Akon Uses Rhythm Method; Verizon Pulls Out

    Following an incident in Trinidad last month in which rapper Akon dry-humped a 15-year-old fan onstage for nearly a minute (see the video here), Verizon Wireless has pulled its sponsorship of Gwen Stefani’s upcoming Sweet Escape Tour, which featured Akon as an opening act.
    While the incident took place at a show that was not part of the Stefani tour, Verizon apparently wishes to sever any and all ties with Akon – the telecommunications giant has pulled all Akon ringtones and music from its online stores, and has cancelled all advertising spots that featured the artist.
    Stefani’s management has expressed dismay that Verizon would pull its financial backing, valued somewhere between $1.5 and $3 million, over an event unrelated to the Sweet Escape tour. Stefani’s manager Jim Guerinot also commented on the allegations against Akon, saying “Akon has been a perfect gentleman on this tour. His show has at best been a PG show. Children of all ages have been attending. We have had no complaints — nothing but satisfied people.” As of now, the rapper remains aboard for the remainder of the Sweet Escape tour.
    [Verizon Pulls Out Of Stefani Tour Over Akon Flap (Billboard)]