Sean "P.Diddy" Combs was ordered to
pay $2.45 million in damages to a limousine driver who says he was injured by
bodyguards Combs' hired at a Mary J. Blige concert in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
in 1995. Lemon alleges that after the concert
the bodyguards attempted to clear the backstage area so Blige could leave the
Lemon, who was wearing proper backstage credentials,
said that the guards attacked him, punching him in the head. Lemon said that
during the melee, both guards kicked him in the back as he shielded his head
with his hands and arms. Lemon alleges that he suffered mental and emotional
distress after the attack, which left him with a broken right ankle and a bruised
Judge William Z. Wood ordered the payment September
10th, because Combs didn't answer the allegations within the 30 day time limit
under the law. Court records show that Combs or his attorneys had until July
30 to file a response to Lemon's allegations. Once the lawsuit was filed, Combs
had time to answer the allegations in writing, by appearing in person or by
having someone appear in person to represent him.
Court records show that Combs declined a civil
summons about the matter from a Forsyth County deputy when he appeared in concert
in Nortch Carolina on June 21.
"We have just learned of this lawsuit,"
said Combs' spokesperson Nathalie Moart. "As it has no merit whatsoever,
we intend to take all necessary steps to have it dismissed."