L.A. Times to Investigate Smoking Gun Claim
Following a recent report on thesmokinggun.com — which claims a federal inmate may have “duped” the Los Angeles Times, causing the paper to run a report that connected hip hop mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs to the 1994 attack on Tupac Shakur — the Times has admitted that it will launch an internal investigation surrounding last week’s article.
The Smoking Gun alleges that former Combs associate, James Sabatino, who’s currently serving time in a federal prison for fraud, forged documents that Times reporter Chuck Phillips used for the article. The website describes Sabatino as a “rap devotee,” who’s “long sought to insinuate himself, after the fact, in a series of important hip-hop events.”
Times editor Russ Stanton released a statement regarding the Smoking Gun’s assertions. “Questions have been raised about the authenticity of documents that we relied on for a story on the assault of Tupac Shakur in New York,” Stanton said. “We are taking this very seriously and have begun our own investigation.”