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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 January, 2004, 10:26 GMT
P Diddy faces court over driver
P Diddy
P Diddy was cleared of gun and bribery charges in 2001
A jury is being selected for a US court case to decide whether rap star P Diddy forced his chauffeur to speed away from the scene of a 1999 shooting.

Wardel Fenderson, 45, who no longer works for Sean "P Diddy" Combs, is suing for $3m (1.7m), saying he feared he would be hurt if he stopped the car.

Mr Combs and ex-partner Jennifer Lopez will testify at the New York trial.

In 2001, Mr Combs was acquitted of gun possession and bribery after three people were injured in the shooting.

One person was severely wounded in the face after the shooting, which happened at a New York nightclub.

Gun testimony

Mr Combs was accused of having a gun on the night and trying to bribe Mr Fenderson to take the blame.

Mr Fenderson testified in the 2001 trial that he saw Mr Combs carrying a gun that was "pointing at me" in the back of his car after the incident.

"I thought 'What in God's name is he doing holding a gun? If this thing goes off, it's going to hit me'," he told the court.

The driver said Mr Combs offered him $50,000 (31,000) and a ring worth $300,000 (186,500) as insurance to tell police that a gun found in the singer's car was his.

Gagging order

Mr Combs was acquitted after saying he did not have a gun and thought he was the one being shot at.

His co-defendant, Jamal Barrow, was found guilty of first-degree assault and reckless endangerment and cleared of attempted murder.

Now, Mr Fenderson has started civil action against Mr Combs, his company Bad Boy Entertainment, and his bodyguard, Anthony Jones, who died in a shooting in November.

State Supreme Court Justice Harold Beeler issued a gagging order, telling lawyers not to discuss the case with the media.


SEE ALSO:
Puff Daddy cleared of gun charges
17 Mar 01  |  Entertainment
Puffy 'offered driver a bribe'
16 Feb 01  |  Americas
Puffy driver 'changed gun story'
09 Feb 01  |  Entertainment
P Diddy sued over 'baseball bat threat'
02 Jul 03  |  Entertainment


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