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The BBC's Mark Devenport
"A lawyer for Combs insisted his client was innocent"
 real 28k

The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"Puffy Combs now faces weapons charges but is protesting his innocence"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 04:48 GMT
Profile: From street to stardom
Sean Combs
Puff Daddy: Too much street cred?
By Jane Hughes in New York

Puff Daddy is far more than just another rap star running into trouble.

As well as his music, he runs a multi-million dollar business empire, and in the last few years, he's achieved what once appeared impossible, making his way from the street, to the pinnacle of New York society.


He wants to be seen as more than just a street guy

Robert George
Journalist and DJ
Real name Sean Combs, he has partied with the likes of the billionaire financier Donald Trump and the celebrity writer Martha Steward, and with film stars and fashion models.

He has even bought himself a luxurious home in the Hamptons, the Long Island millionaire's playground.

"He wants to be seen as more than just a street guy," says Robert George, a journalist and DJ. "He likes hanging out with the likes of Trump and Martha Steward. It gives him a sense of really having made it, in the American way. "

Losing friends

"If he ends up losing that, it's quite conceivable that in his mind that would be a greater punishment than serving time in jail," he added.

Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez: Has stood by her man
But the rap star may have lost it already, according to Alan Light of Spin Magazine.

Although Jennifer Lopez has stood loyally by him, other friends are said to have walked away.

"They liked his proximity to the street, but once he was arrested that was no longer the kind of authenticity they were looking for," says Mr Light. "That's a little too real, a little too dangerous for them."

So when Puff Daddy takes his seat in court and faces the judge and jury, New York society will watch in horrified fascination, knowing that a man who was one of their own could be about to go down in flames.

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See also:

07 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Lopez: I'm no billion dollar babe
09 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Court rap for Puff Daddy
21 Jul 99 | UK
Will hip-hop take the rap?
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