L.A. Times forced to retract libel on Tupac's death

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tupac_LATIMES.jpgA March 17 article published in the The Los Angeles Times...written by writer Chuck Philips, has been retracted. The article claimed Sean "Diddy" Combs and industry vet Jimmy Rosemond had prior knowledge of a 1994 ambush on Tupac Shakur.

In the article Philips insinuated that Combs and Rosemond had organized the attack on Shakur because they were angry that he had rejected an offer to sign with Combs' Bad Boy Records label.

The Smoking Gun, a Web site that specializes in uncovering news from legal documents and court filings, questioned the article, saying that it believed that the Federal Bureau of Investigation documents used by the Times were forgeries.

The Times immediately launched an investigation, which led to an apology on March 27 from both Philips and his supervisor, deputy managing editor, Marc Duvoisin. The story has since been removed from the Times Web site, and comments made by Philips in two online chats as well as a blog were also retracted.

In the retraction, the LA Times, said, "To the extent these publications could be interpreted as creating the impression that Combs was involved in arranging the attack, The Times wishes to correct that misimpression, which was neither stated in the article nor intended."

Rosemond's attorney Jeffrey Lichtman released a statement Monday saying his client is "pleased" with the retraction, he added, "We hope that in the future the Times recognizes that fabricating scurrilous accusations in an effort to sell newspapers completely undermines their credibility and guarantees that any profits made from selling such garbage will be disgorged in litigation."

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