Hip-hop impresario Sean ''P. Diddy'' Combs may be a dapper fashion mogul and party host these days, but back in the day, the Bad Boy Entertainment chief lived up to his company's name with his thuggish behavior. So alleges a civil racketeering suit filed Monday in Manhattan Federal Court by a former business partner, who says Combs threatened him with a baseball bat in order to grab his 25 percent share of Bad Boy. According to the New York Daily News, Kirk Burrowes seeks $25 million in the suit filed against Combs, Bad Boy, and Bad Boy lawyer Kenneth Meiselas.
Burrowes, who says he helped Combs found the label in 1992 and that he is the godfather of Combs' son Justin, accuses P. Diddy of several ''Godfather''-ish actions. In 1996, when Burrowes was Bad Boy's president and earned $125,000 a year, Combs burst into his office with the bat and forced him to sign over his interest in the company, the suit says. According to the plaintiff, Combs later apologized and, though he fired Burrowes improperly a year later, promised to make good via a profit-sharing agreement, which he later reneged on. He also says Combs intimidated Mary J. Blige into dropping Burrowes as her manager in 2001. ''Kirk just wants Sean to realize the value he had in making Sean what he is today and to do the right thing,'' Burrowes' lawyer, John Bostany, told the Daily News. ''Kirk wants a smidgen of the loyalty that he showed to Sean.''
According to the Associated Press, Combs responded Tuesday with a statement, saying, ''The allegations are pure fantasy. Kirk Burrowes hasn't been employed for seven years, and now he makes up a fictional story for financial gain.'' Earlier, a Combs spokesman said of the suit, ''If it wasn't so funny, it would receive a Pulitzer Prize for fiction.''