Diddy Settles Over Beating

Sean “Diddy” Combs has reached a settlement with a North Carolina man who said the bodyguards hired by the rap mogul beat him after a concert in 1995.

Details for the confidential settlement reached May 15th were not released.

“We amicably settled, and that’s all we can say,” said Herman Stephens, an attorney for Cedrick Bobby Lemon, who filed the lawsuit in May 2002.

According to the suit, Lemon worked as a limousine driver and wore an identification badge that permitted him to stand backstage during a concert by Mary J. Blige in June 1995. Combs was Blige’s manager at the time.

As two bodyguards tried to clear the backstage area to escort Blige from Winston-Salem’s Joel Coliseum following the gig, 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, the suit said.

The mogul’s attorneys, Jack Strauch and Jonathan Davis, had planned to start a hearing on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. But after a lunch recess May 15th, Davis told Superior Court Judge Ron Spivey that the two parties had reached a settlement, ending years of legal wrangling in the case.

In 2002, Judge William Wood Jr. entered a default judgment against Combs for $2.45 million because he failed to answer the allegations outlined in Lemon’s lawsuit within the time allowed. The judge later reduced the settlement to $450,000.

Two years later, the North Carolina Court of Appeals voided Wood’s judgment and sent the case back to Forsyth County Superior Court.