LA Times sorry
for tying Sean Combs to Tupac shooting
Los Angeles Times apologized on their website for claiming rap
mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs was involved in a 1994 shooting of
hip-hop star Tupac Shakur. The apology comes after the Smoking
Gun, a Web site that specializes in uncovering news from legal
documents and court filings, questioned the authenticity of
documents the paper used for the report. The original LA Times
story, written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Chuck Philips, linked
associates of Sean Combs to the shooting of Tupac Shakur in the
Quad Recording Studios in New York, because of his disrespect
toward them, as well as to gain favor from Sean Combs, who was
overseeing the Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace).
Tupac was shot several times by three unknown men and the
assault allegedly started a bicoastal war between Tupac and
fellow adherents of West Coast rap and their East Coast rivals,
most famously represented by Notorious B.I.G.
The LA Times story blaming Sean Combs
for the Tupac shooting came under question by the Smoking Gun,
after analyzing the documents used in the piece. The Smoking Gun
claimed the documents used were fabricated by a prison inmate
with a history of exaggerating his place on the rap music scene.
The LA Times initially claimed that the story, originally
published on March 17th, was based on FBI records and unnamed
sources, but later apologized for "getting duped." Editor Russ
Stanton said Wednesday on the newspaper's website: "The
bottom line is that the documents we relied on should not have
been used. We apologize both to our readers and to those
referenced in the documents ... and in the story." The
author, Chuck Philips, posted the following statement: "In
relying on documents that I now believe were fake, I failed to
do my job. I'm sorry."
"I am shocked that the Los Angeles
Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless
and completely untrue story...In the past 14 years, I have not
even been questioned by law enforcement with regard to the
assault of Tupac Shakur, let alone brought up on charges. I
simply ask for all rap fans and fans of Tupac to analyze this
fiction for what it is," Sean Combs said earlier this week,
calling the allegations "beyond ridiculous."