized housing. Added to her sentence, Freedia will have to pay a $35,000 fine and serve community service.
Freedia, legally documented as Freddie Ross, Jr., reported that her income was little to nothing…. According to NOLA.com, she listed her assets each year in amounts between $0 and $250 along with her annual income in the Section 8 “recertification” forms to be:
- as little as $0 in 2010
- $14,400 in 2011
- $12,00 plus a one-time gift from her father in 2013;
- and $12,000 in 2014.
Car company, Scion, sponsored an album that Freedia released in 2011. She has starred on the Fuse TV series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce for 5 seasons. Not to mention, she receives income from merchandise and performances. (While we are at it, let’s consider income for appearances…)
The star told the judge that it was an “oversight”. (It takes time to submit documents to the state… just saying….) U.S. District Judge Lance Africk responded saying that “this crime is much more than an oversight”. After speaking to Freedia, the judge turned to her attorney concerning his prior statement to the media. Kappel told NOLA.com’s The Times-Picayune reporter that he didn’t expect that Freedia would have to serve jail time. Kappel denied saying it… (Really though?)
Reading from the statement of facts in court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Ginsberg stated that the rent subsidies used by Freedia are intended for the “very poor, elderly and disabled”. Before the court dismissal, the judge said “Please do not mistake kindness for weakness. You have the advantage of not only keeping yourself healthy and unaddicted but also acting as a role model for others.” referring to her avoiding substance abuse.
After the hearing, Freedia stood silent next to her attorney Tim Kappel outside the courthouse while he addressed reporters calling it an “unfortunate situation” that his client “unequivocally” accepts responsibility for. “At some point in our lives, most of us will find ourselves on the wrong side of what’s right,” lawyer Kappel said. “And that’s the situation my client find herself in now.”
Okay.. all is as well as it could possibly be…
BUT WAIT!!!! Who let this guy be a reporter?? lol Watch this: