Puffy Combs Denies Bribery Charge

While he was in Los While he was in Los Angeles taking in the Grammy Awards, Sean "Puffy" Combs got some more bad legal news from New York on Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that Puffy and bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones have been indicted on charges of bribing a witness in connection with a shooting at a New York nightclub late last year.

Combs already faces gun possession charges stemming from the incident (see "Puffy Maintains Innocence As Grand Jury Hands Down Weapons Indictment"), and now prosecutors reportedly claim that Combs and Wolf offered $50,000 and a diamond ring to their driver to claim ownership of the gun in question.

Accusations of bribery first surfaced earlier this month during a pre-trial hearing at which the district attorney's office was looking to raise Combs' bail (see "D.A. Accuses Puffy Of Allegedly Bribing Driver").

Authorities

now reportedly charge that Combs and Wolf offered the money and the ring (reportedly a birthday present from Lopez) to Wardel Fenderson in an attempt to get the driver to claim possession of a loaded 9 mm pistol that police found in a vehicle he was riding in the night of a shooting at Club New York.

"I am outraged by this new charge," the hip-hop star said in a statement released to the press. "I am not guilty. From the outset I have firmly believed that the Manhattan District Attorney's office has unfairly targeted me for baseless charges."

Puffy went on to claim that the timing of the indictment, which came as he attended the Grammy Awards, was "an attempt to embarrass me."

Combs also continues to maintain he had nothing to do with the December shooting, and the rapper's lawyers call the bribery allegations "a terrible abuse of prosecutorial discretion."