While lawsuits filed by photographers against pop star Justin Bieber get the headlines, another Miami case in which a celeb allegedly attacked a shutterbug is headed to trial later this year.
Rap mogul/singer/actor Sean “Diddy” Combs and two bodyguards are accused of punching, chocking and attempting to rob a paparazzo in Miami Beach on New Year’s Eve 2011.
The case has been dragging in court for almost four years because, if you believe the photographer’s lawyers, Combs has made it difficult to get his deposition.
But records show the case is now set for a jury trial scheduled to start Nov. 28.
Here are the facts, according to plaintiff Gustavo Garces:
Garces was standing by the DoubleTree Grand Biscayne Bay Hotel in downtown Miami when he noticed the artist formerly known as P Diddy and Puff Daddy sitting in a car by the entrance.
Garces claims he started taking photos of Combs inside the car when the occasional actor and bodyguards Kwmae Sandy and Neil Dominique jumped out and charged him.
“Sandy proceeded to repeatedly punch the plaintiff in and around his ribs,” the complaint reads, while “Dominique subdued the plaintiff in a headlock, therefore preventing the plaintiff from breathing and allowing Sandy to continue his vicious attack.”
The paperwork shows Combs stood by during the alleged attack but is accused of directing his musclemen to grab Garces’ cameras.
Garces called police but says they arrived after Combs’ crew had cleared out.
Court records show Combs, who owns a mansion on Star Island, was able to avoid getting deposed. But he was ordered by Judge Rodney Smith last month to make himself available before the trial.
Combs publicist Cindi Berger gave this statement, calling the lawsuit: “totally meritless. It’s a money grabbing. Mr. Combs has been cooperating, and he was in the hotel at the time of the incident.”
Last year, Bieber settled with a paparazzo who sued him after being roughed up by his bodyguards. The singer continues to deal with a second lawsuit.