Howard Weitzman Not Ready To Accept LA Times Apology Over P. Diddy Story

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Howard Weitzman Not Ready To Accept LA Times Apology Over P. Diddy Story

Fri Mar 28, 2008 @ 01:11PM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

WeitzmanhowardAttorney Howard Weitzman is still fuming over the LA Times' now-disproven story implicating client Sean  "P. Diddy" Combs in an assault on the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

Earliler this week the Smoking Gun published a thorough examination of many of the documents the paper relied on. The site fingered an ex-con who spent time in jail for fraud as providing the crucial FBI documents, which now seem to have been fabrications. The Times responded by printing a lengthy mea culpa.

That might not be enough. Weitzman says he warned the paper the story was inaccurate before it ran in the print edition. "I don’t think it is journalistically responsible; you would want your paper to be more careful,” he told Editor & Publisher. “I think it is wrong that they ignored our request.”

Weitzman also has been throwing around the words "actual malice," a signal he believes Diddy would be successful in a libel suit. Normally, these cases are tough to pursue and not worth the bother, but LAT reporter Chuck Philips has been a houndog on this story for a while, and his coverage  has been previously criticized for bias and questionable sources.

The paper's swift apology may help abrogate damages should Diddy pursue court action, but we're wondering if the Times may need to do something bolder to save its hide.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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