(FROM REUTERS) – A report published in Monday's L.A. Times has linked two associates of hip-hop mogul Sean ''P. Diddy'' Combs to the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur. The report cites a confidential informant who claims that talent manager James ''Jimmy Henchman'' Rosemond and promoter James Sabatino, who is now in prison for unrelated crimes, helped plan the attack on Shakur as punishment for disrespecting them, rejecting their business overtures, and to curry favor with Combs. Combs has called the allegation a ''lie.'' ''It is beyond ridiculous and is completely false,'' Combs said in a statement on Monday. ''Neither Biggie [Smalls, aka Christopher Wallace] nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during or after it happened.''
The Times' report said the newspaper obtained FBI records that say a confidential informant told authorities in 2002 that Rosemond and Sabatino ''set up the rapper Tupac Shakur to get shot at Quad Studios'' in New York City. According to the FBI records, the Times reports, Rosemond and Sabatino lured Shakur to the Quad by offering him $7,000 to provide a vocal track for a rap recording, and ''three assailants reputedly friends of Rosemond were lying in wait. They were on orders to beat Shakur but not kill him and to make the incident look like a robbery.''
The Times said it contacted the informant from the FBI records and verified that he was, in fact, at Quad Studios on the night of the attack. The Times also reports that the informant, as well as other unnamed sources contacted for the article, said the FBI records were accurate. The Times also claims that the account in the FBI records is consistent with Shakur's own claims that Rosemond, Combs, and their associates were behind the attack. Sabatino declined comment. Rosemond said via a statement on Monday: ''I am baffled as to why the L.A. Times would print this on its website when a simple and fair investigation would reveal that the allegations are false.'' (Reuters)