NEW YORK — Sean "P. Diddy" Combs settled a $3 million civil suit Monday with a former driver who accused the rapper of forcing him to flee police after a 1999 nightclub shooting, his label rep said.
In the lawsuit, filed October 6, 2000, Wardel Fenderson claimed he suffered post-traumatic emotional stress from the incident. In court, Fenderson testified that he didn't pull over Combs' Lincoln Navigator right away because the rapper shouted, "Don't stop, don't stop." After the chauffeur was stopped by police, who found a gun in the car, Combs offered Fenderson $50,000 and a diamond pinky ring to say the weapon was his, Fenderson claimed.
The undisclosed settlement came as the trial in Manhattan Supreme Court entered its second week. The judge accepted the terms of the deal and dismissed the case. Combs had been scheduled to take the stand in two days, and Jennifer Lopez, who was in the car the night of the shooting, had also been subpoenaed.
Combs, his bodyguard Anthony "Wolf" Jones, Lopez and Fenderson were all handcuffed by police after the gun was found. Combs and Jones were later charged with weapons possession but were acquitted following a 2001 criminal trial (see "Puffy Combs Acquitted; Shyne Guilty Of Assault, Gun Possession"). Jones was shot and killed in Atlanta last November (see "Key Figure In Diddy Gun Trial Slain Outside Atlanta Club ").
Rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, convicted of assault and reckless endangerment in the nightclub shooting, is serving an eight-year sentence.