After nearly two years, Sean "Diddy" Combs completed his deposition last Wednesday in the $130 million civil lawsuit stemming from the 1999 Club New York shooting that sent the Bad Boy CEO’s former protégé, Shyne, to prison.
Natania Reuben, who filed the suit, claims the Bad Boy CEO and Shyne (Jamal Barrow, who changed his name in 2006 to Moses Michael Leviy in honor of his Jewish heritage), are responsible for the injuries she suffered that night as a result of the gunfire.
Diddy — who signed Shyne to Bad Boy Entertainment — was acquitted of all charges in the criminal trial.
On the night of December 27, 1999, Shyne, Diddy, Diddy’s then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez and others were at the now-defunct Club New York. A man named Matthew "Scar" Allen approached Diddy’s crew and then tossed a wad of money toward them, taunting the Bad Boy top dog. Reports conflict over what exactly happened next. Shots were fired and three people were hit, causing patrons to hurriedly exit the night spot. Clubgoers fingered Shyne as the shooter, but the rapper argued that a member of Allen’s entourage fired first. Diddy and Lopez escaped the scene in a car, and their driver ran several traffic lights while getting away.
The civil trial could be the first time Shyne would testify about the events that took place that night.
At the center of the deposition, according to Michelen, is whether Shyne acted independently when he pulled a gun and fired shots that night — or as a part of the Bad Boy collective.
However, a situation could result where Diddy would have to pay up and then seek financial compensation from his one-time recording artist Shyne. The club management and the security firm were also named in the civil lawsuit, as was Bad Boy Entertaintment, in addition to Diddy and Shyne.
Diddy’s attorney, Kenneth Meiselas, issued a statement through a publicist maintaining his client’s innocence.
"Mr. Combs was acquitted by a jury of all charges related to this 1999 incident and we are confident that he will prevail in this civil lawsuit"
Shyne could be released from Sullivan Correctional Facility as early as this year or next year, according to his attorney. A parole hearing date has not been set, but the rapper has served eight years of his 10-year sentence.
The trial could take place as early as 2009