Embattled rapper DMX "had no intention" of committing identity fraud after checking into an Arizona hospital under a false name last year (08) - he simply wanted to avoid attracting more attention than necessary.
The Party Up (Up In Here) star, real name Earl Simmons, went to Scottsdale Mayo Clinic last April to receive treatment for pneumonia.
However, he was later charged with theft and taking the identity of another after using the alias Troy Jones and leaving before settling the $7,500 (Â£5,300) medical bill.
But his close pal and former road manager Mark 'Po' Dean, who accompanied DMX to the hospital and gave nurses the fake name, insists the crimes weren't committed on purpose.
He tells XXL magazine, "I wanted him to just get the service immediately... Usually when you say an artist like DMX, everybody is so star-struck they not concentrating on what's going on."
And Dean claims they left the clinic when other patients started recognising the rapper - and only after he had given his cell phone number to the receptionist to sort out the bill.
He adds, "(The police) ran up in his (DMX's) crib saying that they was looking for papers from the hospital because he used a false name... It wasn't really that."
The hip-hop star is currently in jail awaiting sentencing after entering a guilty plea to four charges of animal cruelty, drug possession and theft in three separate cases.