PHILADELPHIA --A Philadelphia judge is giving Robert Williams at least three months to earn back his status as rapper Meek Mill.
Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley on Friday ordered Mill to serve 90 days on house arrest, effective March 1, for violating the terms of his parole in a 2009 drug and gun case.
Mill was found in violation of his parole in December. He blamed his erratic concert schedule, but Philadelphia prosecutors linked the problem to his romance with Nicki Minaj, who sat in the front row for Friday's hearing.
Before the judge issued his sentence, Mill - who has alternately complained about probation and credited the judge with helping him succeed - thanked her for giving him a chance, regardless of her decision.
"I just want to ask you for a chance to turn that corner and be a changed man," he said. "You said you saw something in me ... I want to prove you right. I believe I can be the bright star you intended me to be."
Mill cannot work during the three-month period and must do daily community service with groups serving adults, not the young people who idolize him.
In the seven weeks since his last court hearing, Mill has visited several high schools, including a local boys' charter school, where he urged students to work hard before letting them take photographs with him.
Brinkley also sentenced Mill to six more years of probation. The judge has kept tight reins on the 28-year-old Mill after giving him a break in his initial case. She once sent him back to jail and this time threatened to send him to state prison for two years.
Prosecutors described violations that include unapproved travel to New York for a benefit concert and efforts to join Minaj in various cities. They also said he turned in cold water instead of urine for a drug test, making the judge question if a prior problem with painkillers was at issue.
Minaj told the judge in December that she was trying to help her boyfriend become more organized and responsible. They have been frequently been seated courtside at the Philadelphia 76ers games for the past two months, since Brinkley ordered Mill not to leave the Philadelphia area.
Minaj did not testify Friday. At one point during the judge's remarks, she appeared to have been crying.
The sentencing followed a four-hour hearing that included testimony on Mill's behalf from a life coach and the principal of Boys Latin High School, which Mill had visited Thursday, along with music executive Kenny Gamble and others.