Death of mother
Before her death, Betty Shabazz learned that her daughter Malikah was pregnant. Despite initially wanting her to avoid the difficulty of being a single mother, she decided to support her on the choice to have a child on her own. Betty Shabazz died on June 23, 1997. During her final days, Malikah was by her side with her sisters and concerning the motives and outcomes that Malcolm Shabazz had anticipated, Malikah's only response was that the possible outcomes would not lessen the blow of losing her mother and denied that she had stopped loving him. Despite this, she asserted that he would have to deal with "whatever comes his way". Shabazz gave birth in January 1998 to a daughter, who she named Bettih Bahiyah.
According to court records, on May 17, 1999, Shabazz signed a contract allowing her to rent space in a storage facility near Orlando, Florida. In 2002, Shabazz was alleged to have taken her father's work with her to Florida without her family's consent. According to the allegations, she allowed her bills to go unpaid with his work in storage and placed it on auction afterward. $300,000 were spent to get the writings back, according to both her and her sister Ilyasah's lawyer.
Accusations of identity theft
Shabazz was working to open a restaurant, when she was arrested on February 18, 2011 after officers responded to an anonymous call to check on the welfare of her daughter, received by the Department of Social Services. Warrants from Queens, New York were found by investigators, which included charges of larceny, forgery and identity theft. Shabazz was denied bail on February 22, 2011 and was ordered to be held for another week. Shabazz was arrested in March 2011 following an investigation by social service workers over a complaint issued that her daughter was not attending school.
After tricking an elderly widow out of $55,000 by using her credit card to place purchases, Shabazz was ordered to pay the money back or potentially be placed in jail. The widow's husband was a bodyguard, who was with Shabazz's father the day of his assassination. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown reported that Shabazz had stolen the money and used it between August 2006 and November 2007. Prior to the accusations, the widow was going to be her daughter's godmother.
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- Zambito, Thomas (July 28, 2011). "Malcolm X's daughter, Malikah Shabazz, gets five years probation for swindle of elderly widow". Daily News.
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- Marable, Manning (2011). Living Black History: How Reimagining the African-American Past Can Remake America's Racial Future. Basic Civitas Books. ISBN 978-0465043958.