LA Times Apologizes for Tupac Story
Update: The LA Times has issued an apology to Sean "Diddy" Combs following an internal investigation of the sources used for the story which linked Combs to the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur in a New York City recording studio.
The Los Angeles Times apologized for using documents that were apparently fabricated in a story implicating associates of Sean "Diddy" Combs in a 1994 assault on rapper Tupac Shakur.
"The bottom line is that the documents we relied on should not have been used," Editor Russ Stanton said in a story posted Wednesday night on the newspaper's Web site. "We apologize both to our readers and to those referenced in the documents ... and in the story."
Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chuck Philips, who wrote the story, and his supervisor, Deputy Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin, also apologized.
Here we have a major media outlet forced to reinvestigate its own sources following a challenge by an online outsider that has involved into an authority on celebrity crime. The LA Times ran a story implicating Sean "Diddy" Combs in the 1994 shooting of Tubac Shakur, a charge that Combs vehemently denied.
The Los Angeles Times will conduct an internal investigation concerning the authenticity of documents used in a story that implicate associates of Sean "Diddy" Combs in a 1994 assault on Tupac Shakur, the editor of the newspaper said Wednesday.
In a story posted on the newspaper Web site, Editor Russ Stanton said he ordered the review after the editor of the Web site The Smoking Gun told the newspaper he had reason to doubt the validity of the FBI records that were supposed to back up the story. "We're taking this very seriously and we have begun our own investigation," Nancy Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the newspaper, told The Associated Press.
The Smoking Gun said the documents seemed phony because they appeared to be written on a typewriter instead of a computer, included blacked-out sections not typically found in such documents, and other reasons.
The Smoking Gun story claims the documents were created by a convicted con man and music fan with a history of exaggerating his place in the rap music world.
Combs denies that he had any prior knowledge of or involvement in the 1994 robbery and shooting of Shakur at a New York recording studio.
The Times has said its March 17 story was based on FBI records, interviews with people at the scene of the 1994 shooting, and statements to the FBI by an informant. None of the sources was named.
Last week's bombshell Los Angeles Times report claiming that the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur in the lobby of a Manhattan recording studio was carried out by associates of Sean "Diddy" Combs and that the rap impresario knew of the plot beforehand was based largely on fabricated FBI reports, The Smoking Gun has learned.
The Times appears to have been hoaxed by an imprisoned con man and accomplished document forger, an audacious swindler who has created a fantasy world in which he managed hip-hop luminaries, conducted business with Combs, Shakur, Busta Rhymes, and The Notorious B.I.G., and even served as Combs's trusted emissary to Death Row Records boss Marion "Suge" Knight during the outset of hostilities in the bloody East Coast-West Coast rap feud.