A day after his death was announced, the city's Medical Examiner's Office declared that music manager Chris Lighty killed himself. According to reports, Lighty, who had been facing serious financial issues had been moving out of his Bronx home when he got into an argument with his estranged wife. A source told the Post, "They were arguing about the divorce and it came up that he owed the IRS money. He went out to the backyard, racked the [9mm] gun... then he fired."
The AP had "reported that Lighty paid off most of what he owed [the IRS] by selling a Manhattan apartment for $5.6 million in October," but he still owed over $300,000. The Daily News reports, "His 17-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were in the W. 232nd St. home and left when the argument erupted. They were in a park nearby when Lighty, H who has three other children, stepped outside and pulled the trigger, sources said."
Lighty had managed 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, Sean "P Diddy" Combs, Q-Tip and Busta Rhymes. In the A Tribe Called Quest album, The Low End Theory, the song "What?" mentioned Lighty: "What is Chris Lighty if he wasn't such a baby?," referring to Lighty's nickname, Baby Chris. And yesterday, the News says that Funkmaster Flex and Busta Rhymes were at Lighty's house, helping move boxes.
There had been rumors that 50 and Lighty had a falling out; 50 Cent issued a statement, "I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend and business partner Chris Lighty. Chris has been an important part of my business and personal growth for a decade. He was a good friend and adviser who helped me develop as an artist and businessman. My prayers are with his family. He will be greatly missed."