Diddy, Henchman Implicated In Tupac Shooting, Deny Claims

In an explosive story published today by the L.A. Times, one reporter claims to have obtained confessions from two men involved in the 1994 shooting of iconic West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur. One of those men says Czar Entertainment honcho Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond was behind the attack. Tupac was beaten, shot and left for dead outside New York City's Quad City Studios in 1994. The ambush waged a war in hip-hop pitting one coast against another and eventually leading to the unsolved murders of Pac and East Coast rap rival the Notorious B.I.G.

Pac insisted that friends of Biggie (born Christopher Wallace) and music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs were behind the attack and now, new evidence may support that claim.

The L.A. Times reporter who broke the story, Chuck Phillips, says he located the unnamed FBI informant from 2002 who named Jimmy Henchman as the one who arranged the attack, and he interviewed this informant. His story lines up with Pac's. The reporter also says he talked with other witnesses who were at the studio that night and they're all telling a similar story.

Henchman and promoter James Sabatino allegedly lured Pac to the Quad City Studios that night, offering him $7,000 to record a track. According to reports, three men were waiting there to attack Pac, with directions to beat him and to make it look like a robbery, but not to kill the rapper. A member of Pac's own camp is said to have cooperated with the assailants, keeping them abreast of his movements throughout the night and even telling them of the $7,000 payment.

Phillips interviewed the three alleged assailants, all currently in prison on unrelated charges and two of them admitted to the attack on Pac. One said Henchman arranged the hit and another, confident that the statute of limitations had run out, offered to produce a medallion taken from Pac that night. The other alleged hit man denied involvement.

The attack was reportedly set up because Pac was offered a deal with Bad Boy and he refused. Diddy, Biggie and Henchman are said to have seen this as disrespect. Biggie and Diddy allegedly okayed the attack but did not know Pac would be shot.

Rosemond and Combs both responded to these allegations, denying them as false, in separate statements this morning.

"In the past 14 years, I have not even been questioned by law enforcement with regard to the assault of Tupac Shakur, let alone brought up on charges," Rosemond responded in a statement. "Chuck Phillips, the writer who in the past has falsely claimed that the Notorious Biggie Smalls was in Las Vegas when Tupac was murdered and that Biggie supplied the gun that killed Tupac -- only to be proven wrong as Biggie was in New Jersey recuperating from a car accident, has reached a new low by employing fourth-hand information from desperate jailhouse informants along with ancient FBI reports to create this fabrication. I simply ask for all rap fans and fans of Tupac to analyze this fiction for what it is along with Phillips' motives behind it. I am baffled as to why the L.A. Times would print this on its website when a simple and fair investigation would reveal that the allegations are false. I am currently consulting with my attorneys about my legal rights regarding this libelous piece of garbage."

Diddy offered a statement as well.

"This story is beyond ridiculous and completely false," he said. "Neither Biggie nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during or after it happened. It is a complete lie to suggest that there was any involvement by Biggie or myself. I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story."

Sabatino declined to comment.

Federal prosecutors have continued investigating the attack as well as the murders of Pac and Biggie and have called several music industry sources to testify before a grand jury about the incident.