Kentucky governor apologizes to Tupac Shakur for unemployment mix-up

April 28 (UPI) -- The governor of Kentucky personally called a resident named Tupac Shakur to apologize for using his unemployment claim as an example of a prank claim.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said during his Monday night news conference that "bad apples" have been using fake names to file for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic.


"We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky," Beshear said. "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."

The claim was not a prank reference to the rapper who died in 1996, but rather a real claim from a Lexington resident named Tupac Malik Shakur, 46.

Shakur said he filed for unemployment March 13, after the restaurant where he works as a cook closed due to the coronavirus crisis. He said he was shocked to learn from the governor's news conference that the reason his benefits haven't been issued yet is because officials thought his name was a joke.

"I'm hurt, I'm really embarrassed and I'm shocked," Shakur told the Lexington Herald-Leader on Monday. "He needs to apologize. That's just my name."


The Herald-Leader said it gave Shakur's contact information to Beshear's office Monday night, and the resident confirmed he received a phone call from the governor Tuesday morning to apologize for the confusion.

"I understand, he's dealing with a lot," Shakur said. "Mistakes happen."

Officials said the state is now working to resolve Shakur's claim.

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