Diddy is coming to the defense of former Bad Boy Records artist Shyne, supporting his bid to return to the U.S. following his incarceration and subsequent deportation back to his home country of Belize. In an interview with DJ Funk Master Flex of New York radio station Hot 97, the hip-hop mogul stated that he believes that Shyne deserves to be let back into the U.S. and also cleared up reports of a rumored rift between the two.

"I've never had any problem with Shyne," he explained. "I've never had any problem with him, I was looking forward to him coming home and just getting out here and letting people see what I saw. I think it [his career] was cut down too early, people never got a chance to see what I saw.

"The thing that bugs me out is people forget what was going on at the time, y'all [Hot 97] was throwing so many stones at me telling me how Shyne sounded like Biggie. All the cats up here at this station was throwing stones at me and I was telling them, 'Nah, the kid got something special.' At the end of the day, when [someone goes] to jail, a lot of people jump on the bandwagon and it was beyond that to me. I never wish bad on anybody, I only wish somebody the best and I hope he gets to come back to the United States, he did his time, he deserves to come back."

Shyne was released from prison in October after serving eight years for his roll in a shooting at a New York City nightclub, while partying with Diddy and then girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. Diddy claimed to have spoken with Shyne in the weeks leading up to his release, which the rapper denied. "I want it known that this supposed conversation is a figment of Sean Combs' imagination," Shyne said in a statement. "He never spoke with me, he never visited me nor would I ever accept a phone call or visit from him. The only way I would do either of those things would be if he stepped up and did the right thing for the victims of the incident."

Following his release Shyne, who changed his name to Moses Michael Levy in 2006, ran into immigration trouble and was extradited back to his native country. His father, Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree are fighting for his return into the U.S. where he has lived since he was a teenager.