FRANKFORT, Ky. (CBS Local) — Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has apologized for saying someone named Tupac Shakur, who had applied for unemployment in the state, was an example of fraud — when it was actually the person’s real name.
Beshear said Monday someone in Kentucky had applied for unemployment benefits for Tupac Shakur, the same name as the iconic hip-hop artist who was shot to death in 1996.
“One person, who thought they were funny, is going to make tens of thousands of other people wait. Not OK. We can’t be doing that,” the governor said.
The governor’s office said Beshear was advised that a fraudulent claim had been filed in the name of Tupac Shakur. They say it now appears that a Kentuckian by that name has filed a legitimate claim, CBS affiliate WKYT reports.
Beshear says he called Tupac Malik Shakur, a 46-year-old Lexington resident who lost his job as a cook at a restaurant, Tuesday morning to apologize and that the Office of Unemployment Insurance is working to resolve the claim.
“I talked to him on the phone today. I apologized. I told him how it happened, but I owned it. It’s my fault. He was gracious,” said Beshear.
“I said I’m sorry if I embarrassed him or caused him any attention he didn’t want. He was very kind. He ended the call, ‘God bless.’ And we’re gonna make sure we resolve his claim,” he added.
Shakur said he appreciated the call and that he forgave Beshear for the error.
“I understand, he’s dealing with a lot,” Shakur told the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Mistakes happen.”