A civil judgment ordering rapper Sean "P. Diddy" Combs to pay $450,000 to a man who claimed he was beaten by bodyguards has been overturned by the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
The ruling came Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by Cedrick Bobby Lemon, who said he was beaten in June 1995 by bodyguards Combs hired to protect soul singer Mary J. Blige at a Joel Coliseum concert in Winston-Salem. Combs was Blige's manager.
Lemon was a limousine driver and wore an identification badge that permitted him to stand backstage, the lawsuit said.
As two bodyguards tried to clear the backstage area to escort Blige from the coliseum following the concert, they punched Lemon in the head, kicked him in the back and broke his right ankle, according to the lawsuit.
Combs was negligent because he failed to properly train the bodyguards for their duties, the lawsuit said.
Lemon's attorney, Howard C. Jones, said Lemon has not decided whether to appeal the decision.
Lemon had medical bills of $14,400, and the attack left him unable to work as a limo driver, the lawsuit says, and can't engage in sports because he is "permanently impaired from running and jumping."
In February, a Detroit jury ruled in favor of Combs in a lawsuit filed by a TV talk-show host who alleged he was roughed up by the hip-hop impresario's entourage.
Roger Mills said members of Combs' entourage also stole the tape of the 1999 interview _ breaking a camera in the process _ after he asked Combs to comment on allegations he contributed to the death of rapper Notorious B.I.G.
Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com