Update: This story has been updated with the latest information. Scroll down for more.
When are pictures not just pictures?
Many are mourning the murder of New York rapper and French Montana's artist, Lionel "Chinx" Pickens today. The 31-year-old was fatally gunned down in a drive-by shooting over the weekend in Queens. Unfortunately, actress and Khloé Kardashian BFF Malika Haqq's cozy pictures with him are turning the tragedy into a very tricky situation.
From the outside looking in, it appeared that Chinx and Malika were a couple, which seemed to be confirmed by their various photos together. However, Chinx was a married man with three kids. Now his in-laws are on social media, going in on any and everybody throwing their support at Malika because they claim their coupling was a PR move for Malika's upcoming Dash Dolls reality show, executive produced by the Kardashian sisters and momager Kris Jenner, while another claims Malika was a side chick.
Rumors of the pair being an item emerged earlier this year when they were spotted looking cozy at the club. The star of the upcoming Dash Dolls reality show was photo'd sitting on Chinx's lap while his hands wrapped around her. He also posted a picture on his Instagram of Malika holding a rose. Shortly after the pictures, Chinx addressed the rumors with Simone "Boss Lady" Amelia and said he and Malika were "building" and that she was "part of the team."
Shout out to Malika. That’s my… You know what I’m sayin’? She’s a good person. I learned a lot of things from her. I’ve known her for about a year. I wouldn’t lie to you and say we not attracted to each other or nothing like that. That’s my dog. We outside. We building. She’s part of the team.
Anybody in a relationship that's out to the world--everybody can't handle that kind of pressure. Like I said, that's my people. Everything we do is natural on the inside. We don't force nothing. We not trying to get anybody upset, but a picture is a picture. It could've mean anything. I could've just been too close to her in the picture. You don't know. She probably didn't like it! [laughs]
The two appeared to have built up whatever they were building because they were spotted looking every bit like a couple again at Malika's birthday party back in March. Once more, Chinx had his hand around her waist as they posed for the birthday picture.
After news of Chinx's death broke, Malika posted a picture of the two of them lounging on a yacht along with the caption:
There may be more beautiful times but this was ours. Forever a light in my heart. Milk loves you [heartbreak emoji]
That was the straw that broke the camel's back for Chinx's sister-in-law as she fired away on Instagram:
The f*cin nerves of the damn side hoe!!!! My sister Janelli his wife should be praised, and his kids. Who the f*ck is Malika? I need to chill cuz a b*tch is gonna go ham. Don't f*ck with mines and my family. Dead ass!!!!
While another posted:
Yall need to stfu. My brother-in-law name is Lionel, not Chinx. He married to my sista for 13 years. He has three f*ckin kids. Malika was a friend to be all up in the press. The media sh*t sells. But trust, he came home to his wife and kids. It's his wife arranging his funeral, not this b*tch. So please. Y'all got no f*ckin respect for life or death.
Erica Mena, who was friends and previously romantically linked to the rapper, also got involved, commenting:
It's all about hiS WIFE & Kids! That's where the respect should go. As a long time friend of his & his family I know that's what was important to him. Period!
Another relative also went in:
I wasn't even gonna comment but my cousin has been crying her eyes out over this. She was the wife, you are the whore just like you whore of a friend. Before you put this picture up you should have thought about the people you are hurting and now you should have enough respect to delete the post. You know what you had with him was an act and a joke so fall back and get your own man for once. Too hung up on other peoples. Tramp
Chinx and Malika's situationship may have been a stunt to give Malika a storyline for Dash Dolls and to keep Chinx's name in the headlines once the show premiered this fall. On the flip side, it also may have been something very real. But one thing for certain is that man was married, and none of this confusion and cluster-mess probably would have occurred if it weren't for those pictures.
Very tricky situation indeed.
Chinx's wife, Janelli Pickens, spoke out to an ABC 7 reporter and on Facebook earlier today about her husband. The grieving widow says she was supposed to be in the car with Chinx that night, but she was too tired to go out clubbing with him.
Check page two for her reaction.