Letters written by rap legend Tupac Shakur while he was in prison are set to be released in a new book.

Actress and model ANGELA ARDIS started writing to the late Shakur after she was dared to get in touch with him by friends, and she was amazed when he wrote back.

Now she has collected their never-before-published 1995 correspondence and plans to release everything in new tome INSIDE A THUG'S HEART.

Ardis, who also visited the rapper in prison, claims Tupac wrote her letters and poems every day for months, giving her plenty of material to work with.

The correspondence includes Tupac's reflections on the 1994 shooting that almost killed him, and avid denials of the sexual assault charges that landed him behind bars.

Ardis says, "After watching the media footage following Tupac's death, there was nothing favourable about him in the press, and I had something that could portray another side to him that was favourable.

"People will be surprised about how compassionate he really was. Readers will see a more sensitive side to him through those letters.

"It will give people an opportunity to see Tupac as a man instead of Tupac as a rapper."

The new book, which has been approved by the Shakur estate, will be released in May (04).

19/03/2004 17:54