Hip-Hop star Sean "Diddy" Combs has responded to a controversial new article in the Los Angeles Times, which claims the mogul had advanced knowledge of a planned assault on the late Tupac Shakur.
A new investigative piece printed today (March 17) in the Los Angeles Times claims that Combs and Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G" Wallace had advance knowledge of a plan laid by music executive Jimmy "Henchmen" Rosemond and an 18-year-old associate named James Sabatino to assault Shakur for a number of different reasons.
In an exclusive statement to AllHipHop.com, Sean "Diddy" Combs vehemently denied the allegations in the Los Angeles Times.
"This story is beyond ridiculous and completely false," Combs told AllHipHop.com. "Neither Biggie nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during or after it happened. It is a complete lie to suggest that there was any involvement by Biggie or myself."
The story details an alleged plan of the events leading up to Shakurs shooting at the Quad, including a new figure, an Italian-American named James Sabatino, who was 18-years-old at the time of the attack.
Sabatino, whose father is an alleged captain in the Colombo crime family, is accused of helping Rosemond orchestrate a plan to assault Shakur at the Quad in 1994.
When Shakur confronted his own attackers with a raised gun, the plan went awry and Shakur and his manager Fred Moore were shot several times.
In the piece, one of the unnamed sources involved with the shooting actually offered to produce Shakurs $40,000 dollar medallion for an undisclosed amount.
Sabatino is currently serving an 11 ½-year prison sentence for wire fraud and racketeering, for charging up $200,000 using fake credit cards, allegedly for helicopters, limos and hotel suites for Bad Boys entourage during 1997's "No Way Out" tour featuring Combs.
In October of 2007, Sabatino filed a $19 million dollar lawsuit against Combs and Bad Boy from prison, claiming Combs agreed to pay him $200,000 for footage taken of B.I.G. in 1994.
Despite the fact that a contract was never signed, Sabatino claims that in 1997, he was given a down payment of $25,000 but Combs has not paid him since, reportedly because the LAPD had previously named Sabatino as a person of interest in the slaying of the Notorious B.I.G.
A number of sources have told AllHipHop.com that the story investigating Shakurs shooting at the Quad is the start of a bigger series Phillips and the Los Angeles Times are planning in relation to the deaths of both Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G.
Combs chastised the Los Angeles Times piece and completely denied any involvement in the Quad shooting.
"I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story," Combs stated.