Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
10/6/2003 6:18:38 PM
Tags and topics realted to this article include P. Diddy and 2Pac.
SEAN "P. Diddy" Combs had just emerged from a long business meeting to proclaim: "It's the newest con game in town - shake down and blackmail someone with a high profile."
He was commenting on a rather bizarre lawsuit filed by Kirk Burrowes, a former business associate.
The motion in the lawsuit, characterized by federal Judge Jed Rakoff as a "total mess," alleges that Combs had his hand in two notorious murders against rivals in the rap industry.
"It's so ridiculous, it's crazy," Combs told me. "This is the most crazy of all the stories I've heard. If I was involved in something like this, I would be somewhere else, behind bars.
"A lie like this turns your whole life upside-down. And it really hurts."
In the lawsuit, Burrowes - the godfather of one of Combs' sons and an ex-president of his rap company Bad Boy Entertainment - lobs charges that include P. Diddy allegedly setting up an "enterprise" of thugs to "gain power, recognition, fame and financial gain through acts and threats involving murder, mayhem and extortion via the enterprise."
"With the consent, approval and ramification of the enterprise, [rival rap mogul] Suge Knight's chief bodyguard Big Jake was murdered in 1995," Burrowes alleges.
The suit also claims that Combs' company was "suspected" of having hired the gunman who killed Tupac Shakur, a rap star with Knight's recording label, a year later.
The allegations were part of the suit that Burrowes filed against Combs for allegedly cheating him out of $25 million.
Burrowes considers the lawsuit just deserts for Combs, with whom he says he once enjoyed a "very close, family-like relationship."
Combs' camp calls it blatant extortion.
"People know how some people value their image," Combs said.
"It gets in the newspapers, but when it gets thrown out [of court], you don't see anything.
"Well, we're definitely going to sue for slander," he said.
"I'm a fighter, and people are going to see the truth. I respect the law. But the point is that the law makes these con games legal."
Burrowes does have the option to amend his suit, although Judge Rakoff saw the whole action as "immature."
I am not a lawyer, but the whole thing has the odor of a Hail Mary pass.
"I'm definitely not whining," Combs said. "It happens to other celebrities who are successful.
"It comes with a price, but when it comes to blackmail, I'll just keep on spending money in court to fight these outright attempts of extortion. They won't succeed."
Combs' lawyer, Ben Brafman, said that if anyone can fight the charges, Combs can.
"What I find most extraordinary about Sean is his ability to remain focused on his work and his charities despite these baseless lawsuits that could crush the ordinary person who does not possess his spirit and determination," his lawyer said.
I've seen Combs in court before, and that spirit and determination almost matches his bank account.
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