Report: Con Man at Center of “LA Times” 1994 Tupac Shooting Story - Rolling Stone
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Report: Con Man at Center of “LA Times” 1994 Tupac Shooting Story

The source that led to the Los Angeles Times report that implicated Sean “Diddy” Combs and his associates in the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur has turned out to be a fraud. The FBI documents provided by James Sabatino that writer Chuck Philips used as the source for his story were forgeries written by Sabatino while in prison. The typewriter used to produce the fake documents was linked back to Sabatino, a “con artist and accomplished forger” who has longed to insert himself into various events in hip-hop history. Sabatino implicates himself in Philips’ report, saying he helped orchestrate the 1994 Shakur shooting at NYC’s Quad Studios, but Florida court documents place Sabatino in his native Florida that night of the attack.

According to the Smoking Gun, Sabatino also fabricated his role as West Coast ambassador for Bad Boy as well as his dealings with Death Row’s Suge Knight. The Smoking Gun’s report delves deep into Sabatino’s history of fraud and delusion — the incarcerated thirty-one year-old even brags about working “very closely with Clive Davis” and traveling to London and Japan with his friend “Puff” on his MySpace page. The LA Times announced this morning they will “investigate the validity of the documents” in Philips’ report.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Rosemond released a statement condemning the the paper and Phillips, saying “In this peaceful time in Hip Hop, the L.A. Times‘ false accusations are as serious as when J. Edgar Hoover deliberately sent false hate letters to chapters of the Black Panther Party to create mistrust, violence and mayhem amongst them. Chuck Phillips irresponsibly did the same thing by creating a potentially violent climate in the Hip Hop community.” Rosemond hoped this revelation would allow him to move past this incident, though his lawyer’s statement was more blunt: “I would suggest to Mr. Phillips and his editors that they immediately print an apology and take out their checkbooks — or brace themselves for an epic lawsuit.”

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In This Article: Tupac Shakur


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