A former business associate of music mogul Sean (Diddy) Combs has filed a $19-million lawsuit against Combs for music by the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.
James Sabatino was a consultant for Combs’s Bad Boy Entertainment Inc.
Rapper Notorious B.I.G. with producer Sean Combs (right) leave a Los Angeles party in March 1997, shortly before the rapper was shot to death. B.I.G.’s music and video footage is at the centre of a lawsuit filed by a former associate of Combs.Rapper Notorious B.I.G. with producer Sean Combs (right) leave a Los Angeles party in March 1997, shortly before the rapper was shot to death. B.I.G.’s music and video footage is at the centre of a lawsuit filed by a former associate of Combs.
He says he flew B.I.G., whose real name was Christopher Wallace, to Miami in 1994 to perform a show and record music. The rapper recorded 17 minutes of vocals and the session was also filmed for a video.
The lawsuit claims the music that was made and the 90 minutes of video belong to Sabatino because he paid for Wallace’s travel expenses and studio time. However, a contract was never signed.
Wallace was shot and killed in 1997 in Los Angeles after leaving a party. His homicide remains unsolved and in 2006, the L.A. police department launched an official inquiry into his death.
At the time of his death, Wallace and Bad Boy Entertainment were embroiled in a feud with Death Row Records founder Marion (Suge) Knight and Death Row star, rapper Tupac Shakur.
Shakur was shot to death in Las Vegas six months before Wallace’s killing. Knight has denied any involvement in Wallace’s killing.
Later in 1997, Combs agreed to buy the music and footage from Sabatino for $200,000. Combs gave him a cheque for $25,000, promising the rest of the money in 60 days, according to court documents.
Combs has said he did not provide the rest of the payment because police had named Sabatino as a person of interest in the rapper’s slaying.
Sabatino and B.I.G. were scheduled to meet the night of the killing but Sabatino never showed up.
Sabatino filed the suit from prison. He was sent to jail on an unrelated charge.
The $19 million covers both actual and punitive damages.
Source: CBC News