The LA Times Apologizes For Diddy Story
Thu, 27 Mar 2008 15:23:17
The Los Angeles Times issued an apology on Wednesday related to a recent story that implicated Sean "Diddy" Combs in the shooting assault of Tupac Shakur at a New York recording studio in 1994.
"In relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to do my job," reporter Chuck Philips said in a statement. "I'm sorry."
Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin added, "We should not have let ourselves be fooled. That we were is as much my fault as Chuck's. I deeply regret that we let our readers down."
The fooling was reportedly the work of a convict named James Sabatino, who's currently in a Pennsylvania prison on a fraud charge and suing Combs for $16 million over an alleged business deal gone wrong. Phillips' March 17 article claimed that two former Combs associates coordinated the shooting and beating of Shakur after he refused to join the roster of Bad Boy Records.
Combs called the story "beyond ridiculous and completely false." In a letter addressed to the Times on March 18, Combs' lawyer, Howard Weitzman, said, "The Times has not only defamed Mr. Combs, but failed its readers by printing a story of dubious ongoing news value ... that breached its own journalistic standards in its use of anonymous sources." In a separate letter obtained by E! News, he added that Combs "continunes to reserve his right to bring a lawsuit against the Times for the damage caused by the false and defamatory article."
Talent manager James Rosemund was one of the Combs associates named in the Times story. In a statement on Wednesday, his lawyer, Marc Lichtman, lashed out at the paper and said, "I would suggest to Mr. Philips and his editors that they immediately print an apology and take out their checkbooks—or brace themselves for an epic lawsuit."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff