Speed Reads

'Mistakes Happen'

Kentucky governor apologizes to Tupac Shakur for mocking his unemployment application

Tupac is alive, just not that Tupac, as Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) discovered this week.

Beshear said in a news conference Monday that some "bad apples" had made it difficult for people seeking unemployment benefits in the state. "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 rapper Tupac Shakur was shot dead in 1996, but Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, lives in Lexington and really did apply for unemployment after the restaurant he worked at closed last month.

Informed of his mistake, Beshear called Shakur on Tuesday morning and apologized. He apologized again during Tuesday's press briefing.

Shakur, who told the Lexington Herald Leader he was "hurt, I'm really embarrassed, and I'm shocked" after Beshear publicly shamed him, said Tuesday that he forgave the governor. "I understand, he's dealing with a lot," he said. "Mistakes happen." About 24 percent of Kentucky's workforce has filed for unemployment and the state is straining to process all the claims.

Tupac Shakur isn't his birth name, incidentally, the Herald Leader reports. He legally adopted the name in 1998 after turning to Islam following his father's death in the early '90s. Shakur, he explained, means "thankful to God" in Arabic.