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LA Times sorry for tying Sean Combs to Tupac shooting

LA Times sorry for tying Sean Combs to Tupac shooting The 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."

 Published on 03/27/2008

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